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Old 4th June 2018, 14:31
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makko makko is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1979 - 1998
 
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During my cadetship, I was sent up during summer workshop time to participate in the reactivation of Nestor for her return to the yard for guarantee work. I think that this might have also involved some modifications to the tanks as I recall discussing with the 2/E the invar steel used.

Regarding the moorings, I just do not remember.

On board were a chief and second mate, a second and fourth (acting 3rd) engineer and an electrician. There were a couple of nav and eng cadets. Yes, the living quarters were Portacabins on the port side between the accom and main loading ducts. The greatest problem was abject boredom!

As the "riding squad", we lived in a nearby hotel with an extra 2/E (Barry?) and 2/O and we travelled in two Austin Maxis and lifeboat to the ship each morning. We made it into Dunoon most nights and generally escaped on the weekend back home.

The accom was cocconed and a permit was required to "break the seal" as it were. Electrical power was supplied by a skid mounted CAT generator in the canyon between the accom and stack block.

Maintenance was ongoing to ensure that moisture did not get into controls and to ensure that nothing was "frozen".

During my tenure, the plastic (refractory) on both boilers was being renewed. Like any machinery, boilers don't like just sitting around without a fire in the furnace.

I remember poring over the control diagrams for the boilers with the 2/E and Lecky. During warm through, approximately 1200 T of diesel would be required! This is why no one wanted the poisoned chalice of ChEng! There were two 1000T wing tanks on either side of the ER. During operation, the boilers were to operate on 90% boil off from the cargo and 10% diesel. IF there was a FLAME OUT, the furnace , stack and boiler front were supposed to be completely inerted to avoid any build up of unburned LNG, fans restarted and the boiler flashed up on diesel until the flame was stabilized and fuel change over to LNG/DO. The problem was the inert system, temporizing and order of start up. I cannot remeber the specifics but there was a very good chance that gas could build up in the furnace and lead to an explosion. The 2/E was very concerned indeed and spent a lot of time tracing lines and testing circuits with the Lecky.

I remember also that there were problems with delamination of plates in the engine room tank tops. The bulk of engine room work was chipping and painting to ensure that there was no corrosion due to moisture pooling. I managed to avoid the chipping/painting and got involved in majors for both diesel auxies, Allen V-18's, right bar-stewards for checking the timing on!

The accom, like most French vessels, was palatial and very well appointed. However, we had to take our boots off the couple of times we had to go in. We would check comms and main engine controls. I seem to remeber testing the steering gear too. I do not remember if the main plant was on turning gear, but it must have been. The engine room, as on most steam ships, was very roomy, especially the auxy flat.

Under OTT, the Nestor only loaded/unloaded once, a test at Isle of Grain. I subsequently sailed various times with the 2nd (from OCL Bays) who had taken her from the yard to the IoG for the loading test.

Enough for now, Julian and Frank!

Rgds.
Dave
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