OBO/Ore Oil Operations - Ships Nostalgia
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OBO/Ore Oil Operations

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  #1  
Old 30th October 2007, 16:50
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
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OBO/Ore Oil Operations

John Cassels was the original catalyst for this thread. Any contributors wrt the operation of these difficult vessels.

Bill Davies
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  #2  
Old 30th October 2007, 22:40
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
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JC I'll get the ball rolling:

Gas Freeing:
Used to find the best way of Gas Freeing on OBOs was to remove the four Butterworth hoses from the Hatch Cover whilst maintaining the bottom cycle with the Butterworth gear trunked through the top sides. Alter course to put the wind on the beam, stop the washing and open the Hatch covers.
The crowd would down within 30 minutes tending to coils etc.
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  #3  
Old 30th October 2007, 23:54
JoK JoK is offline  
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A ***** to de-ballast during FO cargo ops. Lay the buggers over in an instance and freak out the Mates (E/R did ballasting)

Or at least the one I was on...

and I got stars...I wonder what word I used
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  #4  
Old 1st November 2007, 10:30
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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Bill . I'm still not sure how far to go on this thread !!. Nevertheless , a few
starters.

Gas freeing; Don't ever remember an obo where I could keep a positive I.G.
pressure in the holds and like you , usually resorted to opening the covers
which was the best of a bad job especially in any sort of incliment weather.

The idea of an Obo - on paper - was reasonable but in practice was something else and as far as I am concerned most problems stemmed from
the carraige of the last two letters in the name ; bulk and ore and especially
coal. If you had been carrying coal , like that sticky SA stull , for a couple
of trips no matter how well you cleaned , the residues and dust left their
mark. Permajets and heating coils that became gummed up , spectacle blanks
that wouldn't swing, whessoe guages that became worthless , neoprene
valve seals damaged and a whole host of other problems.
Just finished discharging the last coal parcel and you've just lodged your
protest with the stevedore about the amount of undischarged coal residues
being left in the holds , usually high up in the corrugations when the time
charterers come through with next trips orders - laydays for loading next
cargo of crude commence in 48 hours.

Let the nightmare begin.
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  #5  
Old 1st November 2007, 15:26
JoK JoK is offline  
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Doing ore cargo one trip, oil the next-around Europe.
The Mate and deck crew work around the clock to convert the holds.
Also OBOs like to crack, hatch combings, decks. Always good in oil mode.
I never seen the one I was on carry grain, apparently something to do with the coating in the holds.
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  #6  
Old 2nd November 2007, 16:55
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
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I think the 'cracking' iwo hatch corners is common to all Ore Carriers but agravated in above cases when oil seems to find its way out of the cracks thereby prohiting any repair.

As I have said before OBOs were fine as the compartment carrying Oil, also carried Ore and Grain. The TSTk and DBTks were strictly for ballast. I enjoyed my time in them.

On the other hand the O/O carriers were just dangerous as in the oil mode they were homogenously loaded (no problem) but in Ore mode the the side tanks were often not cleaned or gas freed and relied on +ve IG system.

NB: For enthusiast
TSTk : Top Side Tanks
DBTk : Double Bottom Tanks
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  #7  
Old 5th November 2007, 13:57
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Skye Sierra Skye Sierra is offline  
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OBO difficulties

Had an interesting trip on the Sevonia Team in early 79. We loaded Indonesian Low Sulphur Waxy Residue which had to be kept very hot for an oil cargo (not sure how hot but we couldn't walk on the deck without boots).

Carried it without incident to Long Beach and discharged/prepared for tank cleaning which involved filling one hold with water which was heated to as near boiling as poss. The idea was to leave Long Beach, head out into the Pacifice and blast hot water into all the holds to keep the residue as hot as we could.

Unfortunately there were no heating coils on the tank tops and we ran into a bad storm which meant we couldn't start tank washing immediately. End result was the cargo residue solidified on the tank tops and we had no way of liquifying it again. The memory's not good enough to relate the trials and tribulations but we ended up in Vancouver where the hatches were opened and gangs of contractors armed with windy hammers and bulldozers dug the stuff out of the holds. It took them three weeks and I do remember that we became something of a local celebrity with TV cameras etc descending on board along with environmentalists demanding that we leave Canadian waters on pain of death etc.

Ther contactor's plan was to remove the waste by road, transport it into the wilds and bury it in the permafrost. The objectors reckoned that the waste would eventually melt and destroy the surrounding area - the melting point was something like 275 degrees F !!

We did have a great three weeks in Vancouver though but that story's not for this thread.

Regards

Roger
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  #8  
Old 6th November 2007, 00:52
JoK JoK is offline  
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We carried heavy fuel from Montreal to Quebec city. It mustn't have been really heavy as we had no steam coils and it was winter- but that is not the best of the story...the best part was tank cleaning in Quebec city to go to a naptha cargo. In February, in -28*C. Myself and the 2nd spent more then one night on deck changing frozen burst valves and pipes.
There was at least 8" of ice on deck.
We went to Europe via the Azores to clear the ice.
But it was a dry cold!!
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  #9  
Old 6th November 2007, 09:18
John Cassels John Cassels is offline  
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Roger , did you not carry heating coils which were bolted to the underside
of the hatch covers and could be lowered by guide wires onto the tank top
when required . The other Denholm obo's had this system , portable air
hoists being used to lower and raise the coils. A real work up and you can
imagine the condition of all the equipment after a few years of loading coal.

As in my previous post , the carraige of coal was what ruined to original OBO
concept - only my belief of course.
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  #10  
Old 6th November 2007, 13:53
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Skye Sierra Skye Sierra is offline  
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John, I'm pretty sure the Team Ships were fitted with aforementioned abortions but for the life of me can't remember if they were used or not. Certainly most of the OBOs I was on had some form of hoisting coils although I don't think I saw them used a lot. Most of this particular attempted tank cleaning episode I spent on the bridge as second mate with the 'old man' ( Jim Binnie I think) and left the graft to the mate and the third mate. This is one of those times I wish I had kept a record of my time at sea as the old memory really fades with the passing of time. I do know though that we had a hell of a time in Vancouver working with the contractors as the residue had all the consistancy of concrete. We were using pneumatic drills (Irish motor bikes?) and bull dozers to remove it from the tank top and squads of bodies with windy hammers on cherry pickers working on the tank sides. The job was 24/7 for three weeks although most of the work was done by shore labour. Maybe somebody else on SN was there at the time and can fill in the blanks. I served on five OBOs and for the most time enjoyed the diversity although they could be a real work-up at times given their hybrid nature.

Regards

Roger

ps - even sailed on one, with Roddie MacKenzie, that carried houses from the US East Coast to Saudi Arabia

Last edited by Skye Sierra : 6th November 2007 at 13:57.
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  #11  
Old 7th November 2007, 00:36
randcmackenzie randcmackenzie is offline  
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The heating coils on the team boats were permanently fitted rounded channels on the underside of the stool spaces.

Though there were some other drawbacks (another book could be written) the Norobo class had heaters on deck, through which the deepwell pumps circulated the cargo.

OBOs were actually much better tankers than tankers were, and could regularly discharge with an ROB of less than 10 barrels, especially when crude oil washed.

The modern double hull tankers are just OBOs without hatches!

I enjoyed most of my time in them, though there were some 'difficult' cargoes.

I never had to dig one out though sometimes we wondered .....
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  #12  
Old 7th November 2007, 00:39
randcmackenzie randcmackenzie is offline  
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ps - even sailed on one, with Roddie MacKenzie, that carried houses from the US East Coast to Saudi Arabia

I've got a photo of that somewhere, if I could only find it.
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  #13  
Old 10th May 2012, 01:40
oldman 80 oldman 80 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skye Sierra View Post
Had an interesting trip on the Sevonia Team in early 79. We loaded Indonesian Low Sulphur Waxy Residue which had to be kept very hot for an oil cargo (not sure how hot but we couldn't walk on the deck without boots).

Carried it without incident to Long Beach and discharged/prepared for tank cleaning which involved filling one hold with water which was heated to as near boiling as poss. The idea was to leave Long Beach, head out into the Pacifice and blast hot water into all the holds to keep the residue as hot as we could.

Unfortunately there were no heating coils on the tank tops and we ran into a bad storm which meant we couldn't start tank washing immediately. End result was the cargo residue solidified on the tank tops and we had no way of liquifying it again. The memory's not good enough to relate the trials and tribulations but we ended up in Vancouver where the hatches were opened and gangs of contractors armed with windy hammers and bulldozers dug the stuff out of the holds. It took them three weeks and I do remember that we became something of a local celebrity with TV cameras etc descending on board along with environmentalists demanding that we leave Canadian waters on pain of death etc.

Ther contactor's plan was to remove the waste by road, transport it into the wilds and bury it in the permafrost. The objectors reckoned that the waste would eventually melt and destroy the surrounding area - the melting point was something like 275 degrees F !!

We did have a great three weeks in Vancouver though but that story's not for this thread.

Regards

Roger
Oh yes - that incident was notorious - I think Jim Binnie was the master on that occassion.
It certainly resulted in an abundance of "Circular Letters".
God that LSWR was a headache to carry - so it was.
The Pacific Triangle :- Longbeach, Vancouver, Pohang , Ardjunna, Longbeach, and then the same thing over again.
Vancouver - Pohang - absolute hell in the winter.
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  #14  
Old 10th May 2012, 02:01
oldman 80 oldman 80 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skye Sierra View Post
John, I'm pretty sure the Team Ships were fitted with aforementioned abortions but for the life of me can't remember if they were used or not. Certainly most of the OBOs I was on had some form of hoisting coils although I don't think I saw them used a lot. Most of this particular attempted tank cleaning episode I spent on the bridge as second mate with the 'old man' ( Jim Binnie I think) and left the graft to the mate and the third mate. This is one of those times I wish I had kept a record of my time at sea as the old memory really fades with the passing of time. I do know though that we had a hell of a time in Vancouver working with the contractors as the residue had all the consistancy of concrete. We were using pneumatic drills (Irish motor bikes?) and bull dozers to remove it from the tank top and squads of bodies with windy hammers on cherry pickers working on the tank sides. The job was 24/7 for three weeks although most of the work was done by shore labour. Maybe somebody else on SN was there at the time and can fill in the blanks. I served on five OBOs and for the most time enjoyed the diversity although they could be a real work-up at times given their hybrid nature.

Regards

Roger

ps - even sailed on one, with Roddie MacKenzie, that carried houses from the US East Coast to Saudi Arabia
The team ships had their heating coils built in to the bulkhead stools and double bottoms beneath the tank tops, (Fixed welded steel channels)
The DSM Managed Clarkson/ Silver Line OBO's ie Spey Bridge, Eden Bridge etc., had the portable coils stowed beneath the hatch covers and lowered to the hold bottom when required. A real pain in the Butt - but they were first generation OBO's - the team ships were a huge improvement.

Last edited by oldman 80 : 10th May 2012 at 02:04. Reason: inclusion of Silver Line
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  #15  
Old 10th May 2012, 05:04
Malky Glaister Malky Glaister is offline  
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Team ships cargo heating. As has been said channels ( half tubes) welded direct to the bulkhead stools. Great idea but ruined by YOCALBRO connecting pipes. These fractured for one reason or another and thus began filling the stools with water from the boilers (condensed steam). Stools could not be emptied until the adjacent hatch was empty.
On one occaision London Team had to take vast amounts of water from a tanker outside Portland Maine. This was more or less transferred to the stools via the boilers to the extent that we were in danger of being unable to enter the port as our draught was increasing.
Copper jumper pipes were tried with limited success. I don't recall whether steel pipes were used but that would have been the best idea. Perhaps Tom might recall.

My wife, a Canadian citizen left the ship in Portland. The Immigration fool gave twelve hours to get out of the good old US of A to everyones amusement!

Best regards

Malky
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  #16  
Old 10th May 2012, 05:50
oldman 80 oldman 80 is offline  
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Yocalbro pipes:-
Oh yes, you are right, Malky.
They were replaced eventually - with steel, if my memory serves me correctly.
The channels were also prone to damage by grabs smashing against the stools and tank tops. Was feed water not a major problem a lot of the time, especially when carrying that LSWR muck (Low sulphur waxy residues) from Indonesia to Long Beach ?
Jerry
P.S.
It was possible to access each stool from below, ie via duct keel, but not recommended at sea.

Last edited by oldman 80 : 10th May 2012 at 07:16. Reason: addition of P.S.
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