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Engineers boiler suits

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  #51  
Old 18th May 2018, 12:30
steve mcdougall steve mcdougall is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam Turner View Post
Recollect my Dad's boiler suits were white in the 60s and 70s. Why were they white? Also would they have been provided for him, or did he have to supply them?
It was stated that white reflects the heat, at times I had a blue one I did not notice any change.In the outfits I sailed with we had to supply our own boiler suits.
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  #52  
Old 18th May 2018, 13:13
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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Once had some v nice cotton boilersuits but with removable plastic buttons secured by brass spring clips on inside. Not best when in warmer climes - soon got standard buttons sowed on.
Have always tried to acquire decent boilersuits (equitably) from others. (shipyards, makers, companies etc.) Never did manage to get one of those nice white ones with two seahorses on back though.
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  #53  
Old 18th May 2018, 13:29
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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Drydocked in Sembawang Shipyard in 1975 and used all sorts of persuasion and threats to get a boiler suit, and failed. But I managed to steal Mr Ng's yellow hard hat. A one all draw.
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  #54  
Old 18th May 2018, 18:12
Philthechill Philthechill is offline  
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Exclamation In Brock's----

Quote:
Originally Posted by ART6 View Post
In my days with Stanvac we all bought our white boiler suits from Mr. Ganoomal in Bombay. They were cotton, with cotton buttons formed into knots and so woven into the cloth that they never came adrift. Best boiler suits I ever had, and they lasted for years. Why did we all wear white? Because that's what Stanvac required; officers wear white, ratings wear blue. Same thing ashore in a power station -- managers, supervisors, and engineers in white, plant operators and maintenance staff in blue.

I was told that this was so that a crew working on a boiler or turbine could see when the foreman was coming and take action accordingly!
-----we got our boiler-suits made in Cal.

They were in un-bleached cotton and more of an 'off-white' rather than the glistening white of UK-made boiler-suits with, too, the cotton 'buttons'.

The store-keeper used to boil them up in a bucket with a drain from a pump to boil the water. Phil
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  #55  
Old 19th May 2018, 03:26
Leswest Leswest is offline  
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Back in the fifties

In November 1955 I joined a tanker, the World Grandeur, in Hamburg preparing for its maiden voyage. It was my first posting as a Navigating Officer Apprentice and no one had told me to bring a boiler suit. The skipper had been killed in a road accident a few days before I joined, so I was given his boiler suit to wear while working on the tanks and valves. It was bright blue and several sizes too large for me as a skinny 16 year old! When we got back to Southampton from Kuwait, five weeks later, I was sent to buy myself a new boiler suit and was told it had to be white. Nobody told me why, but I guess the reasons given by others on this thread make a lot of sense.
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  #56  
Old 19th May 2018, 06:24
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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I spent 45 years in a white boiler suit, not the same one, until my employer decided that Red was the best colour. I now have a red boiler suit with Hi Vis hoops on my legs, arms and across my tum. It is made by Dickie and I feel like one wearing it. Progress.

In the 1970's we had to buy our own boiler suits and engine room boots but claimed an Income Tax allowance for uniform.
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  #57  
Old 19th May 2018, 08:21
tsell tsell is offline
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I really feel for you guys who were 'down below'. Your mums would have been really upset if they could see the state you got your Persil Whites in!
Us poor sods on deck didn't have any fancy gear, just a pair of five-bob dungarees. Sure we got grease on them from splicing wire, oiling stays, & etc., and the odd splash of paint, but when we went ashore they were quite pristine, after a night-time boil-up in a bucket on the galley stove top with a couple of inches of paraffin, then another bucket with a dollop of Teepol.
The rinse was carried out while we turned in with a line rove through one leg, a bowline, the end bent on to a cleat and when we rose from our happy slumber, all we had to do was a dunk in fresh water and onto a line across the hatch with a couple of loops of sailmakers.

See? Us deck crowd didn't need to make a thread with hundreds of posts about our pearly-whites, did we? We were real men!!

Taff
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  #58  
Old 19th May 2018, 09:52
Philthechill Philthechill is offline  
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Talking I remember----

----the time when the Fourth Engineer put his brand-new, knitted by his wife, wool jumper in the, (none-automatic), washing-machine----then forgot about it when we all went on the p1ss!

Two/three hours later a Cadet knocked on the door of the cabin we were all in and asked if he could use the washing machine, "When the dhobi, in it, was finished".

The Fourth suddenly remembered and went to remove his sweater.

The body had shrunk to the size of a five year-old child whilst the arms were 'ape-length' long------"Oh how we laughed!!!!".

I've no idea what he told his beloved to account for the 'alterations' to his sweater! Phil
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  #59  
Old 19th May 2018, 10:00
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Varley Varley is offline   SN Supporter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engine Serang View Post
I spent 45 years in a white boiler suit, not the same one, until my employer decided that Red was the best colour. I now have a red boiler suit with Hi Vis hoops on my legs, arms and across my tum. It is made by Dickie and I feel like one wearing it. Progress.

In the 1970's we had to buy our own boiler suits and engine room boots but claimed an Income Tax allowance for uniform.
Mr. Caldwell far too 'careful' to afford any sort of tum gauged extras however did a nice number of fixed size patch to cover up the P&O Ferries on the batch of orange buggers he bagged after Herald of Free Enterpise gave them a bad name.
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  #60  
Old 19th May 2018, 11:42
ivor the engine ivor the engine is offline  
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White Boilersuits!!!

In the 60's we were told that the WHITE!! boilersuits were to distinguish
the officers from the ratings in the event of an E.R. fire and the smoke.

The recommended e.r. shoes had cork soles with wooden pegs, they had
to be very rigged to carry out the regular crankcase hammer test on the
Doxfords
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  #61  
Old 19th May 2018, 15:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmirvine View Post
The best engine room shoes I ever had was ones I "acquired" from a grey funnel line ship. The soles were a series of concentric circles which acted like suckers to stop you sliding around the plates. Lasted for ages too.
A size 7 steaming bat has 79 and a half concentric circles on the bottom. A ling middle watch.
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  #62  
Old 19th May 2018, 15:48
Bill Morrison Bill Morrison is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philthechill View Post
----the time when the Fourth Engineer put his brand-new, knitted by his wife, wool jumper in the, (none-automatic), washing-machine----then forgot about it when we all went on the p1ss!

Two/three hours later a Cadet knocked on the door of the cabin we were all in and asked if he could use the washing machine, "When the dhobi, in it, was finished".

The Fourth suddenly remembered and went to remove his sweater.

The body had shrunk to the size of a five year-old child whilst the arms were 'ape-length' long------"Oh how we laughed!!!!".

I've no idea what he told his beloved to account for the 'alterations' to his sweater! Phil
Been there and done it. The best one was the prat for want of a better word who decided to iron his nylon socks which melted onto the only iron we had
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  #63  
Old 19th May 2018, 15:51
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Safety Boots (never laced up)
Eng/Blr Rm Slippers.
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  #64  
Old 19th May 2018, 16:02
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Prior to the Gulf War, all Royal Naval personnel were issued with a white bunny suit(white overalls) for the reason previously mentioned to protect from fire flash.

The MEO (marine engineer officer) now looked like everyone else.
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  #65  
Old 20th May 2018, 16:25
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White overalls after a boiler clean. Nowadays dhobying them and letting the drains overboard would be banned!
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File Type: jpg York boiler clean.jpg (269.2 KB, 100 views)
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  #66  
Old 20th May 2018, 17:35
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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Jeez Art the deckhouse is dirtier than the Third. Is it a Bank Boat?

Last edited by Engine Serang; 20th May 2018 at 17:37.. Reason: Opportunity for cheap dig.
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  #67  
Old 20th May 2018, 22:08
OilJiver OilJiver is offline  
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Originally Posted by ART6 View Post
White overalls after a boiler clean.....
Motor guys looked like that before going into crankcase Art
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  #68  
Old 21st May 2018, 20:20
john nichols john nichols is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsell View Post
I really feel for you guys who were 'down below'. Your mums would have been really upset if they could see the state you got your Persil Whites in!
Us poor sods on deck didn't have any fancy gear, just a pair of five-bob dungarees. Sure we got grease on them from splicing wire, oiling stays, & etc., and the odd splash of paint, but when we went ashore they were quite pristine, after a night-time boil-up in a bucket on the galley stove top with a couple of inches of paraffin, then another bucket with a dollop of Teepol.
The rinse was carried out while we turned in with a line rove through one leg, a bowline, the end bent on to a cleat and when we rose from our happy slumber, all we had to do was a dunk in fresh water and onto a line across the hatch with a couple of loops of sailmakers.

See? Us deck crowd didn't need to make a thread with hundreds of posts about our pearly-whites, did we? We were real men!!

Taff
As a first trip deck apprentice in the old tramp outfit Headlams of Whitby in 1955 we were not issued with any form of protective clothing. I can remember often cleaning out holds that had previously carried coal and appearing on deck like a chimney sweeps apprentice.
I too tied a heaving line through my jeans (I think we called them dungarees in those days) and launched them over the side to rinse off as much coal as possible but then got myself hauled up in front of the old man for not washing them in a sink with white windsor soap.
I still cannot understand why the old man appeared so concerned about the welfare of my working gear. My jeans were "streamed" on the opposite quarter to the ships log so that can't have been the issue. I can only assume that on a ship capable of a mere 7 knots in good weather he figured my jeans would considerably reduce the ship's speed!
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  #69  
Old 21st May 2018, 20:24
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Originally Posted by ambey View Post
On Ocean Fleets / Container Fleets boats the Officers ( engineering & deck ) were issued 1 white boiler suit per trip and the crew who were engine room were issued a blue one. I understood it was to demarcate between Officers and Crew.
When I was in Blue Flue, all the Chinese engine room crew wore white boiler suits, and a white cap, Engineers also in white boiler suits, as was the ship's carpenter.
Us deck crowd wore whatever came to hand, usually shorts and flip flops, and a sweat rag.
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  #70  
Old 22nd May 2018, 18:20
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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On the Torwood we had seven crew two of which were engineers first and second it was the only time I ever had anything to do not the first but the second what a great charecter,the Torwood was bereft of modern comforts such as hot water so not much dhobying done the seconds overalls were a deep battleship grey along with black grease etc,on a run to Penzance I hurt my ankle and the second had a huge boil on his ar,e we both went to a doctor there and the look of horror on his and his nurses faces when I got my boot of for the first time in almost a week a he removed his overalls to reveal a pair of skiddes the same battleship grey after treatment we went to a pub the Seven Stars where the landlady after seeing our plight sent us back aboard for some reasonably clean gear and then ran two baths for us,I went back there last summer sadly the lady was ill upstairs but her son who was a baby was running the pub.
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  #71  
Old 22nd May 2018, 20:55
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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Doing a unit in Esbejerg, Third tripped on the hole in the top plates for the piston rod and skinned his shin. As he roared in agony the Fourth ran to his aid and hit his head on a beam (long before hard hats). He was dazed and bleeding so it was off to hospital with his Junior to comfort him.
In A&E the nurses started to connect him up to monitors etc and decided to take off his engine room boots. One look and the trolley was wheeled out followed by the confused Junior. Straight into the toilets and his feet were wheeled over to the wash hand basin and given a good Scandinavian wash. The Fourth and Junior were mortified and no amount of explanations seemed adequate to rescue the situation.
The Fourth was bandaged, given a box of aspros and a lecture on personal hygene, but to give him his dues his underwear was clean.
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  #72  
Old 22nd May 2018, 21:11
alaric alaric is offline  
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How I wish I had a nice big dhobi drum with a handy LP steam supply today.
I rarely don a boiler suit these days and I havn't owned a white one for years. My one and only boiler suit now is a rather nice bottle green 'Dickies' brand outfit, given to me by my mother-in-law many years ago as a Christmas present.
I have been wearing the suit for the past two days while overhauling the clutch hydraulics on my 1964 Triumph, and managed to empty the contents of the master cylinder, a mixture of silicon and an emergency top up of Dot 4 mineral oil over myself and my boiler suit. This mixture has a strong, rather unpleasant smell, quite unlike silicon or mineral hydraulic oils on their own.
I have scrubbed up reasonably well under a hot shower, but a couple of washes in warm water and detergent followed by many rinses in cold water have not got rid of the oil, or it's smell from the boiler suit. My wife refuses to allow me to put the boiler suit in her washing machine.
Tomorrow I plan to set a fire under a galvanised bucket of boiling soapy water, the closest I can get to the old engineroom dhobi drum. Hope the boiler suit does not shrink too much, I have a bit of a struggle to get it on as it is!
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  #73  
Old 22nd May 2018, 23:57
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The standard practice for washing overalls on Union Co Ships was a crank arm shaft into the chuck through the lathe head stock to drive a plunger up and down in a washing drum.
How many Colchester lathes spent most of their lives on this duty we will never know.
On the Banana boat Navua we needed a bigger better drum and eyes fell on the salt meat barrel in the tiller flat that was original issue by the ship's builder Henry Robb in 1955 . The second mate had earlier checked the ship's manifest to identify its purpose , an antiquated one to say the least and bearing in mind there was no chance of the crew ever accepting a bit of ship board salt pork or the like the large exquisitely made wooden barrel was put into service by the chief engineer and others to make home brew.
This turned out to be a disaster as the rapid climate changebetween Auckland and the Pacific islands played havoc with the fermentation process, or that was the excuse for the foul tasting result.
Next step saw the barrel lowered down the tunnel escape and along to the ER. Workshop for a new use
With a paddle of thick insertion rubber it worked like a charm and washed several pairs of overalls at once.
A couple of cakes of Union Co toilet soap grated into the wash gave the best possible results.

Bob
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  #74  
Old 23rd May 2018, 06:58
Engine Serang Engine Serang is online now  
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After 4 years of Bombay Crews where the Cassab "looked after" the boiler suits I was sent to a British Crewed ship and had to wash my own boiler suits. There was a washing machine in the changing room and the recipe was two boiler suits, half a teacup of Teepol and four fingers of Swarfega. The Engineers on the Royal Yacht weren't better turned out.
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  #75  
Old 23rd May 2018, 16:51
chris thompson195 chris thompson195 is offline  
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I sailed with Silver line. I used to get 4 boiler suits from Franks MN outfitters on Side(street near Quayside) of Newcastle at, if my memory is correct, 1.25 each. they would last each trip be it 4,6 or 9 months. Boots I think you could get on board but you had to pay. I was always under the impression like others that they were white to prevent dye contaminating a wound, more specifically a steam burn.
Young and "green" on one ship I tried washing them by trailing them behind the ship tied to a rope, salt on your back turned out not to comfortable! Another ship had a washing machine, I forgot about them and they sloshed around for 2 days. I was told of several methods to wash a boiler suit but after the trailing behind the ship stuck to soap powder!!
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