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Mahout System of Control

Mahout System of Control

This is a diagram I made on the back of an old chart in 1965/66 of the Mahout Control System . I was apprentice and the C/E Johnny Watt ( Aberdeen ) reqested I did this . He said it was wrong as it differed from the shipyard drawing in one area. On checking he found the shipyard drawing was not " as

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Looks like you did an excellent job on the diagram - I read elsewhere on this site comments about the reliability of the system in later life. Fyffes wee Spanish built container ships had a bridge control system for their two Deutz diesels. Problem was ( similar to that commented on ) was the excess starting air used when bridge controlled. The engines of these ships were a good distance aft of the bridge so no aural indication of a successful start, the only indication was when the rev counter started to rise. I don't know how the ships passed Lloyds inspection as the sole air compressor was not up to the task- not only had the air system to start the engines it had to shift the camshafts and operate shaft brakes. On one of the early voyages entering the berth at Galveston we nearly buried the bow on the opposite pier as we tried to execute a sharp turn. Confidence was lost and direct local control became the order. The M-Class of MAN engined ships had controllable pitch propellers a much better proposition in my opinion.
 

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Mahout had two large air compressors which could either be started /stopped at will or left running with auto unload when the Air recievers were full ( up to pressure 200 or 250 psi ) also we used to manouvre on one bottle with the 2 nd bottle shut off . It could be opened remotley from the bridge or E/R control station .
It was not difficult to know from the sound when the engine fired and the mates got used to the system . On a test we were able to start the Sulzer RD 760 with as little as 60 psi although if the pressure on 1 bottle dropped below 120 we would tandem the other bottle . The system did use more air on auto as everythimg was based on time and revs. On manual we would only hold the starting air V/V open until we heard her fire . Being a first it seemed to frighten the hell out of pilots who were only used to a telegraph .
 

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Ref John Watt, I recall an advt. photo of him in Motor Ship magazine extolling the benefits of a Rolls Royce generator, fitted on the Mahronda if memory serves, and in an enclosed booth.
If the noise was anything like the RR engines on the Clyde pilot boat Cloch they would take some sound proofing.
 

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You are correct re the soundproofing. Mahout and markor had 4 Rolls Royce generators . 2 port and 2 stbd each in a sound proofed compartment . It was really a delight as the engine room was quiet in port and easy to work in the engine room . At sea we had 2 on line and 3 for stand byes . Maintaince on the genrators at sea was also a joy as we would run 2 on one side and the maintainace area was really quiet and relativley cool as each compartment had its own ventilation system .
Johhny Watt I am told has sadly passed away .
I sailed with a 2nd engineer called Ben Page who was on Mahronda during the installation / start up of the proto type . He related the story of how on initiall start up there were a lot of Rolls Types in the compartment wearing bowler hats and suits and one poor chap in coveralls doing all the work and being directed by the Bowler gang . The reason for the failure was due to no oil in the sump !!!
After a rebuild and satisfactory start up Ben asked one of the Rolls Engineers what a particular gauge was for ; he got the snotty reply that it was to indicate the L/O pressure! To which Ben asked "what does it tell us ? " A further snotty look and reply " to tell you the bearing oil pressure "
Ben then furthered the discussion and asked why was it then before the L/O filters ??
The Engineer was somewhat stunned and there was no reply but the position of the gauge and low lub oil shut down and alarm connections were moved the next day to after the filter !!
 

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japottinger ;
Rather than repeating other Rolls Stories ; you can find some references in my threads / posts and gallery . Feel free to dig in .
Derek
 

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Do I take it that Brocklebank was investigating the possibility of installing RR on their new motor ships when they installed in Mahronda? The Rustons on Manipur were a begger that you had to take the whole cylinder heads off to bed in the exhaust and inlet valves, the Allen diesels on Mangla had the valve in small blocks which could be unbolted with four small bolts themselves without disturbing the whole cylinder head.
 

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They were looking for an alternative to Rustons I believe due to lots of problems >Allens were very reliable as I recollect .
One of the problems was that almost all Brock engineers were steam men and kind of kept clear of the diesels which they considered somewhat new fangled ; this resuted in a lack of basic maintainance and they were run into the ground . When they packed up ; call a shore squad . I dont think Rustons were a bad machine.
Rolls were lightweight efficient units but needed a lot of regular maintainance.
Mahsud and Maihar built in Gotheburg had Paxmans installed . They were terrible but fortunatley we had shaft Generators so they were shut down at sea . On occaion we had to run a main engin in port / with shaft generator as the Paxmans had given up !! This was with a well educated diesel crew ; They were Terrible .
Just tended to blow up for no reason ; more than one occasion they dropped a valve causing major damage .
 

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Derek,
Your comments about steam men neglecting the Ruston Generators should not go unchallenged. I sailed on Maidan for two voyages in 1963 and four voyages on Magdapur 1964 - 66 and had few problems other than one might expect with engines that were now 20 years old. Bottom end bearings were the main concern due mainly to ovality of the crank pins and at times poor quality remetalling of bottom end bearings. - The white metal was quite thick and could break up and be hammered out. I will admit that unless great care was taken with bottom end bolts serious failure could occur and a con rod could come through the entablature. - I think that was the reason that Mahronda got a Rolls-Royce to replace a badly damaged Ruston VEBZ. The Allens Turbo-charged 4-stroke engines on Mangla and Mathura were excellent engines but with a Peter Brotherhood Turbo-Alternator providing all the power required at sea they did not ac***ulate many running hours unlike the engines on the "black four". On another thread you mention being transferred from the new Maihar (or Mahsud) to Mahseer with Jake Donnelly he was my Chief on 3 out of the 4 trips I did on Magdapur - was he doing his motor-time?
 

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Jim I did not mean to belittle any brock engineers . During my time at sea they were all with only a couple of exceptions suberb !
You are also absolutly correct re the bottom ends ! The problem was that attempts were made to hone the crank pins which polished them up but did not get rid of the ovality. I stand firm that the engineers were somewhat afraid of the diesels and tended only to do what had to be done re oil changes ; injectors etc . Little was done by either ships staff or head office to solve the problems re root cause analysis as there was no diesel knowledge bank in the company at that time . The bearings were remeteled in places like Colombo ( Walkers ) or Calctta who equally had no experience and little in the way of quality control . Bearings were sent ashore for remetaling ; came back ; put together and wait for the next failure .
Re Jake Donnelly ; he had done his motor time and had a combined ticket . He was Chief on the Maiden voyage of Mahsud ; Alan Atack was Extra Chief ( doing 2nds job )
Mahseer had some major E/R health and mechanical problems and was stranded in Trincomalee . Jake was sent up to bring the vessel to Colombo ; on arrival he found he had no watch keepers and sent for me ( I was 4th on the Mahsud at the time ) I went up same day by Taxi ( which was quite an experiance in itself a most beautifull journey )
On arrival He and I had to split watches 6/6 and I had a junior 5th on watch with me ; Jake was all alone ' all the rest were in bad shape with the Chief and 2 nd in hospital in Colombo ; two engineers sleeping in the veg room with heat exhaustion and the 3rd unable to keep a watch . We sailed and only had 1 Ruston the other being in pieces on the floor plates .The running Ruston was already giving a bottom end Knock and the only other gereator was a staem Genny which I was told would not take more than 50 Kw without blowing out the LP packing gland . I tried it and this proved to be the case . We opened up the LP Cyl and fortunatly were quicky able to find the problem . On removal of the junk ring it was see the piston rings were a "rattling fit " ( this machine had just been overhauled by Walker s Colombo ) The fish plate had not been filed out to allow the rings to expand to a proper position . With this corrected and boxed up we were able to put the machine on line just before arrival Colombo and minutes later the Ruston lost all the bottom ends and had to be shut down . We were very lucky to keep the lights on !
A new 2nd Engineer ( Bill Hepworth Joined ) Chief returned from hospital and Jake and I returned to Mahsud . ( I turned down the offer of promotion to 3rd to take the vessel home )
I dont know if you know Geoff Guest but he keeps in touch with Alan Atack and I can pass on the following .
Sadly Jake Donnelley has passed away ; he was a great guy who had my full respect ; in fact he was 2nd Eng on the Mangla when I did my very first coast trip with Brocks as Apperntice .
I think after leaving the sea Jake worked for London Salvage ; apparently during a survey he was bitten by a rat in a cargo hold and developed blood poisoning from which he did not recover.
For a hard nosed Glasgow Engineer he stood apart and had a great understanding and appreciation for classical music ( Schuman was his favorite )
Sorry if I have offended you or any other Brocks Steam Men ; it was not my intention ; I only want to tell things the way they were in my own experience.
Kind Regards Derek
 

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This mix of steam and diesel generators; it unearths a very vague memory - being told that there was a swap between the all steam generating plant on Makrana (and presumably Mawana as well) and one of the all diesel plants on an earlier class of steamship resulting in Makrana having a diesel generator.

Can anyone back this story up?
 

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