Self discharging bulker
During the 1960s Huntings managed a few specially modified bulk carriers, these included the Alnfield, the Argyll and the Coral Venture.
The Alnfield was a converted Liberty which carried rice from California to Japan in particular Naha Okinawa, the Argyll which was a bulk salt carrier operating on the Pacific coast between Baja California, the USA and Canada, and the Coral Venture which was a converted T2 which carried bulk cement between Freeport Grand Bahama and various gulf ports with the odd trip to Bermuda and Norfolk Virginia.
I myself had the mis-fortune to sail on the latter vessel.
Although the ship itself was not the best for various reasons she was definately interesting from the technical point of view.
Launched in late 1943 as the TES 'Wagon Box' from the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company as a standard T2-SE-A1 tanker she served through the war years in that role.
Following her wartime role she was aquired by DK Ludwig's National Bulk Carriers and after a short time as a tanker was converted at NBC's Kure yard in Japan as a self discharging bulk cement carrier in 1962.
She was then registered by the under the British flag as the Coral Venture and owners as the Warwick Shipping Co.
Huntings then took management of the vessel in 1964/5.
Why a self discharging bulk carrier and why the Wagon Box/ Coral Venture? This was no coincidence.
Daniel K Ludwig had plans to establish a large dry docking facility in the Bahamas for the dry docking of his own large fleet of NBC ships and others. To this end he purchased/aquired land on Grand Bahama Island and excavated a huge dock in the limestone of the island. For what ever reason the dry dock did not happen but the large ammount of excavated limestone (ingriedient in cement)was aquired by US Steel who formed Bahamas Cement for the purpose of supplying cement to the building boom of the Bahamas and Florida.
Therefore the Coral Venture and a small fleet of barges was needed to transport the cement from plant to customer.
Now to the vessel itself, being a T2, the main turbo electric propulsion system could be put to good use in supplying the electrical needs of the discharging system as will be seen in my second post along with some diagrams.
Self discharging bulker 2
For those not familiar with the T2's propulsion system I will give a brief description. The T2 was one of a series of tankers constructed by the USA during World War 2. The T standing for the designation 'tanker'. The T2 was turbo-electric drive while T1 was diesal and T3 was straight steam turbine, other designations and types were also built. The T2 came in various guises with the T2-Se-A1 being the most common.
The propulsion system comprised of three main components, a steam tubine generally rotating at a nominal speed of 3600 RPM, driving a two pole AC alternator generating usually 2300V at 60 hertz/cycles and a 80 pole syncronous motor delivering approx 6000 shp at 90 rpm when operating at 60Hz.
Basically a turbine driving an alternator supplying a main propulsion motor. Speed of the main motor was varied by varying the speed of the main turbine which in turn varied the output frequency of the aternator and thus the speed of the main motor. Reversal was by changing over two phases of the AC supply to the motor.
Auxillary power at 440V 60Hz was from two steam turbine alternators each rated at 450kW. Excitation was from two 55kW 110v DC generators and output from the exciters and supply to alternator fields was automatically regulated by rotary amplifiers known as 'Amplidynes'.
So there you have it a virtual floating power plant, capapble with modification of supplying upto circa 5000kW of electrical power at 2300V and/or 440V.
This power was put to good use in the Coral Venture to discharge the cement cargo she carried.
At the time of conversion in Kure, the old oil storage tanks were removed and two new sections one Fwd and one Aft of the bridge were fitted. These sections contained holds or silos for holding the cement and also all the new discharge equipment.
This equipment consisted of four trains (one for each hold). Each train had an airslide blower supplying low pressure air to assist transfer of cement down the sides of the hold and into a cement pump as without these the material would tend to 'stick' to the hold walls. A cement pump, this was a screw pump which fed the cement into a fluiding chamber. A screw pump was chosen for technical reasons, more to prevent air being allowed to enter the hold from the chamber. In the fluidising chamber, high pressure, high velocity air from rotary screw compressors was admitted to the chamber where it mixed with the cement to form a homogenised miture of air/cement.
From the Fluidising chamber a pipe rose up to deck level where hoses to the shore side receiving silo were connected.
The accompaning diagrams show the Coral Ventures modified electrical system (copied and cleaned from original blueprints) and a simple sketch of the unloading system
I sailed on both the Argyll and the Coral Venture. As apprentice for 6 months on the Argyll in1969 and as second engineer on the Venture in 1976. The Coral Venture was on a very light schedule in those days with the demand from Canaveral very low. It suited some of the regular serving officers onboard all of whom seemed to have good friends in the ports where we tended to wait. i.e. Norfolk and Jax
We (BSC) chartered a self-discharge bulker,name long forgotten,but were unable to use its capabilities due to action (wrong word!) by stevedores in two UK ports.
While hospitalized in the DVA hospital there, I shared a room with a Barbadian seaman named Braithewaite (or similar name) off the Argyll.
That, by the way, was in summer of 1969.
I remember Braithwaite bu can't recall his hospitalisation. Argyll' regular ports were LongBeach, Tacoma, Bellingham and Vancouver. We drydocked December 69 in Portland and enjoyed some great local hospitality over Christmas.
I sailed on a self-dicharging bulk carrier but it was called a dredger(we loaded it as well)
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