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  #26  
Old 4th May 2008, 17:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete the pirate View Post
The Northumbria i seemed to remember was actually the worst in the VLCC fleet, I do remember her limping back down the west coast of Africa with failed steering gear.

The story i heard was the engineering department did a superb job of rigging a up steering gear system involving a 50 gallon oil drum as a header tank to a locally steered jury rigged hydraulic pump system, to get her to a repair port.
She was actually put out as a navigation warning at the time.

The rest are right ,these ships where built with every expense spaired.

Another thing i heard, the Esso Dalriada and Demetia, where built in Malmo Sweden, where the Swedes actually turned around to Esso and said you can cut costs and corners with the accomodation, but not with the basic design and build, which they seemed to be able to do with the UK built ships.

As said, it was a time of strikes and massive inflation, and Esso cost cutting on the build of these ships.

Dalriada and Demetia both came out with twin boilers not single, and did seem to be a lot more reliable.

So i don't think it was bad building on the British yards part, but more bad management, in allowing Esso to make so many cost cutting changes.

I sailed on the Esso Dalriada,Ulidia,Scotia(twice) and Hibernia,(circa 1975-77, as cadet and third mate) and Dalriada was definitely the best of the bunch to me.

Anyone remember A. Holt,( i think it was Alfie), catering officer on the Scotia? he signed me off twice,and it sticks out in my discharge book.

Pete
This has just reminded me of my time on this ship, picking up the pilot at Le Havre, starting to weigh anchor when the steering gear failed. I was on the wheel at the time.I remember reporting the helm failing to answer. The skipper practically had a baby. Apparently one of the steering motors failed and started to work in opposition to the other. We took her in the next day on one steering motor after being told not to mention the fact to the pilot.
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  #27  
Old 12th May 2008, 14:53
david young david young is offline  
 
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esso hibernia

hi
i was on esso hibernia when she went to scrap,being in the catering department i was not aware of build problems,but had many a good voyage
on her as well as northumbria,demetia,ulidia,scotia,when hibernia was scrapped i remember we could not pay off because a writ had been put on her from the people that bought a previous esso ship and a story of missing anodes
regards
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  #28  
Old 12th May 2008, 16:14
McCloggie McCloggie is offline  
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I know very little about these ships or the times in whcih they were built, but seems strange that they had a life of only 10 -13 years.

My company (the company I work for!) ru an ex Maersk D class ship as an FPSO in the North Sea and she has been there for over ten years meeting all UK standards. The current rumour is that after she comes off field this year she has another contract as well.

Other Maersk D class tankers now FPSO include the Curlew which is still going strong.

Is it just because we in the oil game can pay for the Repair/Life Time Extension costs for these ships or were they actually better built to start with?

Other companies building FPSOs almost always use existing ships - even ex-RFAs as I have recently seen.

McC
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  #29  
Old 12th May 2008, 19:48
jimmys jimmys is offline  
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Esso Northumbria

I am like yourself McCloggie I know nothing about these ships. I sailed on the Texaco Great Britain a number of times. I was on her when she was young and I was on her when she went to scrap. She steamed to scrap, a Mate and four engineers steamed her to scrap. I was the lead engineer. Her back was broken like the MSC Napoli. She was not a ship she was a steaming hulk. She could not be towed any further, she was in the Malacca Straights at the back of the Salvageman. We flashed a supertanker off Penang dangling at the back of a tug. The Mate was in the engine room as we cut the blocked shaft free his words were " If you are not out of the engine room I will be there with you". The Mate and every engineer were fully qualified. It was not a ship it was a hulk, a steaming hulk.
We were given the choice about the ship and everyone chose to steam her to scrap. I was the sole dissenter the three engineers wanted to steam I was against, the Mate said "You are steaming I go where you go". We went and made it I dont know how. I still dont know how.
Dont put any off these ships in the North sea they are different.

regards
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  #30  
Old 8th August 2008, 13:52
gyca gyca is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred henderson View Post
I worked at Swan Hunter when she was built. A few things come to mind: -

The final sections of the bow had to be secured in place during a weekend because they were over the design office, which needed to be evacuated during the process.

She could only be launched on one day in March, to co-incide with the Spring tide. The unions naturally thought that this was going to be a bonanza for them, but they were completely outflanked by Tom McIver, the great Swan Hunter MD at the time. The local schools were invited to the yard for the launch and free beer in the Wallsend Boilermakers Club for the night after the launch.

It was the first launch performed by the Princess Royal and she was as excited as anyone.

A certain amount of the south bank of the Tyne had to be excavated to clear the launch path. Tom McIver was not entirely convinced about the calculation and he made the Director responsible stand on the the bank during the launch. The calculation was correct, but the stern wave surged over the bank and produced a very wet Director.

It was a very dank March day and all the launch photographs were rather poor quality.

Although a large number of people came to see the launch, far more turned out to see her depart for Lisbon for dry-docking. Well over 250,000 blocked all roads leading to the river.

She was built during a period of raging inflation and Swan Hunter lost about 20% of the sale price building her. We tried to obtain a contract revision, but got nowhere, but Esso took out their own insurance to cover 40% of the price of the ship in case she was lost before hand-over.

Fred
Fred,
Do you happen to remember who the launch controller was for the Northumbria?
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  #31  
Old 10th August 2008, 00:52
Ghost Ghost is offline  
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Northumbria, Hibernia and Great Britain all broke there backs. How strange.
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  #32  
Old 18th August 2008, 01:19
Harrygrimsby Harrygrimsby is offline  
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Esso Northumbria

...re the loss of steering...I was on her at the time and down in the engine room working the 'wankey wankey' as we called the makeshift steering rig was murder...I was also on her when the rudder started to drop off and resulted in a few weeks alongside in Capetown...oh.and the ac never worked...Harry Greenwood AB
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  #33  
Old 22nd October 2008, 17:10
Jim Bullough Jim Bullough is offline  
 
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I remember seeing her bows on the slip at wallsend when the Tyne tunnel was opened in 1967.I was in the Northumberland Hussars TAVR unit from Blyth and part of the opening ceremony honor guard.Who would have guessed i would be part of the trials crew as a JOS in 69.We left the slip with no ballast,no fuel and no supplys of any kind.The ship had 5 tugs on her,3 on the bows and 2 on the stern,i think there was 2 more standing by.As we went down the tyne i could not belive how many people had turned out to watch her.As we proceded to go thru Tynemouth Jettys,we had 1ft to spare on either side.We anchored offshore and proceeded to take on supplys and fuel/oil for the main engines and generators to get ready for sea trials.
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  #34  
Old 20th February 2009, 16:15
lesliedobson lesliedobson is offline  
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I did two trips on the Northumbria and don't recall her being any worse than others including the 'D' boats. Think the second trip was shortly after the rudder episope and remeber a photo of her under repair with her stern in the air. Anyone got a copy to post? Got a couple of old Mariners with crew lists in - could try and post these if anyones interested.
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  #35  
Old 21st February 2009, 13:18
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BlythSpirit BlythSpirit is offline  
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Quote:
I remember seeing her bows on the slip at wallsend when the Tyne tunnel was opened in 1967.I was in the Northumberland Hussars TAVR unit from Blyth and part of the opening ceremony honor guard.Who would have guessed i would be part of the trials crew as a JOS in 69.We left the slip with no ballast,no fuel and no supplys of any kind.The ship had 5 tugs on her,3 on the bows and 2 on the stern,i think there was 2 more standing by.As we went down the tyne i could not belive how many people had turned out to watch her.As we proceded to go thru Tynemouth Jettys,we had 1ft to spare on either side.We anchored offshore and proceeded to take on supplys and fuel/oil for the main engines and generators to get ready for sea trials.
Jim,
I think your memory is fading a bit, the distance between the piers at the mouth of the Tyne is 1200 feet - not even the Northumbria was that wide
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  #36  
Old 21st February 2009, 20:06
Cutsplice Cutsplice is offline  
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Agreed BlythSpirit It perhaps looked is if a foot either side was spare as one approached the piers. I think you could turn her short round between the piers, but I would not like to try it.
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  #37  
Old 16th April 2009, 10:25
Jackaroo Jackaroo is offline  
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In all my years with Esso the Northumbria was the biggest load of crap that was my misfortune to sail on she could be a nightmare to work. All that class had problems but Northumbria took first prize. regards Jim B.
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  #38  
Old 21st April 2009, 21:02
R893891 R893891 is offline  
 
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I never sailed on the Northumbria, but I flew out to Aruba with a Captain Steele, his last ship was the Northumbria. We were joining the Lincoln, this was in the early seventies, I was 3rd mate. Due to a cock up in the travel arrangements we missed the Lincoln and spent a (very enjoyable) week in Aruba. I also served on the Demetia and a couple of the coasters, Brixham and Woolston (not very enjoyable being a deep sea man).
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  #39  
Old 28th April 2009, 17:07
arthurryan arthurryan is offline  
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I sailed on Scotis, Ulidia, Caledonia, Northumbria. The Scotia was my favourite, of course she was a continental build, Holland I think. She was one of the first British ships to have satellite navigation on trial. About 12 accurate positions in 24 ours if i remember correctly. I was with Esso from 1969 to 1974, i enjoyed their 3 month trips, i had only done 2 trips before on trampships, a 4 year trip and a 2 year trip !!!!!. The benefit was that i was 3rd. mate at 17 1/2 years] Arthur Ryan
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  #40  
Old 7th October 2009, 18:39
Ahab Ahab is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairfield View Post
Did anyone sail with Alan Eadie?
I did on my first trip as Cadet on the Dalriada Jan 75. He relieved Capt Ian Smith. Never sailed again with him!

Last edited by Ahab; 7th October 2009 at 20:38.. Reason: Additional info
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  #41  
Old 9th October 2009, 23:21
bill connolly bill connolly is offline  
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The Northumbria cost 4 million pounds to build. When she drydocked in Lisbon after a year, one of Swan Hunter engineers who was involved in the construction, was sent out to help sort out some of the problems. I remember pointing out that three brackets supported the extended spindle from the deck to the vale in the forepeak tank. He said" what do you expect for the money".
A large number of the cargo valve spindles were off line with the deck actuators.
We found that the cargo sea valve chest was only about 3mm thick in places due to corrosion, (anodes were placed in the chests)

Bill Connolly
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  #42  
Old 11th October 2010, 17:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arthurryan View Post
I sailed on Scotis, Ulidia, Caledonia, Northumbria. The Scotia was my favourite, of course she was a continental build, Holland I think. She was one of the first British ships to have satellite navigation on trial. About 12 accurate positions in 24 ours if i remember correctly. I was with Esso from 1969 to 1974, i enjoyed their 3 month trips, i had only done 2 trips before on trampships, a 4 year trip and a 2 year trip !!!!!. The benefit was that i was 3rd. mate at 17 1/2 years] Arthur Ryan
Hello Arthur, think I was on the Scotia with you, many moons ago, Ian smith was Master, think the Chief was bob Butchart!
Regards
Alex Chapman
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  #43  
Old 8th February 2011, 14:51
arthurryan arthurryan is offline  
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I sailed on the Ulidia as Mate and the Northumbria as !st. Mate but to the best of my recollection, the Esso Hibernia was also built in Belfast as was the Ulidia.
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  #44  
Old 8th February 2011, 14:57
arthurryan arthurryan is offline  
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Hello Alex,
Sorry for the delay in responding. I have been away from this site for some time now I thought your name was familiar, and yes Ian Smith was Master on the Scotia during my time there and Bob Butchart was the Chief. I think Jackie Aalen was the mate and we also had a supernumery Mate who later was involved in developing training courses. His name excapes me at the moment , but I do recall he had Esso blood running through his veins.Lovewd my time on the Scotia.
My wife Ann did a trip with me on the Scotia.
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  #45  
Old 8th February 2011, 15:03
arthurryan arthurryan is offline  
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I also sailed with Captain Steele on a few occasions. He insisted on taking his own sights regardless of how efficient his navigatring officers were.He usually took to his cabin as soon as we neared the channel after an ocean passage, he was a pleasant guy though. I met him many years later in Bantry where I was Marine Supervisor for Gulf Oil and he was a guest at one of our seminars/Displays . He was then Examiner for Masters & Mates ion Belfast.
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  #46  
Old 25th October 2011, 16:58
NoelK NoelK is offline  
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Esso Northumbria

I’ve just discovered ‘Ship Nostalgia’, and am fascinated by the many posts which are critical of the ‘Northumbria’. I was closely involved with some research in the months before she was launched, and hope the following may be of interest.

A number of posters have hinted at the huge step forward in the size of this vessel, and I would like to emphasise this because everyone at the time was very aware of it! Factoring up the design from smaller tankers may in the end not have proved adequate, but little was available by way of an alternative. Computerised stress analysis was fairly well developed in theory, but was still severely limited by the computing power then available. The most up-to-date computer analyses of ship structures in Britain had only recently been completed by the Admiralty, and the British Ship Research Association (also based in Wallsend) was in close and confidential touch with them. As a result, Britain’s largest engineering consultants were engaged, in effect to try and predict the stresses within all parts of the hull. However, these predictions were restricted to the effects of static forces, ie excluding complex dynamic effects arising from the vessel’s normal environment! Seems strange, but that was where naval science was in the 1960s.

In parallel with the above research, Swan Hunter permitted BSRA to place a huge number of strain gauges at critical locations within the hull and, as noted by one poster, this may well have been the first time a control room was set aside on a vessel for the purpose of monitoring those gauges. I believe that post-launch and pre-commissioning an extensive set of tests were carried out at sea, and that in fact the strain gauge readings corresponded well with the computer predictions. That latter part of the research was published at the time by BSRSA and may now be in the public domain.

The ‘Northumbria’ was designed and built right on the leading-edge of computational analysis, and it is perhaps of interest that, simply onf the grounds of computational scale, the above research had to be done (albeit by an English company) using an American computer at a German university! The progress and outcome of that research were watched closely by the interested parties, which included both European classification societies (Lloyds Register and Det Norske Veritas).

I had the privilege of descending from the deck into the bowels of the hull for a short visit when the strain gauges were being placed, perhaps a rare instance of a ‘civilian’ being allowed close to the workface so to speak. The ‘Northumbria’ and her sisters still stagger when viewing the contemporary photos while under construction, and I can confirm that she was even more impressive when viewed from within!

(Sorry if some of the above uses some non-nautical terminology).
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  #47  
Old 7th September 2012, 00:47
tailgunner tailgunner is offline  
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I sailed on the Northumbria......we lost our cadet overboard on trip.......very sad time....but apart from that she was a good ship to me.
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  #48  
Old 18th September 2012, 23:44
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Mike Hemmington Mike Hemmington is offline  
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I did the maiden voyage on "Big Geordie", Joined her in Lisbon day before being handed over to Esso.
Didn't have too many problems on first voyage apart from Canal Searchlight cover having being ripped away from the hull, it was re-welded back in place,the second problem was having to strip down the Emgy Fire P/P up for'd as seas had gone down the for'd facing exhaust and been too much for the drain to cope with and filled the R/R engine with seawater.
We also had a problem with the main radiant roof boiler which had to be shut down at sea and we used the auxy boiler to sail along making just a few knots.
Another serious incident was after the maiden voyage was the furnace fire we had while in Fawley while flashing up, which melted some of the primary superheater tubes, consequently that superheater had to be by-passed and we sailed without it.
Those were just a few of the problems I can memember on the first 4 months of service of "Big Geordie".
Mike
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  #49  
Old 9th April 2014, 11:47
stewarthird stewarthird is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete the pirate View Post
The Northumbria i seemed to remember was actually the worst in the VLCC fleet, I do remember her limping back down the west coast of Africa with failed steering gear.

The story i heard was the engineering department did a superb job of rigging a up steering gear system involving a 50 gallon oil drum as a header tank to a locally steered jury rigged hydraulic pump system, to get her to a repair port.
She was actually put out as a navigation warning at the time.

The rest are right ,these ships where built with every expense spaired.

Another thing i heard, the Esso Dalriada and Demetia, where built in Malmo Sweden, where the Swedes actually turned around to Esso and said you can cut costs and corners with the accomodation, but not with the basic design and build, which they seemed to be able to do with the UK built ships.

As said, it was a time of strikes and massive inflation, and Esso cost cutting on the build of these ships.

Dalriada and Demetia both came out with twin boilers not single, and did seem to be a lot more reliable.

So i don't think it was bad building on the British yards part, but more bad management, in allowing Esso to make so many cost cutting changes.

I sailed on the Esso Dalriada,Ulidia,Scotia(twice) and Hibernia,(circa 1975-77, as cadet and third mate) and Dalriada was definitely the best of the bunch to me.

Anyone remember A. Holt,( i think it was Alfie), catering officer on the Scotia? he signed me off twice,and it sticks out in my discharge book.

Pete
Sailed on them all except the two D Boats down the Engine Room - they were very Hard Work . The Hibernia had only 3mm of plate left underneath her , not good .
Was it Arthur Holt ??? Dark brylcream hair ? A Gentleman ...

Last edited by stewarthird; 9th April 2014 at 12:04..
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  #50  
Old 9th April 2014, 11:50
stewarthird stewarthird is offline  
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Originally Posted by K urgess View Post
The one seen in "Get Carter" is the Esso Hibernia, JD.
Northumbria's sister ship and just as bad as far as I can make out.
My last trip was on Northumbria and when I left her in Sembawang dry dock, Singapore, they were still trying to put her back together again.

Cheers
She was my First Ship in 79 - she was a Nightmare down below - had a Great Time though and strangely very Proud of her ....
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