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Firing ship's galleys

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  #1  
Old 21st May 2013, 15:36
Marcus C. Smith Marcus C. Smith is offline  
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Firing ship's galleys

COOKING FUEL ON OLD SAILING SHIPS.

A discussion in the pub the other night brought up the subject of cooking fuel on the old sailing ships. Being the only ex-mariner in-situ, the subject was addressed to me and I had to admit to a lack of knowledge (and point out that I'm not as old as they obviously thought me to be)!
I am aware of the cooking arrangements of the time and observed that the Galley stoves were fired by wood before the days of coal and oil and obviously gas and electricity.
I have read many seafaring novels of the era and have occasionally come across brief mention of victualling and ammunitioning of ships in the course of the various narratives but I do not recall mention of “bunkering” firewood for cooking, mundane as it may be! Given the length of those voyages and in the absence of shore visits to replenish supplies there must have been a large amount of cooking fuel required to maintain the galley fires and keep the crews fed.
The question begs, where was all this fuel stored? The requirement would obviously be a “dry” store protected from the elements so I imagine that a large store was integral in the cargo holds/stores but I have never seen a reference to these spaces in any old ship diagrams.
Can anybody enlighten me as to such arrangements? Would it be possible that vegetable or mineral oils were ever used to fire the stoves, since they obviously had oils to burn for lanterns etc?
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  #2  
Old 21st May 2013, 16:27
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Robert Hilton Robert Hilton is offline  
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Coal fired stoves on coal burners. Conversion to oil might include the galley stove, or leave it as a coal burner. The interesting part of this question, that I can't answer, would be which companies installed more modern stoves and when?
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  #3  
Old 21st May 2013, 16:33
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We are talking about sailing ships are we not. The one that I was on used coal.
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  #4  
Old 30th December 2013, 16:21
narra narra is offline  
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I joined Everard' Speciality in 53 as a cat/boy as she just came off the slipway.The crew told me i would have to be cook untill one joined.I tried to light stove several time's thinking it was gas, blew it up ,ship had to go back to slipway to sort galley out it was oil .end of my stint of cooking ,I was allso on a tanker the Flisvos/ex/1921/british trader/1st of 3 named British Trader; she was a coal burning galley.Cheer's Narra
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Old 30th December 2013, 17:15
Ian Beattie Ian Beattie is offline  
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A few years ago I was in the Ship museum in Amsterdam where they started re-enacting what was done on the reconstructed "Amsterdam". One of the displays was cooking and although the cooker was started with wood, coal was used as the main heating source I was informed, this was the way it was done in 1700's. But, alas I didn't think to ask where these items were stored, the other thing that was quite noticable was the size of the officers bunks which were about 4ft 6inches top to bottom and that the reason being men were very much smaller than the eqivalent guy today.

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  #6  
Old 30th December 2013, 21:43
K Morley K Morley is offline  
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Having served on the PAMIR our galley fire was coal and was burning 24/7.
The SS Raranga was 20 fires the galley coal, as trimmer it was my job to bunker the galley with clean small roundy, the cook (baker)was never happy. The good old days Ken
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  #7  
Old 1st January 2014, 00:57
john blythe john blythe is offline  
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Never used a wood burner !! But my god i used a oil burner on the Eithel Everard. First day i left for about 1hour to find a orange glowing block call a stove.It took about 4 hours to cool down . I would think that a wood burner was the same
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  #8  
Old 1st January 2014, 16:25
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I served on an old passenger ship built in 1946 and galleys were coal fired. I can remember the coal being stowed in a large bunker at Tween Deck level. Coal trucks would arrive and a gang of labour would carry it in baskets to the bunker booby hatch via a rickety wooden gangway (similar to loading bananas!) . Cant remember exact dimensions of the bunker but big enough for two apprentices to walk round in. The Mate used to send us down there regularly for stowaway searches in amongst the vermin and cockroaches.

regards
Dave
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  #9  
Old 1st January 2014, 17:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus C. Smith View Post
COOKING FUEL ON OLD SAILING SHIPS.

A discussion in the pub the other night brought up the subject of cooking fuel on the old sailing ships. Being the only ex-mariner in-situ, the subject was addressed to me and I had to admit to a lack of knowledge (and point out that I'm not as old as they obviously thought me to be)!
I am aware of the cooking arrangements of the time and observed that the Galley stoves were fired by wood before the days of coal and oil and obviously gas and electricity.
I have read many seafaring novels of the era and have occasionally come across brief mention of victualling and ammunitioning of ships in the course of the various narratives but I do not recall mention of “bunkering” firewood for cooking, mundane as it may be! Given the length of those voyages and in the absence of shore visits to replenish supplies there must have been a large amount of cooking fuel required to maintain the galley fires and keep the crews fed.
The question begs, where was all this fuel stored? The requirement would obviously be a “dry” store protected from the elements so I imagine that a large store was integral in the cargo holds/stores but I have never seen a reference to these spaces in any old ship diagrams.
Can anybody enlighten me as to such arrangements? Would it be possible that vegetable or mineral oils were ever used to fire the stoves, since they obviously had oils to burn for lanterns etc?


Vegetable or mineral was not used for burning in stoves or lantern.

The fuel for stoves would be coal and/or wood.

LAWHILL Bult 1892 four-masted barque. Coal bunker in the deck in the midship's house. Fuel for the Donkey Boiler and for the galley.

HM Ship BLANDFORD 20 guns built c. 1720. The galley was in the forward of the ship and situated in the lower hold. Below the galley with the galley stove was space used for both sail room and coal store.

This information from plans and elevations. In early ships the galley was usually in the lower hold as I mention on BLANDFORD. In later years the galley was moved higher in the upper tween decks and coal and wood usually stored in the lower hold.


Light was from candle in safety lamps.... used candle wax. Probably some whale oil could be used.... but not on a ship full of gun powder!

For sure later ships.. like LAWHILL probably has paraffin lamps.

Sorry can't any much else be of other else!

Stephen
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  #10  
Old 1st January 2014, 19:55
borderreiver borderreiver is offline  
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All the old boarder boats had oil fires stoves for all three galleys. (Euopeing ,engine,and deck) it was the junior engine job to light them but passed to the donkey man.only problem was leaky joints.
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  #11  
Old 2nd January 2014, 09:08
price price is offline  
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When I sailed with Everards, we normally topped up the galley bunker from deck sweepings after frequent cargos of coal. It was normally the 0300-0800 ABs duty to light the galley stove. Bruce.
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  #12  
Old 16th March 2014, 16:21
Forbes1922 Forbes1922 is offline  
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coal galley

Sailed on m v longfellow 1960 had a coal bunker in the galley.also sailed on s.s.sandhoe 1961 with coal galley and lastly sailedon british trust 1966 that had OIl fired galley Tanker.when in isle of grain had to use kitchens (electric)at the endof the jetty. Forbes1922
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  #13  
Old 16th March 2014, 18:32
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Paraffin soaked waste-wood- coal, get the kettle on in that order
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  #14  
Old 16th March 2014, 21:22
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The galley stove on the Firth Fisher was an oil fired monster. It was the job of the 4 to 8 2nd wheelman, to call the cook at 05.30, and to fire up the stove. What a nightmare! It would,as often as not, flashback and remove your eyebrows. even the cook was scared of it.
Pat
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  #15  
Old 16th March 2014, 21:56
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Obviously not a sailing ship but the Liberty ship Jeremiah O'Brien galley stove burns coal. Attached:

JOB-20060930-IMG_0604.jpg (120.3 KB)
JOB-20060930-IMG_0605.jpg (116.5 KB)

I took these two pictures September 30, 2006. The 50 pound thick plastic coal bags are kept in a wooden outdoor enclosure aft of the mid-ship house on the deck above the galley.

Greg Hayden
Attached Images
File Type: jpg JOB-20060930-IMG_0604.jpg (120.3 KB, 133 views)
File Type: jpg JOB-20060930-IMG_0605.jpg (116.5 KB, 71 views)
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  #16  
Old 3rd October 2014, 09:37
Egil Margido Aasheim Egil Margido Aasheim is offline  
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I served as a galley boy on Norwegian steamer in 1956-1958 it was called Løvland deadweight 0f 3600 tons we have oil burner and i was up at 5:00 in the morning and lighted it up never had any problem. But remembered when we had a new cook on board and taught him how to do it, but what happened it exploded, ashes all over the deck which was newly painted and the bosun was very angry but when he saw the two negros in the galley, he had to laugh becauce the galley, the cook and the galleyboy was black. The cook never tried to lit the oil burner again. 7

Last edited by Egil Margido Aasheim; 3rd October 2014 at 10:21..
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  #17  
Old 3rd October 2014, 18:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egil Margido Aasheim View Post
I served as a galley boy on Norwegian steamer in 1956-1958 it was called Løvland deadweight 0f 3600 tons we have oil burner and i was up at 5:00 in the morning and lighted it up never had any problem. But remembered when we had a new cook on board and taught him how to do it, but what happened it exploded, ashes all over the deck which was newly painted and the bosun was very angry but when he saw the two negros in the galley, he had to laugh becauce the galley, the cook and the galleyboy was black. The cook never tried to lit the oil burner again. 7
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  #18  
Old 4th October 2014, 00:40
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good day k morley.m.31 dec.2013.06:43.#6.re:firing ships galleys.i note you were on the pamir.did you ever meet fred paulin.ship's carpenter.?thanks in advanced.regards ben27
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  #19  
Old 28th January 2016, 20:00
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I was ships cook on the Everard"s Ability in 72 and the oilfired stove was a T--t to light, get up at 4am to light it and hope it stayed lit and cleaning it was a nightmare throw a ten ton shackel down the chimeny and then lift the plates off and those beasts weighed in at two stone apiece and there where four of them, clean all the soot and crap up then that was it for another week, just another day in the cooks lot.
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Old 29th January 2016, 02:12
K Morley K Morley is offline  
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Hi Ben 27.
No I never met Fred Paulin,he was on voyage 9 Wellington/Sydney 1946/47.
I was 1944/45. voyage 5. after that the next 20 years sailing under 6 different flags.
Great to hear from you, Ken
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  #21  
Old 29th January 2016, 03:09
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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First ship I was on was a wartime built "Ocean " class which was a coal burner.
The galley stove was coal fired and the on watch trimmer made sure the coal bunker was topped up.
When on night watchman duty I was respponsible for keeping it stoked up and would get extra supper if the stove was glowing when the cook turned to in the morning.
When at sea the "farmer" kept the fires going during the night watches.
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  #22  
Old 29th January 2016, 04:11
willhastie willhastie is offline  
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Hms Barnstone 1966 although a coal burner the galley stove was diesel.the fuel tank was on the funnel deck and gravity fed to the stove.in the stove was a steel dish were the diesel dripped onto and after many attempts it would light,
then shut the doors and start the fan.Daft things we remember.
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  #23  
Old 29th January 2016, 11:43
canadian canadian is offline  
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[QUOTE=Seaspread;1842514]I was ships cook on the Everard"s Ability in 72 and the oilfired stove was a T--t to light, get up at 4am to light it and hope it stayed lit and cleaning it was a nightmare throw a ten ton shackel down the chimeny and then lift the plates off and those beasts weighed in at two stone apiece and there where four of them, clean all the soot and crap up then that was it for another week, just another day in the cooks lot.[/QUOTE

That brings back memories I was on the Speciality Oct 1961 the stove ignited flames went through the skylight to the boat deck consequently setting fire to the lifeboat which was a right off, the barley sugar was nice.
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Old 29th January 2016, 12:24
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All,
Most of Hain's older ships Galleys were Coal fired.
The Farmer's task at sea and the Nightwatchmans in port, favoured starting material Cotton waste soaked in ER oil washings.
Some mornings a veritable ***** others like the fore of London!!


Yours aye,

slick
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  #25  
Old 29th January 2016, 19:03
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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If I remember correctly the skin boat Tilapa had a coal burning galley and we topped up with coal in Kingston on a Sunday morning,all the coasters I sailed on we're coal fired galleys .
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