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Well rinsed skidies to prevent. Whifields ointment to cure. Tinea Cruris should avoid the censor (Latin for Crutch Rot - don't know if that will)!
 

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Every so offten someone request a dumping of ashes at sea. After one result much like those above our cutomer sevice manager with the help of one of our chiefs. came up with a special fit for purpose rig. A lenth of white PVC sewer pipe tide to the rail we call it the s!"/ pipe of death.
 

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My first ship -HMS Lowestoft was steam. I started off "punching" burners on the starboard boiler.(Stoker) Did many a steam ship whilst in the Merch. Some as old as 30 years old! Stinking hot down below. Also, as a crew member, we did 8 hours down below not 4 like the engineers ( watchkeeping) The steam supertankers were the best, as they had good ventilation systems -compared to the older tankers. Old or young, Big or Small steam ships were hard graft down below for everyone!
 

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What engineers did on watch on steam ships

I was on the British Honour in 1969 ? as an apprentice then made up to acting junior during our 6 month trip.
The time I will always remember was the daily soot blowing, the port boiler was the 8-12 responsibility and the starboard boiler 12-4.
It took ten minutes to get kitted up with gloves, sweat rags, at least 2 wheel keys and always a shifting spanner (just in case) ! This was always done in the cool of the 100oF engine room. Then you entered the boiler room where the temperature rose by about 30oF on the boiler flat and increased steadily the higher up you went towards the steam drum and beyond.
Everthing on that ship was done manually, no sitting in a control room and pressing buttons !
The two main isolating valves sat on top of the steam drum and had to be opened to supply the soot blowers and closed when finished.
Then you ran the soot blowers into the furnace and opened other steam valves to blow out the soot. This also had to be carried out for the soot blowers in the furnace roof and the superheaters. The escape route out when you had finished was at the top of the boiler room where a door exited onto the deck behind the funnel.
The whole operation took about 20-30 minutes and by the time you had escaped you were in no fit state to do much more.
My final escape was going on the 4-8 watch but thats another story.
I could go on writing a lot more about what went on, but I'll wait for some replies to this and see what interest there is.

Acting Junior
 

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I was on the British Honour in 1969 ? as an apprentice then made up to acting junior during our 6 month trip.
The time I will always remember was the daily soot blowing, the port boiler was the 8-12 responsibility and the starboard boiler 12-4.
It took ten minutes to get kitted up with gloves, sweat rags, at least 2 wheel keys and always a shifting spanner (just in case) ! This was always done in the cool of the 100oF engine room. Then you entered the boiler room where the temperature rose by about 30oF on the boiler flat and increased steadily the higher up you went towards the steam drum and beyond.
Everthing on that ship was done manually, no sitting in a control room and pressing buttons !
The two main isolating valves sat on top of the steam drum and had to be opened to supply the soot blowers and closed when finished.
Then you ran the soot blowers into the furnace and opened other steam valves to blow out the soot. This also had to be carried out for the soot blowers in the furnace roof and the superheaters. The escape route out when you had finished was at the top of the boiler room where a door exited onto the deck behind the funnel.
The whole operation took about 20-30 minutes and by the time you had escaped you were in no fit state to do much more.
My final escape was going on the 4-8 watch but thats another story.
I could go on writing a lot more about what went on, but I'll wait for some replies to this and see what interest there is.

Acting Junior
Great account.

Please, sir, more?
 

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I was on the British Honour in 1969 ? as an apprentice then made up to acting junior during our 6 month trip.
The time I will always remember was the daily soot blowing, the port boiler was the 8-12 responsibility and the starboard boiler 12-4.
It took ten minutes to get kitted up with gloves, sweat rags, at least 2 wheel keys and always a shifting spanner (just in case) ! This was always done in the cool of the 100oF engine room. Then you entered the boiler room where the temperature rose by about 30oF on the boiler flat and increased steadily the higher up you went towards the steam drum and beyond.
Everthing on that ship was done manually, no sitting in a control room and pressing buttons !
The two main isolating valves sat on top of the steam drum and had to be opened to supply the soot blowers and closed when finished.
Then you ran the soot blowers into the furnace and opened other steam valves to blow out the soot. This also had to be carried out for the soot blowers in the furnace roof and the superheaters. The escape route out when you had finished was at the top of the boiler room where a door exited onto the deck behind the funnel.
The whole operation took about 20-30 minutes and by the time you had escaped you were in no fit state to do much more.
My final escape was going on the 4-8 watch but thats another story.
I could go on writing a lot more about what went on, but I'll wait for some replies to this and see what interest there is.

Acting Junior
That is all so very familiar! My first ship was the tanker Stanvac Horizon, operating around the Indian ocean. The sootblowers were all operated by chains that had to be pulled round to rotate the tubes, and there were (it seemed then) a hell of a lot of them. The space behind the boilers to the bulkhead was about ten feet from memory, and Boy, did it get hot there! The sootblower chains would burn your hand if you touched them with bare skin, and gloves were not plentiful, so we had to pull the chains with our hands protected with rags.

We had a Pakistani crew, and strangely, they simply couldn't take the heat. By the time the sootblowing was done they would all have dropped out and left it to the white man, who by then would be completely cream crackered and half a stone lighter!
 

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Looking back at Steam I wonder how many Engineer's like myself went to sea on a Triple Expansion with or without an LP Turbine are still around and on this Site. Might be a few job's coming up in China!!
 
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Looking back at Steam I wonder how many Engineer's like myself went to sea on a Triple Expansion with or without an LP Turbine are still around and on this Site. Might be a few job's coming up in China!!
I sailed on two, neither having LP turbines (or much else for that matter!).
 

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I crewed on a steam up and down tug and a moved a few MSC triple expansion engine ships around the Port of Bayonne. I never left the port area, the very first bell on the laid up ship was a fifty fifty chance of going in the wrong direction.

Joe
 

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Not an engineer but sailed on a triple expansion job which I found fascinating.
We could only make around 9 knots and in anything over a force 8 went backwards.
Underpowered was an understatement!
 

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I sailed with the Ben Line in the early sixties as a cadet on the Benattow and suffered with *****ly heat. There was a brand called Asepso soap carried in the ship's stores which contained mercury that did the trick. I don't suppose it is allowed nowadays as 'Elf and safety would have banned it. The Chief Engineers bathroom had an iced water tap and that was being used constantly, filling enamel pitchers to wash down the salt tablets
 

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Thanks to Eric (Tunatownshipwreck) and Art6 for commenting on the post. I'll try to get my memory to work and expand on life in a steam turbine engine room in a later post.
 

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Thanks to Eric (Tunatownshipwreck) and Art6 for commenting on the post. I'll try to get my memory to work and expand on life in a steam turbine engine room in a later post.
From one apprentice/acting junior (SS Persic. Shaw Savill 1960-61) to another, congratulations, a good account. It brought back memories, just what Ships Nostalgia is for.
Your memory does need jogging a little however, the air pre-heaters seem to have been missed. Very important on Persic, which was fitted with Ljungstrom rotary drums. All the furnace and superheater blowing made the plates very dirty, so the final blow needed to be a good blast up the Ljungstrom. The Senior would look at the manometers to check the pressure drop across the drum, and order you to repeat if you had not done a good job the first time.
And you forgot to mention the smell of the sulphur dioxide, which became stronger the higher you went. Just the slightest wiff of rotten eggs these days takes me straight back to Persic.
I look forward to hearing of your promotion from the boiler room to the engine room.
 

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Steam Ship watch keeping and running maintenance

Brian, I sailed on 2 oil-fired steam turbine driven passenger ships one built in 48 the other in 56 and one steam turbine driven general cargo ship also built in 56. The engineroom manning and duties were different depending on whether it was passenger or cargo, how many boilers were steaming and whether the auxiliaries were steam driven turbo-generators or diesel engines. In my experience the main engines hardly ever if at all gave cause for concern so for the purpose of answering your question we can leave them to one side. The steam ships I experienced all had electric winches and windlasses so no deck steam lines and also electro/hydraulic steering gear so no problems of a steam nature back there. All the ER work revolved around maintaining steam glands, heat exchangers, condensers and most importantly keeping the main boilers on-line, steaming efficiently with plentiful supplies of double distilled water.
 

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Brian gingerbeers on steam ships I have sserved on a number of them, proper ones 3 leg triple expansion some with slide valves and others with poppet valves, the poppet valves were the 'modern ones' one job was to keep the piston guides lubricated with a mixture of oil and water then you stick your hand in to the crankshaft to feel if the bearings were overheating and that the lub oil was getting thro' then up to the crossbeams to oil them with an hand held oiler which was held with with 3 fingers around the oilcan bowl in case the can got caught it slipped out of you hand and you kept your fingers, you also listened for knocks on the big end bearings and if there was you had to arrange to drop it and reshim to the proper clearance, as these were single handed watches apart from the fireman you also had to polish all the brass and copper pipes and steel clean the floorplates, I also served on twin screw so what you did on single screw you doubled up on twin screw,also on the twin screw we had a pressurised boiler room which you had to access thro' an airlock otherwise there was a blowback from the fires. hope this helps. Ian
 

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After you have served on Triple Expansion's it does not matter how many diesel job's you serve on afterward's the smell of a steam engineroom was alway's and still is a "Bisto" moment.
 

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Ozzie Engineer

My first ship was a "3 Legger" SS Timbarra, North East Marine, you know the one, LP between the HP and IP cylinders. 3 Scotch boilers each one showing different coloured water in the gauge glasses [don't ask! no amount of blowdown ever changed this] She was a hand fired coal burner
I reported for duty at 1400 hours on Christmas Eve, ink still wet on my Part A Seconds and found myself on watch with the Second at 1600 hrs to take her out of Newcastle, NSW, at 1700.
First duty was separate two drunken fireman who decided to take to each other with shovels, lee shore, steam pressure falling!
Second duty was to give the governor on the generator a nudge with a hammer conveniently hanging on a chain from the stop valve. This was a regular watchkeeping duty and the warning that this was necessary was that it was becoming difficult to read the logbook or pressure gauges.
I had come out of the Railway Workshops in a regional country town in Queensland to this which started as a nightmare and turned into a long and satisfying career.
I will certainly never forget my first ship.
PS the ship's crew were on strike when I signed on because some one had stolen all the Christmas Turkeys from the cold room. This was quickly resolved by the Chief Steward going up to local supermarket and clearing their entire stock!
malivoij
 

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Yes Geordie Chief, the smell and the relative silence compared with a motor ship's oil stink and loud clatter was magic .
I never sailed long voyages on Steam ships but had many excursions on the NZ Navy's Loch Class Frigates, the Bathurst class Mine Sweepers and the little Bird class sweepers Kiwi and Tui, the latter becoming a fleet auxiliary under the command of our SN member Alan Wareing.
Perhaps the biggest shock then was joining RMS Rangitane with its twin six cylinder Doxfords and discovering the difference!

Bob
 

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I know exactly what you mean Bob, I came off Hogarth's "Baron Ardrossan" (the steam version!) and on to R.S. "Queen City" (aka the thistlebond queen) a 4legged Doxford. Regard's.
 

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I was AB at the time on the SS Vienna, at troopship from Harwich to the Hook of Holland. The ship had been in layup for six weeks for general maintenance, repairs and boiler survey.
On the first trip back in service, we arrived on board for sailing at 2300hrs, only to be told sailing had been cancelled.
The Junior engineer and donkey man who were responsible for preparing the boilers and engines ready for sailing had been killed, actually boiled alive due to the nuts on the stay tubes giving way. Army medics got them from the stokehold where they died and laid them in our messroom waiting for a doctor to certify them dead before moving the bodies ashore. For a long time afterwards it was an eerie feeling going into the messroom.
Maybe one of our engineer members will be kind enough to explain exactly the function of stay tubes.

Regards Robert
Vienna on old postcard
 
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