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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just uploaded a photo that I found in my " archives" to the Gallery. Its of Kuwait Oil Tanker Co's " Al Andalus",taken up the Gulf, which Auke Visser's splendid website tells me was 362,946 dwt and built 1975 by Astano at El Ferrol, but scrapped in 1985.Are any SN readers familiar with her?
As an old steamship engineer I'm interested that she was a twin-screw steamship and therefore must have had a pretty impressive engine room. Can anyone answer the following for me-
- did she have any sisterships or was she a one-off?
- if a one-off, would that make her the biggest ship ever built in Spain?
- was she an economy build, or state-of -the-art for her time?
- was she scrapped so early purely because of operating costs, or did she have other problems?
I would be interested to hear comments and recollections on what was one of the largest vessels I ever saw while at sea.
 

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Don Walker. 3rd Engineer. Common Bros. Newcastle.

In the early 70s Common Bros. Managed VLCC Tankers for KOTCo S.T. AL. Sabbiyah. S.T. Arabiyah. S.T. Alfuntas. S.T. AL Badiah Which I sailed on her last voyage before being handed back to KOTCo. Late 1973.

These ships were all sister ships of around 230 ooo Tonnes. I remember being approached by KOTCo. To join their fleet. Some engineers did make the move and it all appeared amicable with Common Bros.The S.T Kazimah. and S.T. WARBAH which I sailed on remained a bit longer. Sorry to say I have no recollection of AL.Andalus however I suspect it was a one off, but it does look fabulous ,especially loaded and under full steam. Love it.
 

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Santa María

Santa Maria tanker, along with her twin Al Alandalus were a little larger than the previous ones of Arteaga class ship that had raised great expectations during its launching because the Japanese made their big oil in dry docks to avoid moments bending during launching, to such an extent caused expectation managers Japanese shipyards were present to see how the ship broke to slide along the sloping stand, which did not happen, but large waves produced when entering the water caused minor damage in the next and wettings banks among the many spectators who came to witness the launchings of these masses of steel.

More information in link: http://tecnologia-maritima.blogspot.com/2014/11/el-superpetrolero-santa-maria.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Santa Maria tanker, along with her twin Al Alandalus were a little larger than the previous ones of Arteaga class ship that had raised great expectations during its launching because the Japanese made their big oil in dry docks to avoid moments bending during launching, to such an extent caused expectation managers Japanese shipyards were present to see how the ship broke to slide along the sloping stand, which did not happen, but large waves produced when entering the water caused minor damage in the next and wettings banks among the many spectators who came to witness the launchings of these masses of steel.

More information in link: http://tecnologia-maritima.blogspot.com/2014/11/el-superpetrolero-santa-maria.html
Thanks for that - it's a pity I can't read Spanish. I am awestruck that a ship that big would be launched from a slipway. I saw the Texaco Great Britain slip-launched on the Tyne - she was 252,000dwt and I thought that was about the practical size limit.
 

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Al Andulos was laid up/abandoned for many years off Mina Al Ahmadi. The big problem she had was that the cargo valve spindles were chrome plated, but the chrome flaked off and the spindle seals were being constantly shredded. Cheaper to scrap her then repair her.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Al Andulos was laid up/abandoned for many years off Mina Al Ahmadi. The big problem she had was that the cargo valve spindles were chrome plated, but the chrome flaked off and the spindle seals were being constantly shredded. Cheaper to scrap her then repair her.
Sir, you seem to know this vessel well. Did you ever go onboard?
 

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Long time since I was addressed as sir!
No, I never managed to set foot on board Al Andulus. During my time with KOTC the ship was maned by a handful of Philipineo's I believe. Sailed on all the other steamers with Kuwaiti, British and American flags. During this time I met a quite a few people who had sailed on her or were supers. Her Ex Chief Engineers spoke highly of her, they liked the twin turbines I think.

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have been trying to find confirmation that Al Andalus was actually the largest vessel that has ever been launched in one piece from an inclined building slip. I can't find an authoritative confirmation, but every thing I have turned up seems to point to this conclusion.Her sister ship La Santa Maria had a very slightly smaller deadweight tonnage as launched.
So, unless someone tells me otherwise, I'm going to claim that I saw the largest ever slipway-launched vessel ....which would make it a highlight of my 50plus years of "shipspotting"!(Thumb)
 
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