Combustion Engineering V2M9 Steam Generators

Burntisland Ship Yard
6th August 2008, 15:00
We had three of these "beasts" in T.O.T.A on the danish class - Norway, Copenhagen and Denmark. They were the main steam generators with smaller V2M8 boilers as stand by units.

The M9's were what only could be described as "interesting", and if memory serves me correctly even in slow steam mode, we had to have the F.D fans both on high speed due to the amount of casing leaks.

Has any one else in the forum worked with these these boilers and what "oportunities" did you have with them ?

6th August 2008, 15:33
I sailed on these vessels with the V2M9 main boiler and they were as you say abortions. A tangientially fired boiler with a rotary air heater combined with the Stal Laval turbine set in a VLCC.
I flashed the Norway in Johore with a skeleton crew of engineers for the scrap yard it was not pleasant.
She was goosed in 1983. Another grubby little tanker according to some of our members.
We lost a furnace waterwall tube on one of them, cant remember which,while under way you should have seen the scatter, lots of brown stuff. Not good boilers.


8th August 2008, 21:56
I don't know why you think these ships were bad.
V2M9s that leaked gas, ljungstums that stopped gas, V2M8s that leaked water. Evaps that wouldn't make water. Buckets for the wife to get water from the strg flat. ACs up in the sky crying for cooling water. Hedemoras overheating. Sea water pumps erodeing away. Stal lavals, AVRs, yellow perils, Rolls Royce in an emergency!, Boiler Pneumatic spaghetti. Atlas Copcos, wet air, no air, bilge seperators, bilge eductors that filled the bilges, brine eductors, sternseals that didn't, Drain Tk P/Ps that wouldn't, no that was the Liverpool. Blundells deal for 24 hole in the wall ACs. Oh I could go on.... I still have vivid memories of the second (Rigby) talkng to the spare flashing alarm lamp that was under the table in the ECR. The lamp told him to switch off all the burners, which he promptly did. And that was only his first standby. John (puff puff) Hibbet didn't take too kindly to that. Sent him up to check on the windlass while we tried and tried to get the fires back on between the Hedemora's ovrheating cycle. New air compressors, extra Cat diesle, new s.w pumps, new Indian crew and these ships were transformed, for a while! I sailed on a couple of sister ships with different boilers a few years later, now these were bad! Made the Norway seem like a cruise.

10th August 2008, 20:00
Hi Ghost,
You are indeed a ghost and what a ghost you are. You know me and I do not know you. |Gil Rigby I never met him. Jimmy Blundell I knew , John Hibbet I knew. The yellow peril you must have been on the Copenhagen early on.

I was working on the Norway at this boilers pneumatic spaghetti as she went to scrap. There was electrics as well.
The small boiler was round due to furnace explosions a new design. Two fuel oil pumps to get a fire in. Both Knackered. The beat of the turbo alternators bearing vibrated the whole ship no men to fix it. Ken Evans was there and a third who was Chief on the later motor ships when I was examiner,Windsor /Westminster. I forget now.
The headless moron a disaster and the cat not much better.
The only good thing was we got steam and the air conditioning worked.
Christ it was bad. I dont like to think about it.

Were you with me on the GB.


10th August 2008, 20:53
Jack Lawrie was Chief, Mark Anderton the third. I was lucky enough not to sail on the GB, or the Ghent Class. No yellow peril on the Copenhagen when I was there, mixed that up with those other two ships that had gas turbines instead of RRs. Nice post Makkah career.

Names From Fleet List.

Best Regards Ghost

11th August 2008, 09:14
One of the wonders of engineering fitted on these ships was the Ljungstrom Air Heater. It was specially designed for the torture of Steam Engineers. We were not dying out fast enough so they invented this to kill us all off. It heated the combustion air from the forced draught fans through a rotating element, the parts of which passed though the uptakes and the air passage consecutively. It was up near the funnel.
An engineer working up there would be cooked and gassed at the same time ie. kippered.
It was specially designed to collect soot, corrode and foul. It collected sulphurous acid deposits as well. It had a sootblower which was useless. It was prone to fire and it burned regularly. When it burned you did not need navigation lights you could see the funnel a hundred miles away.
I knew Jack Lawrie (Happy Jack).
The wonders of the V2M9!!!


11th August 2008, 12:52
I reckon you blokes should have put these recollections on what sounds to have been every steam-man's worst nightmare---------absolute rubbish boilers, onto the "What on earth did engineers on steamships do?" Forum!

Those ship's sound like they must have been the penal-battalion of the Texaco fleet and a constant threat to keep you on the straight-and-narrow!! "Step out-of-line on any of the other ship's (with decent steam-raising plant) and you'll get sent to one of the Combustion Engineering boilered ships!!!".

No doubt, if you were on one of them, you would then enter the classic "Catch 22" situation.

You probably got sent there because you HAD stepped-out-of-line, somewhere along the way, but because they were such a nightmare to keep going you would, perhaps, drink a little too much, then get a bollocking 'cos you HAD drunk too much which then put you in the bad-books again which meant you stayed on those ships, as punishment, which then meant you may have a little too much to drink, which meant you got another bollocking etc. etc. ad infinitum!!!


Brock's "Black Four" had their moments with their Foster-Wheeler "D" type boilers but nowhere as bad as these monstrosities sound to have been!!

More stories please!!!! Salaams! Phil(Hippy)

11th August 2008, 19:17
Is a link to this vessel.

You may like to read it I wrote it a few years ago. Click Ships/Texaco Copenhagen


Burntisland Ship Yard
11th August 2008, 20:03
Cummon Ghost, be a man and identify yourself, one way or the other!

Regarding serving on these ships, I would say that you required to be a certain calibre of engineer to experience the ordeal - remember what Texaco stands for after all -

"To Experience A Constant Ordeal"

The danish class were interesting ships to play on, but to be fair the engineering teams on them all knew how to play hard as well, like having a party alongside in Ras Tan, with Ken Gates totally r--ted and the fiver doing the impression of an eagle, at 02.00hrs in the morning !!

13th August 2008, 22:16
Here is a nice piccy of that wonderful boiler. I particularly like the two engineers studying the drawing by number 3 fire. As I remeber it, the burners had a clearance of at least 1/8" in the registers, allowing an almighty amount of hot air to scorch anybody within a couple of yards of any burner.

Willy brown went to Granton as I remember, and Donaldson somewhere else up that way.

Punishment ships no, the office thought they were good ships. For my stint of punishment, after Missing one of the Ghent ships, they sent me to a T2. That sort of punishment I could take any day.

These were the first ships in T.O.T. fleet with radios controlled engineers. Very necessary when blowing tubes. Remember that Maltese lad, I think it was Spitteri, (not Reno the 2nd), he got caught up on the air heater bypass damper when he gave it a helping shove. The 3rd continued blowing tubes and poor lad had all the skin burnt skin off his arm. That was him finished at sea. Never did beat him at chess.

17th August 2008, 01:40

Why the name ? I was born and brought up in Kinghorn which is only 2 miles from Burntisland. I have researched 'info' on Kinghorn and Burntisland shipyard built ships.



Burntisland Ship Yard
23rd November 2009, 18:11
Know its been some time since I last wrote, however, the Danish Class were to say the least interesting the three of them were of simliar kilt in terms of the usual problems. One good thing that did occur was when a new T.A was fitted on the Copenhagen, boy could that beast take the load ! And depending what was on the board could take a IGS start ! albeit the lights went dim and not black!
My last trip was on the Ghent, some would say was a punishment ship, but in my three months on her / single handed watches the lights never went black, stand bys were done with the watch keeper and chief {Robbie Yeatman was the chief, and by the way had a huge pay off session with him]
Happy Days, gone but not forgotton!

Satanic Mechanic
23rd November 2009, 23:33
V2M9's - before my time but have heard much about them in the whispered conversations of old steam engineers trying to scare cadets.

Mark Anderton, Howard Roberts and a few others were good for tales of daring do's

Shame really because the V2M8's were by far the best boilers i sailed with.

B&W Marine Radiant anybody?

Burntisland Ship Yard
18th December 2009, 17:52
Quite agree about the V2M8's good steam generators with very few problems, not quite what I could say about their big brother - V2M9, no doubts that the M9's for a shore side steam generator are good...unless others have any different opinions
Happy Festive Period All !

Long gone
18th December 2009, 20:43
What was the reasoning behind the tangentially fired burners?

14th January 2010, 01:22
Creates a nice vortice as the fires are slightly off centre. Besides that engineers have asked what the reasoning behind a V2M9 was.
V2M8s also caused a lot of pain in Texaco, mainly tube failures due to the initial brand of boiler treatment, and then external corrosion with being idle for so long. Other companies V2M8s I sailed with were trouble free, never had to plug another tube.

Satanic Mechanic
14th January 2010, 11:36
Having cut my teeth (and burnt my *****) on B&W marine Radiants - V2M8's were like a gift from a fairy Godmother.

It has to be said though there did seem to be a time in boiler development where Heath Robinson and Rube Goldberg had obviously combined their talents to design the boiler and even more so the control system. I may be mistaken but I am sure I saw feed control system based on boiler weight in a book once.

country Captain
16th January 2010, 07:30
Was a Cadet on Texaco Denmark summer 1972 and both boilers ran like sewing machines (well, most of the time), constant irritations with the control systems and over-complicated air heater contraption.
Problems pale into insignificance compared with a trip on the Texaco Frankfurt in summer 1974 when B&W Marine Radiant misbehaved in a major way, in addition entire engine room equipment fell apart, everything from FD Fans to main Condenser, a bloody nightmare!
Trauma caused me to spend next 36 years on motor ships without a moment of regret.
Steam Queens--- you can keep them.

7th June 2012, 21:08
I was on the Denmark in 1975 with Arthur King Gill Rigby both RIP Swannie the pillock swanton, Charlie Goodall, Dennis, Alistair avallone. V2m9 ran as sweet as a nut for us guys.!! we replaced the air heater baskets once and the TA blew up but otherwise great ship the TEXDANE

Burntisland Ship Yard
8th June 2012, 18:19
I was on the Denmark in 1975 with Arthur King Gill Rigby both RIP Swannie the pillock swanton, Charlie Goodall, Dennis, Alistair avallone. V2m9 ran as sweet as a nut for us guys.!! we replaced the air heater baskets once and the TA blew up but otherwise great ship the TEXDANE

By chance did you sail on her after a drydocking....may be {Hehehehe] you were slow steaming on the baby boiler.....

Anyway, joking apart, all the engineers that sailed on the Danish class, were a great bunch [dare I say apart from 2, that I sailed with..]and no matter what in true tradition when we had field days every one mucked in to get the job back on line..........

Happy Memories.....

10th June 2012, 10:53
Your Ljungstrom air heaters must have been of exceptionally bad manufacture. The one I sailed with (Darling River, Australian National Line) was the most trouble-free item in the engine room.

Burntisland Ship Yard
13th June 2012, 19:19
As the old saying goes "you only get what you pay for" ....

John Jarman
14th June 2012, 08:50
Your Ljungstrom air heaters must have been of exceptionally bad manufacture. The one I sailed with (Darling River, Australian National Line) was the most trouble-free item in the engine room.

Just as an aside - in the power stations, we had these air heaters and the elements were very sensitive to acid erosion. The cold end ( back end ) temperatures - air inlet/gas outlet combined, had to be kept above the dew-point.


Malky Glaister
14th June 2012, 09:16
I sailed on a couple of steam tankers with these air heaters ( Ljungstrom ). Maersk Angus and Buchan. I was never fully confident of them having heard some horror stories about the type catching fire. They were never stopped until the boiler had been shut down for 12 hours and were kept as clean as possible. They gave no trouble that I recall.

The Texaco Great Britain was very well known outside of Texaco as something to stay away from!!



14th June 2012, 10:18
Don't remember maker but Stonehaven (Hopepark) had a rotary air heater. Rotation alarm (relying on pulse from microswitch to keep a capacitor charged) kept me amused for some time when it failed. If it stopped destruction of the plates on the hot side was expected.

14th June 2012, 23:18
V2M9 boilers are still alive and steaming

We have just completed a 100% retune of a V2M9 on one of our FPSO's as part of a relocation upgrade

Vessel / Boiler were originally built in Norway in 1975 as Berge Beaurivarge (later Berge Pilot) which makes the boiler already 37 years old
100% retube, but drums and headers still original. Combustion system (fuel gas / mgo) was also upgraded during the conversion.

New field life is 18 years which will make this beast 55 years old at the end of present contract.

Ljungstrom air heater was ripped out many years ago - Client is responsible for the fuel, so we are not too bothered about the slight drop in efficiency and it is one less headache to worry about.

Burntisland Ship Yard
15th June 2012, 16:34
Interesting Arkwright, just goes to show with some restoration / up grade the V2M9 can still survive. I suppose with right management they can still out put the steam flow required.

As a matter of interest what plant does the beasty supply FPSO's came out after I hung up my boiler suit !

16th June 2012, 12:25
Interesting Arkwright, just goes to show with some restoration / up grade the V2M9 can still survive. I suppose with right management they can still out put the steam flow required.

As a matter of interest what plant does the beasty supply FPSO's came out after I hung up my boiler suit !

We are expecting a max loading of about 85T/hr when on station.
Base load will be made up of a new 2MW T/A and the heating load for the production facilities together with the usual ancillary services on a steam vessel.
Offloading operations will be every 5 to 7 days when at full production and will require 2 of the vessels original cargo pumps plus a third pump in use for COWing at the same time.