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as in title
Assuming that you mean how duty watches were structured, in my time (late 50s onwards) then on tankers at least the watches were 8-12, 12-4, 4-8. In the engine room (steam ships), the 8-12 watch was the 4th engineer and a junior, on the 12-4 the third engineer and a junior, and on the 4-8 the junior second engineer and a junior. In all cases there was an engine room crew, the make up of which depended upon the nationalities of the personnel -- many more with Asian and Pakistani crews, less with Europeans.

The junior second engineer was the senior watch keeper and was responsible for how the other watches performed. Above him was the senior second engineer, who was the executive head of the engineering department under the chief engineer, and he didn't keep watches.

There were also such nefarious trades as electrician, but the bean counters slowly whittled them out insisting that the senior second and third engineers could do the job perfectly well (they couldn't, but WTF!)

On the bridge, as far as I recall, the 8-12 occupied the fourth mate, the 12-4 the third mate, and the 4-8 the second mate. The chief officer didn't keep watches.

On passenger ships of course, the whole place was knee deep in officers of all shades, and I have no idea what their watch structure was or even if they had such things. (==D)
 

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Hi johnar, Art6 has given you excellent info on the engine room side of things, but it was not quite the same in the deck dept.
4 to 8 was Chief Officer, often with the 4th mate if there was one.
8 to 12 was the 3rd mate plus a cadet
12 to 4 was the 2nd mate plus a cadet
The deck crowd had the same watches, 3 ABs per watch. 1st wheel, 2nd wheel and farmer. We rotated watches every week.
This was the system on every ship I was on including tankers, but slightly different on passenger ships who had designated Quartermasters who only did steering and bridge duties. Coasters usually worked four on four off instead of four on eight off.
Regards,
Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Pat, on deck as I recall , at the start of the trip the deck crowd would sort themselves out into 3+3 in my memory experience one would be on the wheel and one on focsle lookout and remaining chap odd job/farmer,how long would any one person perform these tasks in a watch regards to you--Roger--
 

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t just wonder what trade you are seeking information on, whethee HT Deep sea, and again the class type of vessel-Passenger ship/liner/ferry/cargo-bulk/dry/tanker/general/fridge/container.
Then the deck duties and maintenance, by all departments including the Catering Department, and or white/Asiatic/African/ phillopino/Chinese crews, It is a minefield, be a bit more defined, or are you quoting British / regs/ Bombay agreements/Karachi agreements or Hong Kong articles, as well as South African or a Assie/New Zealand regs/
 

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Thank you Pat, on deck as I recall , at the start of the trip the deck crowd would sort themselves out into 3+3 in my memory experience one would be on the wheel and one on focsle lookout and remaining chap odd job/farmer,how long would any one person perform these tasks in a watch regards to you--Roger--
It went like this:
1st wheel. On the wheel for the first 2 hours with normally a ten minute break courtesy of the farmer. Then lookout for the final two hours.
2nd wheel. On lookout for the first two hours, then on the wheel for the final 2 hours with a ten minute break courtesy of the farmer.
Farmer . On standby for the first hour, then relieve 1st wheel for ten minute break. Then on standby for middle two hours, then relieve 2nd wheel for ten minute break, then on standby for the final hour, including call the next watch, usually with a mug of tea.
Standby was often hardwork, running round the ship at the behest of the officer of the watch doing stuff like turning vents, making fast Irish pennants etc
We rotated every day, so on the second day 1st wheel would become second wheel, 2nd wheel became farmer, and Farmer became 1st wheel.
Every Sunday we moved to the next watch, is 4 to 8 became 8 to 12 etc(Thumb)
 

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watches

On one coaster I sailed on watches were 5hrs on 5hrs off but only 8 to 12, so watches rotated. Chief and second in ER and Master and Mate on deck. I'm not sure how the AB's worked. Found very tiring after a few days at sea.
 

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Esso did a study as crew numbers were reducing, in the early eighties I think, reckoned 6 0n 12 0ff were best but don't know if it was ever implemented.
Reefer cargo ships with donkeyman (Yemeni for some reason but with Indian crew) 3 guys never broke nor changed watch for 8 months contract!
Dannic
 

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Spongebob
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In earlier times when NZ was serviced by a host of small steamer coasters they carried three engineers with the Chief doing the 8-12, the Second doing the 4-8 and the Third on the 12-4 .
They were all ticketed men , the Chief and Second holding British BOT exams while the Third had a NZ specific Third Steam Marine ticket which you could obtain after serving your time at a certified marine workshop and before any sea time .
Most of us completing our time at the Dockyard passed this junior ticket but the era had passed but it gave rise in my era to the tradition or the myth that the 8-12 watch carried out by the Fourth engineer was the Chiefs watch and he was at liberty to check over the engine room during this time if he so desired.

Bob
 

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Assuming that you mean how duty watches were structured, in my time (late 50s onwards) then on tankers at least the watches were 8-12, 12-4, 4-8. In the engine room (steam ships), the 8-12 watch was the 4th engineer and a junior, on the 12-4 the third engineer and a junior, and on the 4-8 the junior second engineer and a junior. In all cases there was an engine room crew, the make up of which depended upon the nationalities of the personnel -- many more with Asian and Pakistani crews, less with Europeans.

The junior second engineer was the senior watch keeper and was responsible for how the other watches performed. Above him was the senior second engineer, who was the executive head of the engineering department under the chief engineer, and he didn't keep watches.

There were also such nefarious trades as electrician, but the bean counters slowly whittled them out insisting that the senior second and third engineers could do the job perfectly well (they couldn't, but WTF!)

On the bridge, as far as I recall, the 8-12 occupied the fourth mate, the 12-4 the third mate, and the 4-8 the second mate. The chief officer didn't keep watches.

On passenger ships of course, the whole place was knee deep in officers of all shades, and I have no idea what their watch structure was or even if they had such things. (==D)
never liked watchkeeping,but when deep sea 8-12 was the one I preferred,,did the morning 8-12,and stayed up all day to 12 at night
 

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farmer

Assuming that you mean how duty watches were structured, in my time (late 50s onwards) then on tankers at least the watches were 8-12, 12-4, 4-8. In the engine room (steam ships), the 8-12 watch was the 4th engineer and a junior, on the 12-4 the third engineer and a junior, and on the 4-8 the junior second engineer and a junior. In all cases there was an engine room crew, the make up of which depended upon the nationalities of the personnel -- many more with Asian and Pakistani crews, less with Europeans.

The junior second engineer was the senior watch keeper and was responsible for how the other watches performed. Above him was the senior second engineer, who was the executive head of the engineering department under the chief engineer, and he didn't keep watches.

There were also such nefarious trades as electrician, but the bean counters slowly whittled them out insisting that the senior second and third engineers could do the job perfectly well (they couldn't, but WTF!)

On the bridge, as far as I recall, the 8-12 occupied the fourth mate, the 12-4 the third mate, and the 4-8 the second mate. The chief officer didn't keep watches.

On passenger ships of course, the whole place was knee deep in officers of all shades, and I have no idea what their watch structure was or even if they had such things. (==D)
of course the farmer was put into the deep sea watches,,,3 in watch
 

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Spongebob
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We had finished loading coal in Greymouth and were due to sail for Auckland on the evening high tide when the deeply laden collier would clear the river bar.
Early that afternoon the Second engineer had a call from his wife saying that theur young son had been knocked off his bike and was in hospital with a broken leg. Jack didn't hesitate, he just packed his bag and said hooray to the Chief before catching the last flight to Auckland leaving us short handed , no chance of a replacement , last chance to get over the bar as weather was changing and a belly full of much needed coal for the Auckland Gas Co.
The third engineer and I , the fourth , agreed to sail on six hour watches, the local Marine Department officer gave the ship dispensation and off we went gloating about the extra overtime of time and a half for the first three hours after eight hours plus one of double time .
Normally a three to four day trip the Tasman sea turned nasty as a big north westerly slowed us down to three or four knots and the pitch and roll made off watch sleep almost impossible .
We were like zombies by the time we reached North Cape but the calmer run down to Auckland enabled us to pack in at least five hours between watches .
Giving some credit to the worn out old Kaitangata, she turned me from rags to riches what with the overtime from the earlier problem with the Piss Poor Polar engines and this voyage .

Bob
 

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All,
The tramps I served my time with worked the same watch system as described. The exception being that the Farmer used to light the coal fired Galley stove each morning, and in one class of ship fill the Domestic FW water tanks.
One Captain insisted that all "Pilotage wheels" were undertaken by the Apprentices,he said that it was so that he could use them in an incident and subsequent enquiry!
Yours aye,
slick
 

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A story of a very green, first trip apprentice (me) leaving Falmouth for Dakar close to midnight Remembrance Day 1942; the Bosun mentioned I was 'farmer' on the 8-12. Not having the foggiest idea what he meant I returned to my cabin and at midnight turned in. Next morning I was met by a slightly irate Bosun saying the 12-4 watch had been pissed off because I had not made their tea before they went on watch. I did not make the same mistake the next time I found myself farmer and so one learns.

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter #15
farmer

All,
The tramps I served my time with worked the same watch system as described. The exception being that the Farmer used to light the coal fired Galley stove each morning, and in one class of ship fill the Domestic FW water tanks.
One Captain insisted that all "Pilotage wheels" were undertaken by the Apprentices,he said that it was so that he could use them in an incident and subsequent enquiry!
Yours aye,
slick
I personally looked looked forward to being on the wheel during pilotage,it was a relief from the often boring time spent on the wheel, especially at night with only the tick of the repeater and the occasional remark from the OOW watch her head helmsman---
 

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Discussion Starter #16
farmer

I personally looked looked forward to being on the wheel during pilotage,it was a relief from the often boring time spent on the wheel, especially at night with only the tick of the repeater and the occasional remark from the OOW watch her head helmsman---
does anyone know how the "odd job" man of the watch became known as the "farmer"?
"
 

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Johnar, that question has been asked many times in. SN, and has been answered with several different explanations. I am still none the wiser
As for steering while under pilotage, there was a long thread entitled pilot wheel on here in 2010, you would enjoy that if you can find it.
Regards,
Pat
 

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tramping in the early 50s second wheelman done the first hr lookout firstwheelman done the last hr lookout the farmer done the 2 middle hrs lookout regards graham
 

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Had a look in MacGibbons BOT orals, watchkeeping with 12 engineers was:
4-8 senior 2nd, 4th & 9th eng, 8-12 3rd, 5th & 7th eng, 12-4 Junior 2nd, 6th & 8th eng.
Long time ago I guess!
Dannic.
 

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Spongebob
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Rangitane in 1957 was Second, fifth and ninth engineers on the 4 to 8 , Third , sixth and tenth on 12 to 4 and fourth , seventh and eleventh engineers on 8 to 12 .
The twelfth engineer, labelled the Junior (me) did 12 to 4 when required for freezer watches but served as an extra man on the 4 to 8 second's watch at other times ,
Pretty sure that's right ,

Bob
 
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