Towing of "British Yeoman and British Builder"

lagerstedt
10th June 2006, 05:50
(1) On the 5 March 1954, The Union Steamship Company of NZ, vessel "Wairata" took the "British Yeoman" in tow from Anglegic Shoal north of Timor to Singapore, a distance of 1300 miles. Can anyone advise what happened to the "British Yeoman" to warrent a tow of 1300 miles.

(2) In 1955 the "British Builder" was towed from WA (Western Austraila) to Sunderland. Several ships were involved in the tow. Was Sunderland in the UK or was it somewhere else? Also what was wrong with the "British Builder" the required a tow back to the UK. If Sunderland they refer to was in the UK.

I got the above information while looking for info on the " Wairata".

Regards

Blair Lagerstedt
NZ

zelo1954
12th June 2006, 02:13
[QUOTE=lagerstedtIn 1955 the "British Builder" was towed from WA (Western Austraila) to Sunderland. NZ[/QUOTE]

Hi:
I have BRITISH BUILDER under repair at Palmer's Hill Quay, Sunderland, on 22nd January 1955.

SEE: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=2686&highlight=sunderland+shipping+news

This suggests an engine problem to me. Do you know if the tow was AFTER or BEFORE early 1955?

Cheers, Geoff

lagerstedt
12th June 2006, 06:28
No, all the info said was that the tow started in WA and ended in Sunderland and that she was towed by several vessels. A long tow for an engine rebuild. Would have though they would have got it done in S'pore or somewhere else up there as I think BP did get vessels drydocked in the east.
Maybe some other Ex or current BP crew made know what happened to warrent such a long tow and which way did they go, round the cape or through the canel.

Regards
Blair Lagerstedt
NZ

janbonde
12th June 2006, 17:16
I was on the BR Earl when she was towed to the UK from the Indian ocean at the time I thought this was the longest tow for a BTC ship as the company was known in those days.This was in 1950 we were towed through the Suez canal, the latter part of the tow was by one of the two ships BTC had in the fleet at that time which had proper towing winches on the poop.They were the Baron and Duke.The tow was quite long,it started when we broke down a day from Mombasa which is where we were bound from Abadan,we were then towed by the BR Faith or Fame not too sure some one will put me right when they read this.We had orders to proceed to Diego Suarez Madagascar,the day before we were due to dock we had a change of orders to proceed to Aden and the Baron would pick up the tow after she had loaded in the gulf.This is what happened, cannot remember the time lenght to the UK from Aden,but we were 6 days trying to get through the canal,and 49 days in total from when we sailed from Abadan to Mobasa with our cargo ,and berthing in Aden.The voyage in all was 6 months,the first month was spent coasting from Swansea then out to the gulf to load that was the last cargo we loaded.The problem we had was a main bearing failure,I would say in all the towing period and waiting for the vessels was more than 3 months

John_F
15th June 2006, 17:11
In 1955 the "British Builder" was towed from WA (Western Austraila) to Sunderland. Several ships were involved in the tow. Was Sunderland in the UK or was it somewhere else? Also what was wrong with the "British Builder" the required a tow back to the UK. If Sunderland they refer to was in the UK.

I got the above information while looking for info on the " Wairata".

Regards

Blair Lagerstedt
NZBlair,
The Builder broke her crankshaft on 18th August, 1954 off Albany. She was towed back into Albany & then joined up to the British Merit which towed her to Aden. She loaded a full cargo of crude for the UK & was then towed home by the British Baron which, as Janbonde says, was fitted with a towing winch. She reached the Isle of Grain on 28th November, 1954. After discharge, she was towed to Sunderland for repairs. The distance covered during the tow was about 9,700 miles & is one of the longest on record by tankers.
Photos attached of the Builder, Merit & Baron from BP Tankers: A Group Fleet History.
Kind regards,
John F.

lagerstedt
16th June 2006, 08:23
Thank you all for the info

Regards
Blair Lagerstedt
NZ

sailor23
21st June 2006, 10:16
I joined the British Yeoman in May 1952,the vessel had a six cylinder Doxford engine that was for ever breaking down from Falmouth to the gulf twice,gulf to Cape Town once for two days,Cape Town to the gulf twice,once enroute to Dunkirk.On leaving the locks at Dunkirk one almighty bang from the engine room,limped down to Beachy Head wallowed around for a few days trying to fix the engine,they finaly gave up limped down to Falmouth and paid us off.so in answer to your question it's a safe bet to say it was that poxy Doxford engine

johnny steward
2nd September 2006, 19:49
undefined(1) On the 5 March 1954, The Union Steamship Company of NZ, vessel "Wairata" took the "British Yeoman" in tow from Anglegic Shoal north of Timor to Singapore, a distance of 1300 miles. Can anyone advise what happened to the "British Yeoman" to warrent a tow of 1300 miles.

(2) In 1955 the "British Builder" was towed from WA (Western Austraila) to Sunderland. Several ships were involved in the tow. Was Sunderland in the UK or was it somewhere else? Also what was wrong with the "British Builder" the required a tow back to the UK. If Sunderland they refer to was in the UK.

I got the above information while looking for info on the " Wairata".

Regards

Blair Lagerstedt
NZ

johnny steward
2nd September 2006, 19:55
the british builder was picked up in the indian ocean by another b p tanker and towed to albany west austrailia and then towed to the uk i was on the one that towed to albany johnny steward

non descript
2nd September 2006, 20:02
the british builder was picked up in the indian ocean by another b p tanker and towed to albany west austrailia and then towed to the uk i was on the one that towed to albany johnny steward

Johnny, if you scroll up to #5 you will see a very detailed comment by John F.

janbonde
2nd September 2006, 20:20
Hello John_F as you see I once again wrote of my trip on the Earl if you have any records could you put me straight on the name of the vessel which towed us to Aden nobody has come forward as of yet to correct me on the name Faith or Fame,so put an old man out of his misery if you can please.All my notes,journals and records which I kept vanished a few years ago in moving berths so it is all from memory now

John_F
3rd September 2006, 16:39
Hello John_F as you see I once again wrote of my trip on the Earl if you have any records could you put me straight on the name of the vessel which towed us to Aden nobody has come forward as of yet to correct me on the name Faith or Fame,so put an old man out of his misery if you can please.All my notes,journals and records which I kept vanished a few years ago in moving berths so it is all from memory nowJanbonde,
I'm on the case. Can you give me any more help with dates? 1950 may be sufficient but it would be a great help if you could be more specific. Dates in Discharge Book when you joined & left her?
This may take a couple of weeks but I'll be in touch, one way or the other.
Kind regards,
John.

John_F
5th September 2006, 16:51
Hello John_F as you see I once again wrote of my trip on the Earl if you have any records could you put me straight on the name of the vessel which towed us to Aden nobody has come forward as of yet to correct me on the name Faith or Fame,so put an old man out of his misery if you can please.All my notes,journals and records which I kept vanished a few years ago in moving berths so it is all from memory nowJanbonde,
A progress report: The Earl seemed fated from her maiden voyage. On completion by Swan Hunter's in January 1947, she loaded in Abadan for Stockholm. While steaming through the swept NEMEDRI channel off Denmark she struck a floating mine & although there were no casualties there was extensive damage. Temporary repairs were effected in Copenhagen after her cargo had been discharged into another tanker. She then returned to the Tyne for more permanent repairs which took many months - she had almost broken her back.
Once repairs were complete she set off for the Gulf again but on the way back (I think), she broke her crankshaft & was towed back to North Shields by the Baron.
I'm not sure which year this was but probably happened in 1948. Did you hear of any of her history while you served aboard her?
Will post again when I find out further details.
Kind regards,
John.

janbonde
5th September 2006, 19:59
Hello John_F thanks for the reply,I knew she had been struck by a mine,but did not know about the breaking of her crankshaft you mention in 1948 and being towed back to the Tyne by the Baron,unless you have made a mistake with the dates.I was on her when she was towed back to the Tyne with a broken cralshaft that was in 1950,there were various vessels involved in the tow,the first is the one I asked the question about,was it the Fame or the Faith which started the tow in the Indian Ocean which would have been about June/ July 1950 the second vessel was the Baron from Aden to Suez,thru the canal it was the tug Hercules if I remember but not too sure she was French flag,then it was the Baron again to Hamble there we dicharged into another company vessel while alongside,and finally it was one of the United Towage vessels from the Humber ,Englishman or Scotsman for the final leg to the Tyne which would have been in October 1950.
As I said in an earlier post lost all my papers and diaries Journals and discharge documents from the British and scandanavian ships I sailed in prior to returning home during a house moving some years ago so it is all from memory now.But the whole voyage was 7 mnths and I remember the Masters name was J Atfield and we joined her in April hope that helps or clarifies Jan

offcumdum sanddancer
5th September 2006, 21:34
Hi ,

I think I remember a little of the history of the problem with breaking of crankshafts in the early 1950's of Doxfords. I will have to do some research to confirm, but seems to me that the problems were that at the time engines were being uprated with blown engines, roots blowers and maybe even turbo blowers. More weight of air in cylinder meant more weight of fuel burned per stroke, so more HP at prop shaft. Only problem is that they used the original designs of crankshafts.

Unfortunately, and how many tales of failures start like that, these Doxfords had been designed originally for natural aspiration and the crankshafts were very sharp where they were machined at the crank webs. This is a clasic stress raiser which was adequate for unblown engines but not for charged engines. Result was a broken crankshaft, which on a short engine that cannot be 'split' is 'bandar calass'.

There may have been other factors as well, such as material flaws, machining errors, heavy seas or fast running which would also tend to raise stress to failure. I don't know if this was the case for this ship but I believe that there were several at this time which gave Doxfords a poor reputation, and it was downhill from there. Once business reputation is lost who is going to risk any new build to an engine that fails so spectacularly.

As a follow up, maybe mentioned, at that time there would have been only one place to get a new crankshaft, and that was at Doxfords in Pallion. No such thing as flying a new one out air freight, or going to Singapore for one. The new crankshaft would have been started manufacture shortly after the incident and may have been ready when she arrived in the Wear.

What amazes me is the chutzpah of BP to tow her to a loading port and bring her home loaded!

Keith Perriman

John_F
5th September 2006, 22:48
Hello John_F thanks for the reply,I knew she had been struck by a mine,but did not know about the breaking of her crankshaft you mention in 1948 and being towed back to the Tyne by the Baron,unless you have made a mistake with the dates.I was on her when she was towed back to the Tyne with a broken cralshaft that was in 1950,there were various vessels involved in the tow,the first is the one I asked the question about,was it the Fame or the Faith which started the tow in the Indian Ocean which would have been about June/ July 1950 the second vessel was the Baron from Aden to Suez,thru the canal it was the tug Hercules if I remember but not too sure she was French flag,then it was the Baron again to Hamble there we dicharged into another company vessel while alongside,and finally it was one of the United Towage vessels from the Humber ,Englishman or Scotsman for the final leg to the Tyne which would have been in October 1950.
As I said in an earlier post lost all my papers and diaries Journals and discharge documents from the British and scandanavian ships I sailed in prior to returning home during a house moving some years ago so it is all from memory now.But the whole voyage was 7 mnths and I remember the Masters name was J Atfield and we joined her in April hope that helps or clarifies JanJan,
My dates may well be wrong when she broke her crankshaft. It may well be that she spent longer than a year on the Tyne for the repairs to be completed after the incident with the mine. I can't imagine that she broke her crankshaft twice in a year or two. I'm still awaiting further info - maybe I was too hasty with the progress report. Your inclusion of June/July 1950 should be a great help. Watch this space.
Kind regards,
John.

alastairjs
6th September 2006, 19:02
John & Jan, I've only just seen this interesting thread. According to my information when they finally got the Earl back to the Tyne after striking the mine in January 1949, she had to be cut into sections to allow her to be realigned, which is why she didn't make her next voyage until well into 1950. Can't shed any light on the Faith or Fame question, they were both about at that time. I can't find any reference, so far, to any BP ship, other than the Baron, being involved in her tow home. One account I've read claims she only got as far as Aden on her outbound voyage.
Keith, very interesting information on the Doxford crankshaft problem, 2 more at least of this class broke their crankshafts in service. The British Builder, 18th August 1954 off Albany, Australia and the British Loyalty on 10.06.1963 while crossing the bar on the Shatt-al-Arab, towed home by the Bird Class ship British Gull. Both these "casualties" were built and engined by Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd. I'd be interested to see anything else you can dig up on this problem. Meanwhile I'll see if I can discover anything more on the subject.
Regards,
Alastair

John_F
6th September 2006, 23:36
Alastair & Keith,

One of my old ships, the British Birch, is another of the class that also broke her crankshaft in February 1960 off the coast of Norway. She, also, had a Doxford type engine. She had left Alesund in Norway on her way back to the UK (Grangemouth, probably) when the crankshaft went. It happened in gale force conditions & there was a very real risk of her being blown onto the Norwegian coast. The Norwegian lifeboat in the area was called out to stand by. I cannot remember whether it was a UK or Norwegian tug that eventually got her in tow. The tow parted at least once & I believe it was quite a hairy ride to North Shields for most of the way.
I joined her as a third ship apprentice (there were 2 of us) in July while the repair work was still going on. There was no power aboard, no water, no stores - everything had been taken off her & put into storage (presumably because of the possibility of gear "walking" during such a prolonged period in dock). It was a miserable 3 weeks more until repairs were completed. The alignment of the crankshaft, I believe, is critical & once power was restored, the alignment was checked at different drafts so the 2 of us apprentices were constantly ballasting, deballasting, reballasting ad infinitum as it seemed to take forever to achieve the correct alignment - a week of what seemed like endless cargo watches. I could go on & on here but I'm straying off topic so at this point will close.
Kind regards,
John.

janbonde
7th September 2006, 20:43
Hello Alastairjs we got further than that we had loaded in Abadan for Mombasa and we were about a days steaming to Mombasa when we broke down,Aden was the next port we entered about 49 days later ,I also sailed on the Baron about a year or more later that was another 8.5 mnths but we never got a tow.That trip on the Earl it must have been her first voyage after the mine damage,joined her in Falmouth early part of April 1950 Regards Jan

John_F
10th September 2006, 22:41
Hello John_F as you see I once again wrote of my trip on the Earl if you have any records could you put me straight on the name of the vessel which towed us to Aden nobody has come forward as of yet to correct me on the name Faith or Fame,so put an old man out of his misery if you can please.All my notes,journals and records which I kept vanished a few years ago in moving berths so it is all from memory nowJan,
I think I've cracked it.
The Earl left Abadan on July 12th 1950 bound (I think) for Mombassa. On July 16th The Fame left Capetown bound for Mombassa. Not sure on the date of your breakdown (looks about July 25th) but the Fame arrived in Mombassa on August 5th & left on August 6th & I assume that she had the Earl in tow as they both arrived in Aden on August 21st. The Faith, during these dates, was en route Suez - Abadan - Madras, where she arrived on August 24th, so that rules her out of the equation. The Fame left Aden on August 22nd, bound for Bandar Mashur (poor sods) while the Earl left Aden on August 24th, I assume being towed by the Baron. You reached Suez on September 2nd & left Port Said on September 6th so it was quite a lengthy Canal transit. You arrived at Fawley (Hamble) on September 29th & left for the Tyne on October 6th where you arrived on October 9th. She did not leave the Tyne again until December 6th.
All the above has been gleaned from Voyage Record Cards, held in the Guildhall Library in the City of London. Must have been a very interesting trip.
Hope the old man is now out of his misery!
PM me if you want the copies of the original VRCs.
Kind regards,
John.

janbonde
13th September 2006, 21:18
Many thanks John_F i wrote a thanks the other day but when I went to send it,site was down for the new look As you say it was some trip cannot argue with dates but I thought we were about 43 or more days from Abadan to Aden.We bent the tow on at sea we never saw Mombasa,from there we went all the way to Madagascar, one day to go the engine room skylights all ready to lift off before the office ordered us about ship and head for Aden.It was in April 1950 when I joined her in Falmouth as I remember it was near my mothers birthday back in Canada, and we coasted out of Swansea for about 5/6 weeks before heading to Abadan Kind Regards Jan

averheijden
28th October 2012, 12:04
Blair,
The Builder broke her crankshaft on 18th August, 1954 off Albany.
John F.

What type of Doxford had the BRITISH BUILDER?

Regards
Alfons (http://users.telenet.be/doxford-matters)

A.D.FROST
28th October 2012, 12:25
What type of Doxford had the BRITISH BUILDER?

Regards
Alfons (http://users.telenet.be/doxford-matters)

4cyl.2S.C.A. 23 3/8"x91 5/16" LB.DOXFORD
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=47329

averheijden
28th October 2012, 17:35
4cyl.2S.C.A. 23 3/8"x91 5/16" LB.DOXFORD
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=47329

Many thanks for the information
BTW, do you know what the name of this ship was and the type of DOXFORD
It looks that it is a "J Type"
http://www.cultureshock.org.uk/stories/crankshaft-repair-in-shanghai.html
regards
Alfons

A.D.FROST
28th October 2012, 18:42
Many thanks for the information
BTW, do you know what the name of this ship was and the type of DOXFORD
It looks that it is a "J Type"
http://www.cultureshock.org.uk/stories/crankshaft-repair-in-shanghai.html
regards
Alfons
SEA RADIANCE (ex.Reardon Smith ORIENT CITY) 76J8