Originally Posted by James_C
Most tankers from the 70s onwards had hydraulic winches.
The R boats appeared only a few years after the oil crisis and so a few had a very limited trading life prior to being laid up in Brunei, at least one (Resource I think) went straight from the builders to layup and stayed there for the best part of a decade before she was then towed back to the builders to be re-engined.
By the time major upgrades came along they were already hard worked ships and halfway through their design life. From what I remember they were for a time about the only ships in the BP fleet that consistently made them money.
The final four lasted until 1999-2000 whereupon they were all scrapped having lasted 25 years under one owner - something very rare indeed.
There were a few more R boats beyond the 7 in the British fleet - the French arm of BP had a few as did (I think) the Iranians. I'm pretty sure I saw one of those ships in Fujairah in the mid 2000s by which point it must have been 30 years old.
They were quite hard work (Resource was a special case) towards the end but still had the luxury of large crews and so tended to be quite sociable ships.
(N.B.The 5 directly owned BP ships were RANGER/RELIANCE/RENOWN/RESOLUTION/RESOURCE plus NORNESS/TRIDENT which were charted from P&O. RESPECT came from a different Japanese yard and was substantially different.
Certainly the Resource went directly to lay up, I was on her. I didn't realise that she stayed laid up for nearly a decade though. No wonder she was upgraded. I was hoping to get flown back to Japan to pick up another one from Brunei Bay. Unfortunately many of the crew got flown home instead.
All of the tankers I was on, including the river class had steam machinery on deck, except for the cranes.