'afternoon Bill. 'William' sounds far too 'formal'!Hello Graham, I always thought it was the Kumba that was towed in from the Atlantic in 1966. The reason I think this, I was in a pub in Tillbury and the CE of the Kumba came in, we had sailed together, on our previous trip,on another K boat, he said to me, " for all your faults I would have you back, so just say the word and I'll get transferred to my ship the Kumba", he said this to me with his own 2E, who I would have replaced,sitting beside him and able to hear every word. I declined and sailed on the Kentung. Somehow the Master of the Kentung knew of this conversation and near the end of my trip on the Kentung, told me I was lucky I had not switched ship because the Kumba was under tow in the Atlantic. The cause of the breakdown being a main engine lub oil pipe had sheared off.
Nothing to do with the 'undoubted talents' of the engineers, of course but the Ks seemed to be notorious for engine problems. How come, Derek? Poor design, cutting cost on production, amateurs used during 'putting together'? It is, surely, too much of a coincidence that they ALL had 'problems', be it that they may not, necessarily, have been the same in each instance. What was your 'reaction' on being informed you were joining one? Oh! K? Deary me! Not OK, fine by me! It's a wonder there was never an mv Kaput.It seems that a few of them must have been towed out of trouble at one time or another. The Deido, on her maiden voyage southbound, towed the Katha into Lisbon.
I received £60 from the salvage award, about a month's wages at the time.
Coughlan was OM and Charlie Woodward C/O.
Thank you, William, for the informative and not 'unsurprising' summary of the root cause of K boat engine notoriety.In about the 1940's when Hendersons changed from steam to diesel they chose 3 cyl Doxford engines, while manoeuvring with these engines, if an attempt was made to start the engine before it came to a complete stop, it could go the wrong way. In the early 50's they started building ships with outdated 4 stoke engines, these engines had an open scavage space and were a nightmare to operate and maintain, I sailed on two such K boats. However I think the main reason for frequent breakdowns, not all requiring a tow, was the penny pinching attitude
Of the owners.
A keen, clean, lean, mean, wezubeen, Oh! 'K' machine? Sorry, Derek, hadn't realized we were on the subject of personal pistons.Graham, it was comparatively clean!
EDs acquired the K boats because (a) they were economical and (b) they were very big carriers at lightish draughts, ideal for creeks cargo.
Yes, Derek, maybe a high percentage of same but I can't help 'suspecting' that your side's supers, when deciding 'who goes where and on what', would be sorely tempted to put the 'known to be better ones' on the Ks where their expertise was far more likely to be called upon.Don't worry Graham, their seagoing engineering staff were perfectly capable of coping with them.
Hi Bill. Yes the Perang and Patani were the 'mongrels' of the fleet in my day. However, having said that, I did umpteen voyages on the Donga which, though not exactly a K boat, was commissioned by and for PH rather than EDs. We never once had engine trouble in all my time on her.Yes Graham paddy's ships were hard work, but don't forget EDs built some "lemons", the Perang and Patani spring to mind. I was an ED man but sailed mainly on Henderson ships, though I did two trips on the Patani.
'morning Derek. I had to read your ultimate sentence/paragraph TWICE to make sure I hadn't 'misread'. Not used to being paid compliments on 'it', as my logic is t'ic according to logistics.(==D)Yes, Derek, maybe a high percentage of same but I can't help 'suspecting' that your side's supers, when deciding 'who goes where and on what', would be sorely tempted to put the 'known to be better ones' on the Ks where their expertise was far more likely to be called upon.
I'm not at all sure that they shared your admirable logic!