Ships Nostalgia - View Single Post - Esso Northumbria
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Old 4th May 2008, 17:29
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Active: 1973 - 1981
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Originally Posted by pete the pirate View Post
The Northumbria i seemed to remember was actually the worst in the VLCC fleet, I do remember her limping back down the west coast of Africa with failed steering gear.

The story i heard was the engineering department did a superb job of rigging a up steering gear system involving a 50 gallon oil drum as a header tank to a locally steered jury rigged hydraulic pump system, to get her to a repair port.
She was actually put out as a navigation warning at the time.

The rest are right ,these ships where built with every expense spaired.

Another thing i heard, the Esso Dalriada and Demetia, where built in Malmo Sweden, where the Swedes actually turned around to Esso and said you can cut costs and corners with the accomodation, but not with the basic design and build, which they seemed to be able to do with the UK built ships.

As said, it was a time of strikes and massive inflation, and Esso cost cutting on the build of these ships.

Dalriada and Demetia both came out with twin boilers not single, and did seem to be a lot more reliable.

So i don't think it was bad building on the British yards part, but more bad management, in allowing Esso to make so many cost cutting changes.

I sailed on the Esso Dalriada,Ulidia,Scotia(twice) and Hibernia,(circa 1975-77, as cadet and third mate) and Dalriada was definitely the best of the bunch to me.

Anyone remember A. Holt,( i think it was Alfie), catering officer on the Scotia? he signed me off twice,and it sticks out in my discharge book.

This has just reminded me of my time on this ship, picking up the pilot at Le Havre, starting to weigh anchor when the steering gear failed. I was on the wheel at the time.I remember reporting the helm failing to answer. The skipper practically had a baby. Apparently one of the steering motors failed and started to work in opposition to the other. We took her in the next day on one steering motor after being told not to mention the fact to the pilot.
Forever young (well in mind anyway)
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