Peter Eckford
6th September 2007, 08:50
Discussion thread for Degaussing ( If you would like to add a comment, click the New Reply button

6th September 2007, 23:30
Remember that big covered cabling in the tween deck.
Think on a couple of ships we went to an area off Portland and sailed up and down a buoyed route a few times. With it switched on and then again with it off.
Was told to see if it worked and get the vessels signature,??

6th September 2007, 23:56

That sounds like they were calibrating the degaussing current in the coils. They had detectors which you would have sailed over that would measure the magnetic field of the ship. They would have adjusted the current and repeated the measurement gradually until they go the best result.

You would have needed to go along the route marked by the buoys to make sure you sailed over the detectors.

Derek Roger
7th September 2007, 02:03
Benji ;
You are more of a computer buff than I
I remember having discussions on degaussing and in fact making a comment. If you could find that thread it might help Peter .
Regards Derek

7th September 2007, 10:52
Wrens played a vital part in degaussing, for memoirs of a Wren who served at a Scottish degaussing station see -

John Briggs
7th September 2007, 12:11
The only thing I know about degaussing coils is ripping them out of the tween decks and selling them in Singapore!

8th September 2007, 00:15

I dug out the earlier thread and have included a cross-reference to it in the guide so anyone wanting to look it up can get straight at it.

Thanks for pointing this out.



Locking Splice
8th September 2007, 09:21
Hi lads,

Forgot all about, degaussing, remember running the muesured mile somewhere near the Thames back in 1968. We had picked up the Railway Steamer Lord Warden from Dry dock in South Sheilds and were delievering her to Newhaven for winter lay-up. It was shortly before Christmas and we anchored of Gravesend to wait for our orders for the degausing run. However the people who manned the system had appartly gone had knocked off for Christmas early. We would told we would have to stay there until after the Holiday. After some terse conversations from our Captain to the powers to be, they got some people back in to get us sorted and we then ran the mile before swiftly setting back of to Newhaven, and home for Christmas.
Thats my only memory of Degausing.

Best Regards


2nd June 2011, 00:51
Taken me a while to locate this thread.
I was one of three new "locally enlisted" DG Recorders at HM Degaussing Range, North Mole in 1957. It was a brand new station just vacated by the installation team.

We spent some time being instructed on the basics of DG by our new Boss, one Lt Cdr G A Gough, who, it seemed, had been dragged back out of retirement to open up this new shore station. This infers that he was a wartime bod, though he never spoke much, if at all that I can recall about his war years, though he did have a chest full of ribbons. Once we had got to grips with the theory of turning ships into rowing boats, magnetically speaking, we started on the practical.

We would 'borrow' a dockyard tug (TID?) and have it trundle up and down over one of our ranges whilst collecting a signature. For us, it was pretty busy, as we had to collect the photo sensitive paper after each 'run', develop, fix and dry before the next run, when the tug would turn around and run back over the range in the reverse direction.

One of us would be up above, starting the print run and then marking the bow and stern points, which showed up as a marker on the print. The other two downstairs worked like one-armed paper hangers to collect all the paper and process it for the Boss to look at on his light table (did I mention that it was all done in near darkness, lit only by dim red lighting?).

Naturally, we took turns on the easy job upstairs, to avoid friction.

Finally, we went 'live' and the Boss started to tout for custom with the big neddies back in the UK. This brought forth a flurry of various warships passing through the Straights, which was entertaining for us (yeah, sure!).

We managed to grab "British Victory" on her way out to the Gulf, a monster of a ship to us, but she did cause us problems in comms.

Enough, more another night bed calls.


Wallace Slough
2nd June 2011, 01:05
I remember towing a C1A motorship out of the Suisun Reserve Fleet and speaking with the successful bidder for the ship. He was riding the ship down from the fleet which was a good idea for him but bad for us as we couldn't get any goodies! In any case, he told of the degausing coils being on deck and a Chinese gentleman who was preparing to bid asking him what they were and his reply was "steam lines for the winches". He was pretty happy with his little story as the crankshaft alone (nickel steel) was worth more than his bid.

1st May 2012, 01:56
While serving on the Booker Venture whose regular sugar run was from Liverpool or London in ballast to Guyana we were dispatched to Rostock in E Germany for a cargo of cement bound for Fortaleza Brazil. Since we were to navigate the North Sea and Kiel canal where there may have been mines the skipper told the electrician to use the degausser. Unable to find a manual the leckie consulted the sparks (me) and we agreed that he should demagnetize the ship by passing a current in one direction through the apparatus and then a reduced current in the opposite direction until he got it down to zero. Somewhere in the Thames estuary a perplexed 3rd officer asked me to come look at the magnetic compass which was reversing direction and spinning wildly. Putting 2 and 2 together I called the electrician and told him that our theory might be flawed. Luckily we didn't trigger any mines in the vicinity but did probably clear the estuary of discarded beer cans and the like.
Much like the day the two of us decided to disassemble and repair the ships projector over a bottle of rum this exercise was also doomed to failure.