Tree Class - Number of Tanks - Ships Nostalgia
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Tree Class - Number of Tanks

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  #1  
Old 26th January 2009, 02:41
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Tree Class - Number of Tanks

Following the recent discussions on the number of tanks on the Tree Class I have come across the "Little Green Book" of Engine Equipment Details for the British Poplar dated October 1965 and on page 12 it mentions that an eductor is fitted for tank cleaning, and takes its motive water from one cargo pump operating with either a sea suction or No.11 Centre cargo tank. See attached photos.
I sailed on the Holly as Second Engineer from Jan 68 until July 68 and Phil Sutherland was Chief. It was the only Tree boat I sailed on and was the only BP Tanker I sailed on that never ever suffered an engine room problem. We even used to help painting the engine room on watch at times. She had an immaculate engine room at that time.
I am envious of anyone who could memorize 27 ullages - I could not memorize 4 bunker tank ullages!!!
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Roger
Attached Images
File Type: jpg British Poplar - Details Book (2).jpg (167.2 KB, 76 views)
File Type: jpg british poplar green book page 12 (2).jpg (119.9 KB, 114 views)
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  #2  
Old 28th January 2009, 16:49
red devil red devil is offline  
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tree class ships

I sailed on the "Vine" in 1971, thankfully just for a month after being transferred from the lovely old "Chivalry" when we laid her up in Barry docks.
Although I cannot remember her cargo equipment in any detail what does stick in my mind was that all the deck valves (of which there were many) required three or four men with wheel keys to operate them.
This required a full crew callout when topping off and everybody had to be on their toes to avoid any mishaps!!
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  #3  
Old 28th January 2009, 21:48
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I seem to recall that was connected with the use of some sort of neoprene valve packing, though setting up the deck on a "Tree" was never a job for the faint-hearted.
In the late '70's & early '80's the "Trees" that I sailed on as Mate were a little easier to work in that most deck valves could be opened by one (strong) man.
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  #4  
Old 29th January 2009, 11:34
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On the Laurel....I seem to remember the cadets job before each port was to go round the deck with an oil can of lub oil and give each valve spindle a squirt to lubricate the packing prior to setting up the lines for a load or a discharge!
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  #5  
Old 29th January 2009, 21:39
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The Mate on the Willow used to insist on all valves being closed before starting to set up lines for loading/discharge. I don't remember them being too bad to open or close though as I don't remember carrying a wheelkey around with me and I seem to remember it was the Mates, App's and Pumpman who did the work. Mind you that might be old age!
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  #6  
Old 5th August 2009, 14:13
jweglarz jweglarz is offline  
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Sailed on a few of the Tree boats in the early 70's and my experience of "difficult" valves was restricted to the ships that had recently carried lube oils. Used to clean up and load Hamburg as first port, where a shore gang opened every valve inspection plate and gland, replacing all seals and packing. The tank valve glands were well ightened down and when setting up lines, we often needed a couple of wheelkeys and a sledge hammer to hit the spindle and get the valve moving. All eased off after a couple of months.
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Old 7th August 2009, 11:25
Vital Sparks Vital Sparks is offline  
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After the sale of the Border boats in the early 80s, a few of the Trees including the Holly had cargo heating coils installed and spent their last days in the European "black oil" trade. Cargo valves turned much easier then.
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  #8  
Old 19th February 2010, 14:57
Dennis Butler Dennis Butler is offline
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I served as 3rd Mate on "BRITISH IVY" from her delivery by Lithgows, Port Glasgow on 19 Nov, 1965 (I'd actually been standing-by her in miserable wet & windy Greenock since 25 Oct, 1965) until blessed relief @ Isle of Grain's No. 1 Jty (discharging 18638lt AvTur from Abadan) on 27 Aug, 1966 - and still consider her (after so many years) to have been a real *****. We struggled to understand (without proper training) how to operate her cargo pumps (which needed the discharge side to be throttled by a pneumatic automation system that didn't work @ the outset - we spent 3 days in Swansea's Queen's Dock in trying to de-ballast before loading a maiden cargo DO & GO cargo for Rotterdam). Then ensued 6 hr cargo watches in wintry Baltic ports with no shelter from the elements other than huddling in cargo vapour-inhaling semi-warmth in the Pumproom entrance before we ended up on the Australian coast with half the mainly Glaswegian pool crew semi-paralytic with alcohol overdoses. I also recollect her tendency to suffer electrical blackouts in heavy rolling or when sea suction intakes got blocked (leaving Ango Ango on 22 May, 1966 in ballast for Durban & Abadan & running ground in the Congo River!)

I concluded my seafaring with BP Tanker Co. with a subsequent spell as Extra 2nd Mate on better-quality Eriksbergs, Gothenburg-built sistership "BRITISH POPLAR" (31 Oct, 1966 to 9 Feb, 1967) - but that was also a saga of frozen deck watches in Scandinavian discharge ports during mid-winter; I then resigned to join BP Chemicals @ Salt End to head its jetty team - where conditions were mildly warmer...!!

Dennis Butler in Singapore
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  #9  
Old 21st February 2010, 15:13
rodhaigh rodhaigh is offline  
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Dennis,
Thanks for your recollections. It reminded me of the first 'Tree'class vessel that I saw. I think it was the 'Birch', but am not sure. She was in Abadan on her maiden voyage and mixed several parcels of clean oil into one glorious cocktail due to problems with the valves.
I was in one of the older 12's loading Avgas for a trip up river to Basrah with orders to carry 'maximum' cargo. We filled every tank up until we had avgas coming up out of the ullage pipes onto the deck.
All in line with Health and Safety and MARPOL regs circa 196?.
Cheers
RodH
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  #10  
Old 22nd April 2010, 20:38
xieriftips xieriftips is offline  
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British Ivy? Oh, yes, she was the one that spent some time on the buoys at IoG in autumn 1966; sheared cargo pump drive shafts, I think.

And one night two lads who'd missed the last boat back from a night out in Sheerness nicked the (unattended) pilot boat to get back on board. Thing was, as they leapt for the accommodation ladder they put it in gear and let it potter it's own way up the Medway, (still unattended!) until it ran aground on a falling tide. It had been OK unitl then, but it stove in a few planks on grounding.

We were on the next buoy downstream on the Br. Sportsman, and both ships were grilled heavily by the local rozzers the next day.
The two lads who did it owned up and I understand the rozzers would have been happy to let the OM handle the disciplining (Oh, for the days before the 1970 MSA) but - - - there were those damaged planks to pay for.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 01:19
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What an excellent thread ..... we all seem to have experienced similar problems with the class. I was very pleased to see Dennis Butler explain his problems with the pump controls ....we had exactly the same trouble on the "Beech". No training, little explanation and the mate with a handbook in one hand and some pretty experimental disorganised type controls which seemed to have a mind of their own..... pathetic really. Now after many years experience with the system on the last of the "River" class I wonder we managed to discharge the "Beech" at all. In the end it was a great system.

The valves of course were a legend all of their own .... the double ring system was a great system but ... oh the, 130 odd deck valves were a real problem. The neoprene packing was one point but the turns per valve was another .. what was it 32 turns per valve?

We too reverted to shutting every valve before setting lines, a good idea but it turned a simple job into a "workout" of monumental proportions..... it was that or suffer the consequences of a Cocktail.

Only sailed on the "Beech" which of course became the longest serving vessel in the fleet ... went aboard her in Kwinana in the late 70's - early 80's, I would never ever have given her the chance of such a long service life. No doubt those who were aboard her at the last thought she was a great ship?

Would like to know if the shower bulkhead in the third mates cabin was replaced as it was chipboard and water had got into it and it was similar in appearance to a bale of straw when I left ... she was a year an a half old then ...!!!
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  #12  
Old 23rd April 2010, 10:09
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What an excellent thread ..... we all seem to have experienced similar problems with the class. I was very pleased to see Dennis Butler explain his problems with the pump controls ....we had exactly the same trouble on the "Beech". No training, little explanation and the mate with a handbook in one hand and some pretty experimental disorganised type controls which seemed to have a mind of their own..... pathetic really. Now after many years experience with the system on the last of the "River" class I wonder we managed to discharge the "Beech" at all. In the end it was a great system.

The valves of course were a legend all of their own .... the double ring system was a great system but ... oh the, 130 odd deck valves were a real problem. The neoprene packing was one point but the turns per valve was another .. what was it 32 turns per valve?

We too reverted to shutting every valve before setting lines, a good idea but it turned a simple job into a "workout" of monumental proportions..... it was that or suffer the consequences of a Cocktail.

Only sailed on the "Beech" which of course became the longest serving vessel in the fleet ... went aboard her in Kwinana in the late 70's - early 80's, I would never ever have given her the chance of such a long service life. No doubt those who were aboard her at the last thought she was a great ship?

Would like to know if the shower bulkhead in the third mates cabin was replaced as it was chipboard and water had got into it and it was similar in appearance to a bale of straw when I left ... she was a year an a half old then ...!!!
Showers in the third mates cabin! I always knew you tanker chaps had it easy.

jim
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  #13  
Old 23rd April 2010, 10:17
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Showers in the third mates cabin! I always knew you tanker chaps had it easy.

jim
The top 4 on the new P Class have actual baths in their cabin

I used to join with a bottle of Mr Matey (well what other bubble bath could i possibly use)
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Old 23rd April 2010, 11:05
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The top 4 on the new P Class have actual baths in their cabin
As did the Leckie!
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  #15  
Old 23rd April 2010, 11:23
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As did the Leckie!
so he did - not sure why its not like they ever get that dirty
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Old 23rd April 2010, 11:36
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I always use to find them showered, changed into uniform and in the bar for 1700 on the dot every day without fail. A hard life right enough!
I must say I really liked the P boats, well thought out ships and very nice accommodation, indeed I think the Trader class was almost a direct follow on.
I seem to remember the P's had a bit of a rabbit warren around the Bar/Pantry/TV Room/Library/Hospital though, and some kind of walkway to the swimming pool from the accommodation would have been nice, but they're only minor quibbles.
Certainly we all appreciated the accommodation lift, just wish we had one in the Pumproom!
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Old 23rd April 2010, 11:51
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I always use to find them showered, changed into uniform and in the bar for 1700 on the dot every day without fail. A hard life right enough!
I must say I really liked the P boats, well thought out ships and very nice accommodation, indeed I think the Trader class was almost a direct follow on.
I seem to remember the P's had a bit of a rabbit warren around the Bar/Pantry/TV Room/Library/Hospital though, and some kind of walkway to the swimming pool from the accommodation would have been nice, but they're only minor quibbles.
Certainly we all appreciated the accommodation lift, just wish we had one in the Pumproom!
There was a very direct lineage from the 'H's to the 'P's and onto the new birdies - each one a development of the previous. As you say damn good ships.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 12:09
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Jim,

You say we had it cushy .... but reading about the latest P,H and whatever vessels seems they REALLY REALLY do have it cushy ...... not REAL BP Tankers ... they finished with the BIRDY BOATS
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Old 23rd April 2010, 12:35
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There was a very direct lineage from the 'H's to the 'P's and onto the new birdies - each one a development of the previous. As you say damn good ships.
I was never a good enough boy to get sent to an H boat, but I did do one trip on a new Birdie and they were alright, really mini P boats.
The Trader class was excellent, I was only on the one so as to get time in for my Gas DCE (which I've never used in anger) but the cabins and public spaces were very nice indeed, especially the Saloon - impressive.
You could tell the company had some input into their design, as opposed to the new Tree's which were awful. I visited one circa 2003 and was not impressed at all - very basic Japanese design, reminded me a little of the V boats (argh).
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  #20  
Old 24th April 2010, 05:16
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Ahh, the old Trees.
Sailed on 5 of them, I think, through a bit of a blur.....four B+W, one Sulzer RD with those appalling semi-rotary exhaust valves. Maple, Poplar twice, Ivy, Hazel and Beech.
Yep, the Cargo valves were Worthy Simpson, I think, with O-ring seals in the wedges. If the O-rings were new, and the inspection plates had been shifted and the crap cleared out, they were fine as valves; the problem as I recall was that they were all manual, so they had extended spindles up through the deck, and what with the deck stand packing, the corroded supports, the taper-pinned sleeves, and the "flexible" joints, they could be a real bugger. Used to be a watchpoint on tank entry - give everything a bloody good kick on the way down, so it was less likely to meet you down at the bottom travelling at speed. And the Cruciforms on the ring main x-overs were about 3 metres up from the bottom, and a sod to get to.

Cargo pumps and controls - err - they were electric motor drive (constant speed induction motors; we're going back a bit now!). The automation either didn't work at all, or had been tricked out to prevent surprises; what was supposed to happen was that the Mate was free to wind open the discharge valve, but the I/P converter (amps/pneumatic) would monitor the motor amps, and close the valve in to keep the power below trip point. Discharge valve was supposed to be cracked off a little or the pumps would not start against a closed valve. Common now; wasn't then. But the pneumatics were linked by High and Low signal selectors to the Mate's valve demand, they were always iffy, and the upshot was that no-one knew what the hell was happening at any given time, if the system worked at all.
The pumps, recall, also had Leveltrol controllers with a control input to the discharge valve, with the set-point shifted around to suit Cargo gravity. If they were set wrong, or the displacer fell off (common), or the torque tube broke or seized (common) that would gas a pump up at the drop of a hat.
Beneath this, down in the eng.room, we had 2 T/A's supplying the power; one Brotherhood main T/A, and an Alfa-Laval in-Port T/A. The Alfa set governing was awful, so we had to wind the governor up with an Allen key to keep it on the board. (Usually; I think the Ivy had a Brotherhood Gobbler instead of the Laval set - which was an absolute bugger with it's own foibles and modes of attack - it's a long time ago, I'll accept any reasoned correction to any of this!)
This meant that if the demand rose, the Junior had to leg over and wind the Alfa up. If the load dropped suddenly, the Alfa would take the lot, and the Brotherhood would drop off the board. (The Gobbler, if that's what you had, took so much steam the boiler couldn't keep up; same result, different fix).
Failure or unexpected events either way usually resulted in one T/A only, a sudden change in load demand, and the lights went out again.
They are the only ships I've been on, where the Junior was expected to put a blackout back together on his own, and re-start cargo - and I've done them from Junior to Third, and it wasn't just possible, it was regular. Including getting the Dual-pressure boiler back on line, unless you were on the Sulzer jobs, that had the Babcock Sinuous Header Boiler, found only now in composting text books, which the Indian fireman would flash off for you when / if the lights came back on. Which you had to allow for in the emergency diesel loading, cos he used to get ahead of the game a bit...

Oh yes, I forget - the cargo pump bearing temp trips were AMOT pneumatic, with the fusible solder joint. Loss of air pressure tripped the pump. They used to fail unpredicatably as well, causing the usual lights-out on major load demand change.

I used to be fit!
Lord, those days are long gone!

Last edited by Longfellow; 24th April 2010 at 05:20.. Reason: Late last thouts.
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Old 11th May 2010, 13:39
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Wow Longfellow .... thats some tale .... Now I can begin to appreciate why the lights went out so often and what went on down in the depths .... fascinating.
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Old 13th May 2010, 12:14
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British Beech I am sure had two Brotherhoods - one as you say an atmospheric one and the boiler I don't recall as being dual pressure but rather a F&W D type. River boats were defo dual pressure - igema switches, reset by waving a magnet at them wand like. like a very sweaty and stressed out Harry Potter (Switchoresetio!!!) as the mate got those last few drops out by trimming the vessel to 20meters by the Stern.
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Last edited by Satanic Mechanic; 13th May 2010 at 12:18..
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  #23  
Old 13th May 2010, 15:56
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British Beech I am sure had two Brotherhoods - one as you say an atmospheric one and the boiler I don't recall as being dual pressure but rather a F&W D type.
I'd go with that; my last trip in 1979
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Old 14th May 2010, 16:44
Vital Sparks Vital Sparks is offline  
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Anybody remember which one of the trees had cargo pumps named "John", "Paul", "George" and "Ringo", much better than the usual Red Green Blue and Yellow.
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Old 15th May 2010, 12:02
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The British Trees certainly had two Brotherhood TA's.
One "high efficiency" which was meant to run all the time and had the condenser to give full vacuum and one "low efficiency" which exhausted to atmospheric pressure and designed for use with cargo pumps and when on standby.
I was on the Holly and the Ivy.
One other thng about the cargo pumps two were direct on line start, the reda dn green if memory serves me well and two were yellow and blue which were transformer start and started in stages.
The Holly and Ivy both had dual pressure boilers.
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