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Manchester Challenge 1970

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  #26  
Old 27th December 2008, 09:21
Locking Splice Locking Splice is offline  
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Sailed on the Dart America (Manchester Challenge) in the late 70's. Lovely Ship and a great run and good wages. My brother Dick also sailed on her in the 80's after the name change. You could get lost in your cabin.

Best Regards

Yuge
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  #27  
Old 27th December 2008, 12:45
Sarky Cut Sarky Cut is offline  
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Now that was a blast from the past.

I will try to get some order into this thread if I may, the vessel shown at the beginning is indeed the Manchester Challenge and it is some time since I was on her.

The story is as follows. there was a need for a regular service across the North Atlantic and the weather being as it was a large all weather vessel was required. The companies were involved originally, Charles Hill of Bristol City line, Bibby Line and a Belgium company who's name escaped me.

Three ships were built, two were constructed in Swans and another in a foriegn place.

They were identical in outward appearance but the Belgium one was superior in finish in the officers accomodation. They all had huge Sulzers and had semi automated engine rooms.

The plan was to run them with a minimum number of staff and the maintainance was to be be carried out by shore based rideing gangs.

The consumable stores were to be loaded onto the vessel and carried on the stern in containers stowed in purpose made positions.

The thinking behind the idea was of immaculate conception, unfortunately the working practises and cost of riding gangs made these ideas dead in the water.

This made the storerooms that were fitted rather small.

The original run was as follows, load at Antwerp sail to Southampton, discharge and backload, proceed to LeHarve discharge and load then proceed to Halifax Nova Scotia, discharge and load proceed to the Global Terminus at Bayonne (New York), from there it was a couple of days of warm weather down to the container terminal in Norfolk Virginia. The terminal was just up from the USN Naval Base.

From there the ships then returned to Southampton for a part discharge/load before returning to Antwerp. The berth was in the Churchill Dock and entailed a fairly log pilotage up the river and in the Locked area of Antwerp Port system.

Some time before I joined the company there was an expensive failure of the engine of Dart America which allowed CY Tung to take an interest in the consortiam.

This company had a new vessel placed on the run called the Dart Canada making it a four ship operation, the Dart Canada was built at Bremer Vulcan Vegesak (Bremen). The engine was of M.A.N construction and would power the vessel at approx 25 knots on a good day. She was built for the far east run and was not a “dry ship” on this run as many will know is not blue water for many days of the year and many containers were lost at sea.

This run changed over time to include Hamburg and Dundalk( Baltimore) and continued until the early '80's when all changed.

There was a split in the service where smaller vessels took over the Halifax run and the four original Dart Vessels were put in for a radical refit for Arctic weather work. This consisted on the hull plating being removed in way of four metres of the water line and “low temperature” steel being fitted and all ballast lines being lagged and electrically heated, the main engine cooling was also changed to allow internal cooling via ballast tanks.

This work was carried out in Blomn and Voss Drydock Hamburg and was over a duration of about three months for each vessel.

The hulls were grit blasted and a specialised glass reinforced paint system applied to the new ice belting.

The names were changed at this period and with the other Dart boat changing the Dart Canada became the Canadian Explorer.

It was about this time when CY Tung bought out Furness Withy.

The run changed to Felixstowe/ Hamburg/ Antwerp/ Le Harve/ Montreal. There was a complete strip out of cargo at Montreal and reload. The ships continued the service through out the winter and were used to unblock the narrows at Quebec on many occasions, The Canadian Explorer broke the Rainbow Warrior out of the ice to allow it to proceed to interfere with the seal cull on one occasion.

In the summer months this was an enjoyable run as the Straits of Belle Isle would be transitted if the ice conditions were favourable, there was many opportunities to see the icebrgs on this run as well as the green shores of the lower St Lawrence.

The teams that had were worked hard to keep this service running were broken up by the new management as the work dried up and their own staff were deemed to be more experienced!
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  #28  
Old 28th December 2008, 16:57
K urgess K urgess is offline
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I've had to delete your re-posting of your own information Sarky Cut because it comes under the guideline of multiple posting of the same information.
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  #29  
Old 29th January 2009, 23:16
colinw colinw is offline  
 
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Manchester Challenge

i did my first trip to sea as an Engineer cadet on the Manchester Challenge in Septemer 1971. I susequently sailed as fourth , third and second engineer over the years , my last trip being her penultimate trip efore being sold to Far East interests . She could never have een described as an Ocean Greyhound , but was pretty reliable as the "C" class ships went , and left me with many happy memories.
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  #30  
Old 9th February 2009, 14:13
RobW RobW is offline  
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Re Sarky Cut's message - the third partner in the Dart Line consortium was CMB who owned the CMB Europe (later Canmar Europe). I dealt with these vessels towards the end of their careers and can say they were certainly a cut above more modern boxships, particularly in way of the accomodation. If my memory serves me right the Bremer Vulkan-built Dart Canada was originally owned by Bibby Line who I think had a share in the Dart Atlantic. She was actually ordered as an LPG carrier with the contract being changed at the last minute. CY Tung took her, and the Dart America, over in the early 80's when she became the Canadian Explorer (the Dart America becoming the Manchester Challenge). Management of both was undertaken by Furness Withy which by then had been purchased by CY Tung. The Dart Canada/Canadian Explorer had a very high DWT and consequently she sailed rather high out of the water even when fully loaded with boxes - as a consequence she rolled like a pig on the transatlantic run and on at least one occassion almost came to grief when her steering gear broke down in a big storm on the US East Coast.
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  #31  
Old 23rd March 2009, 14:27
homerus homerus is offline  
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I sailed on the Dt America as motorman from feb81-july81.
Around may,Southampton was on strike so we went to felixstowe instead. Around this period she had a lot of engine troubles,amongst other things 2cracked pistons that we pulled in Halifax overnight. 1 Turbo charger went out of alignement coming back over the pond,the other caught light coming out of Antwerp. 1 armature burnt out and1generator crankshaft blew it's balance weights to kingdom come. A hush power plant was installed on the boat deck that could be heard for miles away & gave the Engineers
many a sleepless night. Other than that a good time was had by all. Greetings.Homerus
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  #32  
Old 9th June 2009, 11:52
graysonlad graysonlad is offline  
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Did it happen with another ship?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim S View Post
On the night of 16th March 1969 the container ship MANCHESTER COURAGE outward bound from Mnchester to Montreal collided with the lower gates at Irlam Locks. The lock system being breached lowered the level of the canal closing it for about 5 weeks, trapping a number of ships in the Manchester Docks.
MANCHESTER COURAGE was one of four 500teu. 12000 grt container ships built by Smiths Dock, Middlesbrough between 1968 and 1971.
Can anyone tell me the cause of the incident - was it a ship handling error or machinery control problem. I seem to recall that the ships were powered by Crossley-Pielstick diesel engines but may be wrong. Were they bridge controlled if so with Controllable Pitch Propellors or direct reversible engines.
Sister ships were MANCHESTER CHALLENGE, M-CONCORDE, and M-CRUSADE.
I have read with interest the details above and other comments on this incident as it fits in with a project I am working on i.e. Accidents on the Manchester Ship Canal.
I recall, but can't give a date, that a M L on its maiden voyage from Manchester hit the gates of the Latchford Locks at Warrington.
I wonder if this was the same incident or was it "two for the price of one". I understood at the time of the incident that it was a bridge control fault as the new system malfunctioned. As with the details of the above vessel the lock was out of action for some time.
Can anybody help with clarification and information.
Thank you.
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  #33  
Old 9th June 2009, 19:16
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Duncan112 Duncan112 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graysonlad View Post
I have read with interest the details above and other comments on this incident as it fits in with a project I am working on i.e. Accidents on the Manchester Ship Canal.
I recall, but can't give a date, that a M L on its maiden voyage from Manchester hit the gates of the Latchford Locks at Warrington.
I wonder if this was the same incident or was it "two for the price of one". I understood at the time of the incident that it was a bridge control fault as the new system malfunctioned. As with the details of the above vessel the lock was out of action for some time.
Can anybody help with clarification and information.
Thank you.
Can't put my hands on them at the moment but Derek Clulow's 3 volume history of the Ship Canal pilotage service "No Tides to Stem" may have the info you seek.

Duncan
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  #34  
Old 12th June 2009, 20:04
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steviej steviej is offline  
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Clutch out whilst in the Locks!

Yes The "C" Class boats had CCP Control Pitch Propeller. The Pitch of the propeller varied. If you were at zero pitch you could run the engines with the clutch in, which gave the bridge full control. However the CPP had a fail safe if there was a loss of hydraulic pressure the pitch defaulted to full ahead. It had to happen in Modewheel locks. I think it was the Manchester Courage that shut the canal down for a few weeks, perhaps somebody can confirm that. After the incident if the ships were in the locks the engine clutches had to be out.
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  #35  
Old 13th June 2009, 12:44
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Flixtonian Flixtonian is offline  
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Indeed it was the Courage, but it was at Irlam locks. I was at school a few hundred yards from there and used to go down every day to see how they were getting on. The small lock could still be used, and therefore coastal traffic could still get up and down, but it was about 6 weeks before larger vessels could transit.
I also did my first trip on the Courage with Capt. D. Thomas, who I believe was Master when the ship went through the locks.

Steve F.
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  #36  
Old 13th June 2009, 16:18
Jim McFaul Jim McFaul is offline  
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I was a student in Salford at the time and went down to see the Manchester Courage at Irlam. Have posted four photographs in Maritime Casualties of her taken on the 17th. (I think, or it might have been the day after).
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  #37  
Old 26th August 2009, 13:36
jeraylin jeraylin is offline  
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The "Fourth ship" u refer to eventually became the OOCL Bravery - I sailed on her as Mate and Master and think that was the start of my hair loss! She was sold to Canmar which became CP and traded as the Canmar Bravery with croatian crews, later in 2007 Hapag bought CP and she was renamed "Bravery" and went to scrap soon after. The Last Manchester Challenge did indeed become the OOCL Challenge and saw out her retirement (after striking a bergy bit on the grand banks in winter 1992/3 and dry docking at Halifax) by going on the australia run and was scrapped I think
about 1994 or 1995. She had a high scrap value owing to the fact the side tunnels were full of copper de-gaussing gear.
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  #38  
Old 5th November 2012, 13:31
Manchester Manchester is offline  
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I think the photo must be of the Manchester Prospect. Renamed Manchester Concept. The Challannge was a new container build. Like to see the photo.

Manchester Progress was converted to the Manchester Concept.
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  #39  
Old 9th November 2012, 08:45
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A.D.FROST A.D.FROST is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchester View Post
I think the photo must be of the Manchester Prospect. Renamed Manchester Concept. The Challannge was a new container build. Like to see the photo.

Manchester Progress was converted to the Manchester Concept.
MANCHESTER CHALLENGE (I)1968-79 r/n OCEAN CONTAINER.
MANCHESTER CHALLENGE(II) 1981-88 ex.DART AMERICA bt.1970
https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/galler...llenge/cat/513
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  #40  
Old 24th June 2013, 16:50
budrover budrover is offline  
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Coincidentally

Manchester Challenge - my brother was a deck cadet on the bridge of the Challenger when she went through the lock gates.

Dart America - I spent a week rolling around the Atlantic in the run up to xmas after a scavenge fire took out the main engine turbo charger and most of the scavenge reed valves ....to say we limped into Halifax on boxing day would be an understatement.
I can still see flames coming out of every orifice of the engine - and the GP crew fleeing the engine room ...as this was a daily problem on the 12/4 we knew exactly the procedure to follow.
On departure at full away on passage the engine was slowly loaded up to 122 rpm [max revs] and you just held on for the ride !!!
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  #41  
Old 2nd January 2014, 05:25
Datam Datam is offline  
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I was with Liners from 69-76 (Syd) cadet and third mate
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  #42  
Old 2nd September 2014, 09:53
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Chris Wakefield Chris Wakefield is offline  
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Hi.
Although not having sailed on the Manchester Challenge, I spent a long time as C/E on the CP Ambassador and then the CanMar Ambassador as she was renamed (Originally Dart Atlantic), fondly also called by the crew the Empress of Felixstowe due to the old CP passenger liners.
They were good ships, although in the latter years were very hard to run.
When I was onboard, the C/E and 2/E, both British, were on daywork and then the remaining officers were Sri Lankan and crew Indian.
Was onboard her right upto the time when CanMar, read CP Ships, got rid of the management and handed her over to Anglo Eastern Ship Management.
I then left CP, having started as Cadet and going all the way upto C/E with them.
As i said excellent ships but hard work but also good fun.
10RND90 Sulzer main engine, with Ruston generators, although when I was on her we always carried a Agrekko container generator on deck as the Rustons were totally un reliable.
Felixstowe, Antwerp and Montreal, a nice 3 week round trip, always tried to get into Montreal on a Tuesday evening, then we sailed on a Saturday morning. All very pleasant.
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  #43  
Old 22nd October 2014, 01:54
loco loco is offline
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Rockertez;
If you still read this forum, I think the CAP BLANCO may have been the former Shaw Savill's DUNEDIN. I saw her in Felixstowe, but despite having being in Shaw Savill myself, I didn't realise her identity for some time.
I think the former ANDES (the last one-fully containerised) also ran to Felixstowe for a time.
I did trips on both the MANCHESTER CHALLENGE and CANADIAN EXPLORER from Felixstowe in the early 80's when filling in between trips on HORNBY and ELSTREE GRANGE. The Master on the CHALLENGE both trips was Capt Pryke;he later became Chief Exec of Harwich Haven Authority, and amongst other things he is now an EB of Trinity House.
I also served on DART BRITAIN for my last year or so at sea, on the re-organised run to Antwerp, Bremerhaven, back to Flx, Le Havre, New York, Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore, New York and back to Flx. Very handy as I lived near Harwich!
Martyn
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  #44  
Old 17th January 2019, 22:51
Susimx5 Susimx5 is offline
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Hi, My Dad, Robert Babington was Chief Engineer on the Manchester Challenge. It is his 90th Birthday next month and I am trying to tract down footage of a documentary which I think was called Men and their Ships. Can anyone help, please? Regards, Sue
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  #45  
Old 26th May 2019, 21:01
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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Sue, if you’re still looking for information re Manchester Challenge, a recent thread may be of interest.
See - Latest Shipping Technology, 1960s. You’ll find it in Forum, Ship’s Nostalgia, TV Discussion.
Hope that might be of help.
Rgds OJ
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