The heat in the stokehold - Ships Nostalgia
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The heat in the stokehold

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  #1  
Old 14th April 2007, 08:45
carpenter carpenter is offline  
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The heat in the stokehold

Hullo, everybody there
Have anybody ever heard the measure about the heat, there below in stokehold of a coalburning steamers,The real heat in Farenheat or Cels, taken in fornt of these furnace and under the stokhold-vents, when a ship was sailing, for example at Red Sea in April or off the marlbari coast.
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  #2  
Old 14th April 2007, 12:06
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It was very hot but never had a thought about taking the temperature, it was also very hot above the boilers.
Most of the time we were in shorts with a rag around our necks, the heat of the fires would dry off the sweat and we never worried about it.
John
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  #3  
Old 14th April 2007, 17:33
carpenter carpenter is offline  
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There was almost steady temperature as 40-47 degree on deck, in the mouht of the Gulf and no wind in April. I wonder, what it could be in stokehold. It must have been real purgatory there.
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  #4  
Old 14th April 2007, 18:18
JoK JoK is offline  
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In front of the scotch marine boilers (oil-fired) on the ship I was on, must have averaged between 120-130*F during a Canadian summer. This was all natural ventilation. We never had thermometers there, but it was at least that.
It was hot enough above the boilers, that wooden staging that had been forgotten in the fidley burst into flames after it had dried out enough. The fellows that fought the fire (I was off at the time) told me that a fire extinguishers being handed up, discharged and handed back down would burn the hand of the person below they were that hot.
I sailed about 4 years later with a C/E who sailed in the PG on steamers who scoffed at my experiences, so I can't even imagine what temperatures the stokehold would reach there!
I do know when I went to the diesel ships I darn near froze to death in the engine room. I couldn't imagine anybody actually wanting to work there.
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  #5  
Old 14th April 2007, 22:38
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125° in the boiler room of the SS Londres. she was oil fired. we stood in a belt of high pressure air in watch by inflating our boiler suit from the fan above our heads. it was ok unless you reached up, soon brought your hand down again as i found out as a new boy! after shut down and a waiting time of an hour the fiddley door could be opened and a freshly washed shirt would be dried in 10 minutes. untill another guy new to the ship put his in there on a plastic coat hanger...LOL
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  #6  
Old 15th April 2007, 00:36
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If you wore a gold chain and leaned over, the chain would burn your neck when you straightened up.
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  #7  
Old 15th April 2007, 03:50
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Dunno what the temperature was, but our EO took the Defence Pay Review team (all colonel rank) behind the boilers whilst he blew soot ..... fastest escape up the E/R ladder you ever saw Dunno if the E/R crew got a pay rise either.
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  #8  
Old 15th April 2007, 06:36
carpenter carpenter is offline  
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no wonder, it made terrrible noice
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  #9  
Old 15th April 2007, 13:03
jock paul jock paul is offline  
 
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I can't remember ever recording stokehold temperatures, but in oil burners I believe the stokehold was actually more cofortable than the engineroom. The stokehold was more of a dry heat without the humidity associated with the engines. Coalburners, especially natural draught, were however another matter. When a firedoor was opened or with a pile of red hot ash on the floorplates it was sometimes almost an act of willpower to go anywhere near the boiler fronts. I saw quite a few firemen wear a sack as a hood while on watch to ward off the radiant heat from the boilers. The worst situation on these ships was a stern wind blowing the same speed as the ship's headway(paddy's hurricane). then there were desperate efforts by the hands to swing the stokehold ventilators (no fans) to catch the slightest breath of a breeze. Often the deck watch was very co-operative with this. They would station their Standby Man by the fiddley to swing the vents. Occasionally the course was altered a few degrees to try and get some air into the stokehold. This wasn't done for the comfort of the crew but to get a sufficient quantity of air to the fires for good combustion, and therefore full steam pressure.
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  #10  
Old 15th April 2007, 15:38
carpenter carpenter is offline  
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Thank you Paul, you really know what it was. I remember as the stokers poured wather on the hot ash on the floor plate, and then there was a cloud of white ash in air.
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  #11  
Old 15th April 2007, 16:07
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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I had the "pleasure" of working in the stokehold when there were several of our firemen sick (think it was Ramadan).
There was always plenty of fresh air coming down the vents and the worse time was when dumping ashes as there was dust all over and had to douse them with water before sending them up in the ash hoist (worked from the vaccuum in the main condenser.
When you opened the furnace door to put it a few pitches it was very hot and your belt buckle got too hot to touch.
THe stokehold was not the hottst place but the boiler tops were dangeriously hot.
E/R was not too comfortable either.
There used to be a canvas bag hung under the vent and the water there was cool. No ice water machines the.
Great experiance but I was glad it was only for a few days.
Bill
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  #12  
Old 15th April 2007, 16:57
Bob Preston Bob Preston is offline  
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Reina del Mar engine room & boiler room were combined. At sea temps above 76 it 134! Coming back fro B.A. to Cape Town we had one of the 4 blower motors burn out. It got to hot to stay in the engineroom; we had it in turns to scutter round to check the job every 15 mins. It was 146 in front of the main switch board. We spent the rest of the watch in the Stabiliser compartment.
On the VLCC Casterbridge (originaly Bulford) the only thing that kept us going was babies nappy rash cream. Everywhere your boiler suit rubbed you raw.
Good old days.

Bob Preston
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  #13  
Old 15th April 2007, 19:52
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Lakercapt paints a real good picture of what went on down in the stoke-hold. Just to add to what he said about throwing a bucket of water on the hot ashes, some nasty firemen would play a trick on the oncoming watch and take a leak in the bucket,then they would stand at the top of the fiddley and wait until they threw it on the hot ashes and listen to the watch below scream threats at them because of the awful smell,believe me it was rotten.
John.
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  #14  
Old 15th April 2007, 20:34
ChrisGLCole ChrisGLCole is offline  
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Hi Carpenter
Only sailed on the British Kennet a Sulzer 6RND76 diesel with Babcock/Wilcox auxy boilers, in the Gulf and Red Sea, but we recorded the temperature by the turbocharge inlets at 50oC, in June, while passing Jizan, (just south of Jeddah) Of course the humidity made it worse, and we were under orders from the chief to only maintain the operational condition of the engine room. No extra maintenance work, while in the area. The Gulf was much cooler. In those days, early 80's, most of the BP fleet had A/C'd control rooms. Chief got very upset with the Juniors dripping sweat onto his logbooks! Asked us to stop leaking over his paperwork! ChrisC
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  #15  
Old 16th April 2007, 02:39
jim brindley jim brindley is offline  
 
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hi carpenter was only on two coal burners .the bantria .and bayano .but never gave it thought .but i was on deck .
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  #16  
Old 17th April 2007, 08:04
raybnz raybnz is offline  
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Reading the water temperatures then the exhaust pyrometers on the Waipawa was one hot job. With the exhaust gases pouring out of the bottom of the liner skirts combined with the heat it was near impossible to get a correct reading for the log.

Then the chief would want a set of indicator cards. Now that was a art in itself trying to keep the cards clean and dry.

When I was on the British Osprey working around the gulf I would seek out a ventilator and spend a considerable amount of the watch keeping cool.

I found boiler rooms more comfortable temperature wise than in motorship.
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  #17  
Old 17th April 2007, 15:01
billmaca billmaca is offline  
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getting cracked lips for the first few days was one of the little annoying bits about working in a stokehold


Billy
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  #18  
Old 3rd March 2008, 23:49
Riptide Riptide is offline  
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Red face Toastys

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoK View Post
In front of the scotch marine boilers (oil-fired) on the ship I was on, must have averaged between 120-130*F during a Canadian summer. This was all natural ventilation. We never had thermometers there, but it was at least that.
It was hot enough above the boilers, that wooden staging that had been forgotten in the fidley burst into flames after it had dried out enough. The fellows that fought the fire (I was off at the time) told me that a fire extinguishers being handed up, discharged and handed back down would burn the hand of the person below they were that hot.
I sailed about 4 years later with a C/E who sailed in the PG on steamers who scoffed at my experiences, so I can't even imagine what temperatures the stokehold would reach there!
I do know when I went to the diesel ships I darn near froze to death in the engine room. I couldn't imagine anybody actually wanting to work there.
Changing steam smothering valves,less than two mins.sit outside & it looked as though you had wet yourself,all sweat from your body.Kenny.
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  #19  
Old 4th March 2008, 00:42
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In my experience on Steam Ships and Motor the temperature on the floor plates near to the fan vents was always over 120 degrees f East of Suez .

The boiler tops was something else and to go up and open the soot blower master valve was a chore in itself which only took about 4 to 5 minutes ( That was enough !!) after blowing soot ( which took place from the Middle level of the boiler ; still very hot but not as hot as the tops . of course one had to go up and shut it again .

Never took the temperature up there but one could not be there for more than a few minutes ..

If a job had to be done on the boiler tops ( Such as trying to stop a leaking gland or flange at sea in the tropics it usually involve two engineers spelling each other after about 5 to 10 minutes .
We would put all the necessary tools in a bucket of water to keep them cool as if you were to leave the tools on the open grating they would soon be to hot to handle .

Regarding the stokehold on the ships I sailed on they wernt to bad . A bit hotter than the control platform but well ventilated if one stood under the fan outlets between jobs such as changing burner tips etc .

On one trip down the Red sea the temperature on deck was recorded as 132 degrees F during a dry sand storm .

Sea temperature in the Persian Gulf was often in the upper 90 Degrees F ; the highest I saw was 98 .

Oh Happy Days
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  #20  
Old 6th March 2008, 20:46
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HALLLINE HALLLINE is offline  
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Try cutting out by hand, then expanding some fire row tubes in a Babcock boiler that has not long been shut down and emptied, while still steaming at slow ahead on the other boiler, and your in the back end, on your knees. Now that's HOT.
dave
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  #21  
Old 6th March 2008, 22:26
billmaca billmaca is offline  
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Derek Roger's post reminds me of a job on an Esso tanker it was either the Coventry or the Bristol, but we had to repack a top door on one of the boilers in the gulf, god knows what the temp' was but It was a case of doing a bit in relays ,one of you putting the packing in and the other hand belting it in , by time the next two got there most of the time the bit you had done was blasted back out again
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  #22  
Old 7th March 2008, 10:37
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hi guys, i was fireman for a long time and knew all about heat but my worst experiance was on the lord gladson loaded with army stores from marselles to siagon for the french foriegn legion and although there were iron bars welded across the ventilators to stop broaching the cargo i at 10 stone vollinteered to go down number 4 hatch nearest to the aft quarters were firemen and sailers lived so down i went with grate diffigulty just after leaving suez in march 1949 it was hot and i started passing the parcels up to a couple of a,bs when we thought that was enough and believe i just had a pair of shorts on and i was saturated absolutly soaking with sweat the two A,Bs had an arm each to get me out then i realised i had swollen with heat they were shoe horning my backside and my testicles were hurting like hell after about half an hour i was outand was i glad!! that was hot!albert.s.i
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  #23  
Old 16th March 2008, 14:57
Anubis Anubis is offline  
 
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I was an electrician on the RFA Tidereach in 1967 sailing up the
Persian Gulf to Banda Shapoor. When we got past the Coins, the boiler room temperature got up to 140 F, but the temperture on the gantry above the tops was 170F. Needless to say I found work to do elsewhere on the ship.
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  #24  
Old 16th April 2008, 11:24
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Engine Room temp.

On the two ships I sailed on to India etc via Red sea, the Mahiar (I) and Manipur, the hottest I experienced was 138 on the platform in the engine room of the Manipur.
The fronts of two Foster Wheeler WT boilers backed right on to the man. platform and generated a lot of heat. I can only imagine what it was on the boiler tops but when we went up there to open stop valve to the soot blowers we were almost fully wrapped in asbestos lagging!
Yes asbestos !
By the time we had opened the valve and making for the ladder to come down to the platform we had to throw the wheelspanner and torch to the other watchkeeper as were too hot to hold.

Another pig was expanding the leaking economiser tube ends at the back of the boilers. A section of the outside casing had to be taken off for access and the hot gases were blowing on you when struggling with the expander.

I recall once CH eng. Johhny Macallum coming down once and thought he could do it quicker without muffling up in all the asbestos gear and gloves, as soon as he put his arms inside the casing and got a taste of the zephyrs wafting up he said Ouch! and dropped the expander toot quick I can tell you.

Right inside the casing, which meant that we had to strip off the bottom section to retrieve the expander, he kept mum about that episode.

The Maihar engine room was not bad, coollest pllace was through the bulkhead opeining between engine room and boiler room and in the narrow space between the bulkhead and the back of the two aftermost boilers, there was a good draught there.

Happy Days ?
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  #25  
Old 16th April 2008, 19:49
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Suggestion was made to a engineering super in BP that the best way to improve the soot blowing facilities on one of their wrecks would be to run extended spindles into the firemans and seamens alleyways.
Found that there was little relief finding a job to do on deck in the hot weather. Down the pit it was stinking hot, and on deck it was stinking hot plus you had the sun beating down on you.
At least at the end of the day there were a few cold beers in the evening, in later years in air conditioned comfort.
Even with the heat, did prefer to be out east rather than running around NW Europe.
twogrumpy
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