ANL Australian Emblem Container-RoRo - Ships Nostalgia
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ANL Australian Emblem Container-RoRo

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  #1  
Old 2nd December 2019, 01:52
blueprint2002 blueprint2002 is offline  
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ANL Australian Emblem Container-RoRo

The Australian shipping industry has often evolved some unusual and innovative ships, though they don’t seem to get a lot of publicity internationally. Maybe that’s why it is difficult to find much information about them. One example:
During the mid-seventies, the Australian National Line acquired a series of RoRo Container ships of the Australian Emblem class, for use on the “Eastern Sea Road” between Japan and Australia. Reading between the lines, it seems likely that the ships brought Japanese cars and other manufactured products to the Australian market.
An unusual and interesting feature was the propulsion, with three medium-speed diesels geared to a single shaft, driving a CPP. At the time, this was regarded as the highest power CPP in the world, at 46,000HP. Apparently, medium speed diesels were chosen so that the machinery height allowed a low second deck extending to the stern, necessary for the rolling cargo access via the stern ramp.
But it also made a complex installation, with 46 cylinders, at least three clutches, intricate control system, and so on, and perhaps access was not so good.
I’m hoping to hear something about how this worked out in practice, from anyone who may have served on board those ships. Operation both while manoeuvring and "full away" under different conditions, as well as maintenance aspects, are all of interest. Thank you in advance.

Last edited by blueprint2002; 2nd December 2019 at 01:55.. Reason: incomplete!
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  #2  
Old 2nd December 2019, 05:51
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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There were two of them, Australian Emblem and Australian Escort. They ran between Australia and Japan. I went aboard the Emblem in Brisbane for instruction on AWA paperwork when I first came to Australia and the Escort for a Christmas Day booze up in Melbourne. Nice ships but, sorry, no info on the engine room.

Is Chillitoes still around on the site. He was an engineer with ANL and should be able to help you.

John T
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  #3  
Old 6th December 2019, 01:25
DaveU DaveU is offline  
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Emblem and Escort were considered second generation RoRo

The first generation were the Australian Enterprise and Explorer, and also had the three engine Kawasaki MAN V16 42/47 (?), whereas the Emblem/Escort were 52/55. Configuration to keep deckhead low for stern ramp etc. was #1 and #2 bottom plates, into gear box aft, with #3 above the main shaft coupled to gear box in the front end. Escort and Emblem were much more sophisticated than the first generation, and cleaner to work on. The Enterprise, which I spent years on, had two turbocharges at each end of the engine and as they were pulse, it meant 4 units were manifolded to each T/C. There were two fuel lines to each unit because in port one main engine still fed the gear box, which provided electrical load so under lighter load lower fuel volumes needed. The alternators (2 off) came off the back of the gear box, aft and basically under #3 . No such thing as an auxiliary , only a sooped up truck engine to get initial power on to get a main back on. They were dirty and hard working ships, crap cheap fuel, low loadings (under blown) in port burnt exhaust valves out continually, and sulphured up the inlets so badly you would break cages getting the valves out. One trick was to loosen all cage bolts on the set of units to change before shutting down, then manually pushing the individual fuel racks in to increase peak pressure to bounce the cage. Of course a lot of smoke, noise, and trepidation releasing nuts a turn while the 4 valve handshake rocker gear tried to gobble your hands. ANL also did the cheap by only having 1 exhaust probe per 2 exhaust pockets, so it was common for newbies to pull the wrong exhaust valve, as pulse from coupled manifold could cause a wrong interpretation. Old hands used to turn the ER lights off on night rounds, then walk along the heads looking for cherry red exhaust pocket manifolds to pick the valve. Then off course reducing CPP, de-clutching the horrible air bag clutch, stripping rocker gear, and changing the offending valve, all on your lonesome, then of course getting everything back on line and baby sitting back to full biscuit. A 24 hour gear turn every 4 days, rarely meant any sleep, or if with a newbie to back up, no sleep every 2 days.Could go on about the crap design of water cooling exhaust valves which continually filled the rocker gear with water leaks (220 face to face connections), plus fuel leaks (96 connections), and non functioning ball and slide exhaust valve rotators, but hell I would need to write a book.
The 3rd. generation for ANL was the ANRO Australia, MAN 9L 52/55 with one exhaust manifold (constant pressure), one T/C, horse collar exhaust manifolds to units, fin exhaust rotators, only 2 engines into gear box, with alternators on free ends facing forward. Eventually the engines were under powered, as more refer points were added (initially 100, then to just over 300), and with 24 gear turn on ER, and 24 hour on Reefers, then day work (3 Engineers), it was a different hell. Guess with an economiser, and an silencer, also enclosed within the two decks, and running Singapore, Kelang, Penang and round Aussie, there would have been no ER hotter anywhere, besides the hotter the ER the more efficient the plant (not that anyone ever acknowledged the basic thermodynamic logic vs human).
At the end of it all 3 generations produced medium speed engineers that could solve anything, from the rough and unique, to a bit of finesse.
Damn hard years, and I look back and think how did we do it. A lot of young keen engineers as cannon fodder, but with duty free kegs, who could argue.
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  #4  
Old 7th December 2019, 08:46
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Olaf_the_blue Olaf_the_blue is offline  
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As an electrical chappie, fresh from the shooting navy, I was invited (pressganged) to join "Roy's Navy" in early 1976. Served 4 years on the Enterprise with occasional relievers on the Explorer, Escort and Anro and I can only applaud DaveU's succinct and elegiac summation of the vessels in question. The Enterprise and explorer, being first generation, were particularly demanding and the reason why Roy MacDonald was reputed to choose his own engineering teams. I well remember crawling around the darkened pit looking for glowing exhaust manifolds.
Took her to Kobe in 1978 where she was cut in half and lengthened by 29 metres increasing her capacity by 375 TEU.
On a more personal note: riding a wave of nostalgia, brought on by these postings, I retrieved my old ANL "Studbooks" and found a certain Dave U. on the Australian Exporter, in mid 1987, among other mentions.
Cheers mate. They were exciting years.
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  #5  
Old 7th December 2019, 11:40
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Basil Basil is offline  
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DaveU, Bally heck! So glad I did most of my short three years on steam turbines
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  #6  
Old 7th December 2019, 22:00
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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Can’t wholly agree with Bas, on account steam leak experience.
But that job you were on surely not sound a barrel of laughs Dave!! (&bp2002/Olaf)
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  #7  
Old 9th December 2019, 02:03
blueprint2002 blueprint2002 is offline  
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Thank you! Dave and Olaf. What a great response!
The other side of the picture: not quite what owners and builders like to show the world!
Btw, was bridge control of the propulsion plant usual?
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  #8  
Old 10th December 2019, 22:51
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Olaf_the_blue Olaf_the_blue is offline  
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My pleasure Blueprint.
As per your original post Australian shipping was in the vanguard of shipping innovation in the early days. ANL being one of the first to adopt containerization and to extend RoRo shipping into international liner trades. This allowed greater versatility in the type of cargo shipped and faster turn-around as forklifts could work the vehicle decks while cranes worked the uppers.
The vessels were UMS so CPP control was switched from control room to bridge as required. The engines were governed to a constant 400 rpm as they also drove the alternators.
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  #9  
Old 12th December 2019, 19:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveU View Post
The first generation were the Australian Enterprise and Explorer, and also had the three engine Kawasaki MAN V16 42/47 (?), whereas the Emblem/Escort were 52/55................................................ ...........................................
Damn hard years, and I look back and think how did we do it. A lot of young keen engineers as cannon fodder, but with duty free kegs, who could argue.
Anyone remember the PAD Line trio with three V18 Pielstick 2.2 trying to burn Bass Strait fuel and those 5 lovely air clutches? Methinks they were the prototype for the ones you are talking about
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  #10  
Old 13th December 2019, 03:23
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Olaf_the_blue Olaf_the_blue is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Gibbs View Post
Anyone remember the PAD Line trio with three V18 Pielstick 2.2 trying to burn Bass Strait fuel and those 5 lovely air clutches? Methinks they were the prototype for the ones you are talking about
ANL entered the Aust/West Coast America trade in 1971 with a 25% share holding in PAD, (Pacific America Direct Shipping Co. Ltd and as managers of PAD's vessel "Allunga." Sisterships were the Dilkara (british owned) and the Paralla (Swedish owned). Allunga was scrapped, (not before time according to most engineers who had anything to do with her,) in August 1986, at Kaohsiung.
I didn't have the "pleasure" of serving on her but those that did spoke not with affection of the experience.
Actually, the Enterprise pre-dated Allunga by a couple of years so who bred the nightmares is debatable. Either way, the early versions of international RORO vessels were bloody hard yakka and anyone who disagrees must be a "deckie."
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  #11  
Old 13th December 2019, 10:45
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Tim Gibbs Tim Gibbs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olaf_the_blue View Post
ANL entered the Aust/West Coast America trade in 1971 with a 25% share holding in PAD, (Pacific America Direct Shipping Co. Ltd and as managers of PAD's vessel "Allunga." Sisterships were the Dilkara (british owned) .........
Actually, the Enterprise pre-dated Allunga by a couple of years so who bred the nightmares is debatable. Either way, the early versions of international RORO vessels were bloody hard yakka and anyone who disagrees must be a "deckie."
I was a Ellerman Superintendent when Dilkara caught fire ( PFME) in 1974(?) and as I flew out to San Francisco the team told me to ensure it was a CTL. Unfortunately it wasn't.
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  #12  
Old 14th December 2019, 02:20
blueprint2002 blueprint2002 is offline  
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Originally Posted by Olaf_the_blue View Post
My pleasure Blueprint.
As per your original post Australian shipping was in the vanguard of shipping innovation in the early days. ANL being one of the first to adopt containerization and to extend RoRo shipping into international liner trades. This allowed greater versatility in the type of cargo shipped and faster turn-around as forklifts could work the vehicle decks while cranes worked the uppers.
The vessels were UMS so CPP control was switched from control room to bridge as required. The engines were governed to a constant 400 rpm as they also drove the alternators.
Thanks again, Olaf. I imagine engines were connected or disconnected depending on the need (such as deep draft, manoeuvring etc): this might be from the control room?
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  #13  
Old 14th December 2019, 02:24
blueprint2002 blueprint2002 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olaf_the_blue View Post
ANL entered the Aust/West Coast America trade in 1971 with a 25% share holding in PAD, (Pacific America Direct Shipping Co. Ltd and as managers of PAD's vessel "Allunga." Sisterships were the Dilkara (british owned) and the Paralla (Swedish owned). Allunga was scrapped, (not before time according to most engineers who had anything to do with her,) in August 1986, at Kaohsiung.
I didn't have the "pleasure" of serving on her but those that did spoke not with affection of the experience.
Actually, the Enterprise pre-dated Allunga by a couple of years so who bred the nightmares is debatable. Either way, the early versions of international RORO vessels were bloody hard yakka and anyone who disagrees must be a "deckie."
Well that's pretty definite. Great concept on paper, not so in practice, it seems.
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 04:47
Chillytoes Chillytoes is offline  
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Thanks for blowing my cover, John!

In fact, I only did two swings on Australian Emblem, not ever being part of Roy's Navy (ex-ANL people will understand this). I cannot remember any great engineering dramas of the kind outlined here by others, and I can only remember maybe 3 serious incidents during my whole 22 years at sea. What a boring life!

As DaveU has said, Aus. Emblem (1975) and Aus. Enterprise (1969) were built for ANL and their sisters, Matthew Flinders and James Cook were built for Flinders Shipping Co. Both these latter vessels were acquired by ANL in 1975, Matthew Flinders became Australian Explorer and James Cook became Australian Escort. Enterprise & Explorer were lengthened in 1978, going from 596 to 690ft.

I have attached a couple of scans, showing colour image and ship details from stuff in my collection. The Mitsubishi document also has a fold-out of the GA. but it is A3, too big for my scanner.

While on the subject of ANL, I can never understand why there doesn't seem to have ever been a re-union of former staff - did we hate each other that much? There was a couple of years ago a re-union of former engineering cadets, but that's it. Anybody got any contrary info?
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File Type: pdf Aus Emblem.pdf (154.5 KB, 11 views)
File Type: pdf Emblem details.pdf (148.1 KB, 10 views)
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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 05:20
Chillytoes Chillytoes is offline  
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Olaf the Blue
This is a 1986 pic of the remains of Dilkara (or maybe perhaps Allunga) taken from the after deck of Cape Hawke, which was soon to suffer the same fate.
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File Type: pdf Kaohsiung.pdf (41.0 KB, 16 views)
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