Coal Burners - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 18th October 2005, 01:39
Kenneth Morley Kenneth Morley is offline  
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Coal Burners

Can anybody tell me, the name and company of the last coal burning ship????? as an ex fireman I am very interesed Kenneth
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  #2  
Old 18th October 2005, 03:37
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Morley
Can anybody tell me, the name and company of the last coal burning ship????? as an ex fireman I am very interesed Kenneth
Can't help with the last coal burning ship employing stokers, but there are four coal burners on the Australian coast which have automated coal feeding systems.

They are 'River Embley', 'River Boyne', 'TNT Carpentaria' and 'TNT Capricornia'. Not sure if the latter two still have the TNT bit in their names. They are employed in the bauxite trade from Weipa to Gladstone and were built to take advantage of the availability of coal in the Gladstone area. The 'River Boyne' and 'Embley' were built in Japan and the TNTs in Italy. I seem to recall they have a deadweight of about 60,000 tonnes. They have been running for about 20 years now.

The TNT ships were built with additional diesel engines which gave them more flexibility (greater range) and in the early days did trips to Taiwan, Indonesia and one or two other places. All the ships have done occasional trips with alumina from Gladstone to Bell Bay in Tasmania. Not sure if any of that happens these days. The TNT ships were very comfortable ships inside the Barrier Reef and even had pool tables (using balls) for crew entertainment. Outside the Reef they were extremely uncomfortable!!!!

I sailed on 'River Embley' a couple of times, including when she first arrived from Japan for her first loading at Gladstone (always the bridesmaid, never the bride!). On the run down from Japan, it turned out that the coal was the wrong grade and they stopped a few times and all hands (literally) were turned to, sitting on pipes and breaking it up with broom handles as it flowed through from the bunkers to the fires!

Not long after she came on the run, she ran aground near Booby Island in Torres Strait and a rock pieced the ship's bottom. A big chunk of the rock ended up decorating the officers' bar and an even larger piece of it is (or was, at any rate) on the wharf at Gladstone with a brass plate mounted on it.

I have a vague recollection of one of the ships running out of coal in Bell Bay, but that may be an urban myth.

"Emmesstee" has posted information and photos of these ships elsewhere on the site.

John T.
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  #3  
Old 20th October 2005, 01:43
Bruce Carson Bruce Carson is offline
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Hi:
There is still a coal fired passenger steamer on a scheduled crossing of Lake Michigan between Ludington, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin during the summer season. She has an automatic stoker. There was a help wanted ad in the local newspaper a couple of years ago for a coal passer. Not an every day event.
One of two sisters, she was put into service in 1953 by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. The 'Badger' measures 4,244GT, 411' x 60' and is powered by two Skinner Unaflow compound engines, giving her a service speed of 18mph. The C&O was a huge coal hauler and it, as a courtesy to its major customers, used coal fired locomotives and car ferries later than most US railroads. She could carry 34 railroad freight cars plus automobiles and passengers.
After years of trying to get out of the ferry business because of declining freight traffic, the C&O, in 1983, sold the ships to a new company, the Michigan Wisconsin Transportation Company, who continued the railroad car service until that company failed in late 1990.
The following year Lake Michigan Car Ferry Service bought the ferry and in 1992 the company began cross Lake operations. The 'Badger' now is configured to carry up to 620 passengers and 120 automobiles, but no railroad cars, across Lake Michigan.
Receiving no subsidies, the company in the last couple of years has had to battle a subsidized high speed ferry operating between Muskegon, Michigan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That ferry crosses in 2 1/2 hours compared with the Badger's 4. Although plans to renovate and return to service the 'Spartan', the Badger's sister, have not born fruit, the traditional ferry appears to be holding her own.
She makes daylight trips only, but in the fall her cabins can be booked as a bed and breakfast.

Website of the Lake Michigan Car Ferry:
http://www.ssbadger.com/
The 'Badger at dusk:
http://www.city-data.com/picfilesv/picv11482.php
Pictures of the 'Badger'. including the firebox and stoker:
http://www.boatnerd.com/gathering/ba...hering2001.htm
All you ever wanted to know about Skinner "Unaflow" engines:
http://carferries.com/skinner/

Bruce C.
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  #4  
Old 21st October 2005, 01:26
Bruce Carson Bruce Carson is offline
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I should also mention RMS 'Segwun' on the Muskoka Lakes of Ontario. Although she's smaller than the other ships mentioned, I think she qualifies.
Reputed to be the last Royal Mail Ship in service, her homeport is Gravenhurst, a little over 100 miles north of Toronto. She carries the Canadian mail and has her own postmark.
She is 123' x 21', 275GT, twin screw, 2 cylinder compounds and her coal burning boilers are hand fired.
In 1925 she was built on the iron hull of the 'Nipissing' (II?), a sidewheeler built in 1887. The hull was apparently originally fabricated on the Clyde, but I've never seen a particular yard mentioned.
She became a museum after the Muskoka steamboats were laid up in the late fifties. By the seventies she had deteriorated and was in danger of sinking and a non profit organization was organized to refurbish her. She began passenger cruises on the Lakes about 25 years ago and she's never looked back.
She makes 2-3 hour cruises on the Lakes 1-3 times per day in season. There are also cruises available, punctuated with an overnight stay at a resort hotel
The scenery is grand, the food good and the size of the ship is just right to give you all the sounds and smells of an old time steamship excursion.

http://www.muskokafleet.com/

http://www.sailmuskoka.com/OldMuskokaBoats.htm

Bruce C.

Last edited by Bruce Carson; 21st October 2005 at 02:01..
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  #5  
Old 25th October 2005, 17:37
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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With visitors from overseas I have made a few trips on the RMS Seguin and as Bruce mentioned its well worth the time.
A few years ago I was on board and paid a visit to the pilothouse to have a look see. Thae captain who must have done this trick on a few unknowing passengers asked me to take the wheel and keep the heading. (the mate was keeping a watchful eye at the side). Off he went and I was left steering the ship. Came back after about 15 minutes to discover that we had steered a straight course and were still on the right heading. Was he ever surprised!
Only then told him that he had asked the wrong person to do it as I had been sailing on the great lakes as Captain for many years and knew how to steer. On the lakes there are three wheelsmen that do it not the Captain.
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  #6  
Old 25th October 2005, 18:17
leggoaft leggoaft is offline  
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The Natal Line (Bullard & King) had 2 coal burning passenger vessels "UMGENI & UMTALI
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  #7  
Old 28th December 2005, 23:21
tynevale tynevale is offline  
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Ken,
If you mean the last coal burner in Port Line she was the TSS Port Campbell
and the secon last was the TSSP Port Caroline
Bob Blackwood
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  #8  
Old 29th December 2005, 11:15
EMMESSTEE EMMESSTEE is offline  
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Bob -

Fancy meeting you here, I see you've just joined!!! You'll not be disappointed with the huge variety of matters you can discuss in this site!

Hope you got my email before Xmas okay - all the best to you for 2006.

------------
Mike (Hobart and VintagePort).
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  #9  
Old 29th December 2005, 11:29
EMMESSTEE EMMESSTEE is offline  
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Bob -

Another seniors' moment, losing my marbles I think .... I've just twigged it was I who told you about this site in my email before Xmas!! For that, I'm even more pleased to see you here - you took me up!!

-----------
Mike.
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  #10  
Old 29th December 2005, 12:58
edward edward is offline  
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well i do rember working by on the crofter or forester (both harrison ships)and the gally stove was an antrosite/coal burner had get up early to light it ,when i baked bread it came out of the oven looking sick/ when you sliced it up the white bit was grey but it was consumed.no complaints. edward.
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  #11  
Old 18th January 2006, 19:57
tercar tercar is offline  
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Port Line Coalburner

I joined the TSS Port Campbell in 1951 as JOS in Hull, to do a run job to Bremerhaven then London, with the option to sign on, for the main voyage.
There was trouble from the start because of lack of firemen. A few were rounded up from the local SA Hostel and we sailed.
Bremehaven became a nightmare, fishing alcoholic firemen out of the water, then after sailing firemen running amuk banging out at each other with shovels. Cooks being chased out of both galley doors.
All hands were called about midnight to search for a missing fireman, no sign, the police met the ship in London to charge one chap with murder. The missing fellow crawled out of the bunkers later, he had buried himself under the coal in terror.
We sailed for the regular trip to AUS and NZ. Arriving Las Palmas for bunkers the firemen went ashore, came back in the usual state, and told the Skipper they wouldn't sail. A real Mutiny. Police called, ringleaders rounded up, offloaded and we sailed. Next stop Capetown.
All this time we are proceeding at a steady 7knots, on a twinscrew ship. We had a deck cargo of 4 Racehorses.

To cut a long story short, when we arrived in Port Lyttleton, much,much later,we stayed tied up for 3 months whilst the engines were renewed or replaced,we all had regular jobs after 5pm.
At the time of sailing home, 8 regular Scouse firemen were flown out to steam us home via Panama. We stopped in Jamaica (similar story), and docked in Liverpool on Grand National Day 1952.

I think she was scrapped then
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  #12  
Old 18th January 2006, 20:32
benjidog benjidog is offline
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Hi Kenneth,

There is an interesting book called "Steam Ships of Europe" by Alistair Deayton (Conway Maritime Press 1988 - ISBN 0 81577 478 4 ) which has details of a fair number of ships that were either Operational or preserved at that time. I started counting and had reached 112 when I was called away for dinner - sorry! I was only about halfway through so there are probably about 200 listed.

Bit out of your way I suppose though!

Regards,
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  #13  
Old 19th January 2006, 10:25
mcglash mcglash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Morley
Can anybody tell me, the name and company of the last coal burning ship????? as an ex fireman I am very interesed Kenneth
There is a coalburning triple expansion powered ferry that sails daily on Lake Wakatipu South Island NZ( with real live stokers) Check it out here www.nzmaritime.co.nz/earnslaw.htm
Regards Mcglash

PS Not bad for 97 mind you the axe has had 8 new handles and 6 new heads in that time.

Last edited by mcglash; 19th January 2006 at 10:31..
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  #14  
Old 19th January 2006, 11:37
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Jan Hendrik Jan Hendrik is offline  
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Earnslaw

Yes fine to go to the NZ site, however, this same coalburning vessel is already dealt with on SN.

Main page -- ferries -- 2nd page -- Earnslaw -- voila

Jan
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  #15  
Old 1st July 2006, 07:23
jim jim is offline
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port Campbell in Lyttelton

I remember the Port Campbell arriving in Port Lyttelton in 1951, I was on the Port Nelson on her Maiden Voyage and we were already tied up in Lyttelton and watched with amusement as the Campbell tried to get enough steam up to bring her in to tie up on the other side of the pier from us. She had made a couple of attempts but either the firemen couldn't or wouldn't provide enough steam to get her into the harbour. We had already heard of the performance at Las Palmas and Freemantle. There was a large crowd of people on the wharf to see the beautiful new streamlined Port Nelson and when the old coal burning Campbell finally tied up the firemen firstly abused all the men,women and children on the pier and then turned their attention to us describing our crew as a Pack of F---ing Pansies and the Port Nelson as a F---ing tin opener. We sailed a couple of days later and that was the only embarassing moment I had in my time with the Port Line. Jim
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  #16  
Old 6th July 2006, 19:34
Jim S Jim S is offline   SN Supporter
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Coal Burning Ships

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth Morley
Can anybody tell me, the name and company of the last coal burning ship????? as an ex fireman I am very interesed Kenneth
I don't know the last coal burners but Elders & Fyffes must have been among the last of companies with coal burners playing a significant part in their fleet.
The 1915 built BAYANO remained with the company until early 1956- two single ended and two double ended Scotch Boilers.
The 1926 built ARIGUANI was another broken up in 1956. - These were Passenger carrying banana vessels trading at that time from Avonmouth to the West Indies. The coal consumption of ARIGUANI was around 75 tons/day.
Good steaming from Welsh coal outward bound but could be difficult homeward with coal of American origin. Once Jamaica was reached it was difficult to retain a full crew which made the calls at interim ports after Kingston such as Bowden and Port Antonio interesting to say the least.
In mitigation it could not have been much fun shovelling all that coal.
ARIGUANI's replacement the turbine steamer CAMITO of 1956 burned about 70 tons of oil/day but she was a much more powerful and faster ship. (Twice the horsepower and a good 4 - 5 knots faster.
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  #17  
Old 6th July 2006, 20:20
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John Rogers John Rogers is offline  
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I sailed on the Ariguani,Bayano,Cavina, and the Corrales,all of them ocean going coal mines.
John.
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  #18  
Old 7th July 2006, 20:48
jock paul jock paul is offline  
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Coal Burners

Hi Kenneth, not a sea going ship, but the Walter Scott on Loch Katrine is still going strong. I believe she uses "patent" fuel, but she is hand fired. When I went on her in '93 as a passenger I spent the whole trip in the engine room, to the disgust of my wife! Being in fresh water she has a "jet" condenser. The only time I've seen this system.
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  #19  
Old 7th July 2006, 21:54
Tony Breach Tony Breach is offline
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I was allowed to fire the boiler of the Swedish MARIEFRED in 1990. Admitedly she was quite a small ship on the run from Stockholm to Gripsholm but she was coal fired as was the BLIDOSUND at the same time. (The master of the MARIEFRED also allowed me to steer the ship for about an hour or so!) The MARIEFRED has since had a serious fire & been completely rebuilt but whether or not she is still in steam &/or coal fired I do not know. One of the DJURSHOLM ferries was also coal fired at that time & the EDJERN was wood fired. The GLEN USK will always be my favourite - coal fired to the end!!!

midships & steady.
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  #20  
Old 8th July 2006, 09:45
jock paul jock paul is offline  
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coal burners

Hi, must give thanks to Bruce C. for his reference to the web sight "uniflow engines". I have been looking for info on these for years and at long last have got something worthwhile, thanks again.
Jock
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  #21  
Old 8th July 2006, 13:00
Bruce Carson Bruce Carson is offline
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Jock, unfortunately, they are rather disapointing to see running, rather like diesels, as they are jacketed, with the moving parts hidden.

http://tinyurl.com/oeleg

Bruce C
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  #22  
Old 13th October 2006, 22:57
tynevale tynevale is offline  
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Mike,
Nice to speak to you again, different meeting place,
re "TSS" PORT CAMPBELL I can't remember if I told you in my speel on the 33
port voyage 1949/50 it took the old girl 17 days to cross the Western Ocean
the Proper Queen Mary passed us twice East to West and once West to East,
the next trip we arrived in St John (yes she was on a MANZ run, And the ROYAL Mail Pennant Flying) to get back to the yarn, 33 leaking tubes and torty leaking rivets in the furnaces. Bob
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  #23  
Old 13th October 2006, 23:10
tynevale tynevale is offline  
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Mike,
CampbelL again, 2 scouse firemen from TSS Mahia skinned out in
Wellington, started a window cleaning business in the city, saw the
Mahana berthed, went aboard once or twice to see the lads, got too
much one night arrived in Sydney, stowed away on the Campbell,
gave themselves up 3 days out of Fremantle. fired her to Hull, Captain
Hobson took them to court paid the fine we had a collection on the ship
which gave them £30 each, they stood by went round, to Liverpool to
see parents and family, next time I saw them was in Wellington, yes,
Cleaning Windows, those two were named Kelly and Coen, the best
Firemen I ever had on my watch.
Bob
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  #24  
Old 29th May 2008, 07:57
daibach3 daibach3 is offline  
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The TNT ships were fitted with an electric motor, driven by generators' which could be clutched in to the main drive gearbox. This was called a 'take home motor' as the ships had only one boiler and a boiler problem left them helpless. The single boiler gave them greater range than the River ships and thus allowed them to work off the bauxite trade.
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  #25  
Old 29th May 2008, 11:27
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albert.s.i albert.s.i is offline  
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as an ex fireman im surprised they can get men to shovel coal these days there must be some kind of insentive the young men these days thinks sweat is an unusual event unless there sun bathing albert.s.i
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