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Some ships I sailed on were 20+ years old, some were on their maiden voyage but there was only one ship that from the day of signing on all I wanted to do was get off. It was London Clipper, under 2 years old but in the 3 months on board we had incident after incident. on day 1 a generator siezed a main bearing and had to be pulled entirely apart for a new crank and bedplate. sailing 2 days later into a winter storm we were rolled over enough to lose oil suction and main and generators shut down leaving us blacked out rolling wildly and drifting on shore. the only time ever at sea when i was hurled out of my bunk by violent rolling.
other events were cracked cylinder liners due to filling fuel double bottoms with ballas****er as ship was so unstable it would loll about 8 deg if any tank was slack, engine room fire during bunkering due to sounding pipe being adjacent to generator exhaust. failures of various system pumps. loss of one cargo due to refridge plant failure. this due strum boxes filling with river weed due to loss of intake water screens because shipyard fitted mild steel not stainless bolts. ridiculously poor control/ums equipment and design. loads of small incidents due to poor construction. company policy to drive ship at speed to meet deadlines irrespsctive of weather so running up through the atlantic in mid winter gales at 21 kts and engine ripping its guts out every time the prop came out the water.
arrived in bremerhaven 3 months one day after signing on. was on the next available flight home along with 75% of the crew.
Ironically I later worked in the consultancy headed up by the man who had designed that series of ships and each was as bad as the other.
 

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Lepeta
 

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Joined the Insistence in 1988, if my memory serves. Had a minor collision with a Danish container ship off of Colchester within hours of joining, The after peak had a crack in the tank top, so if topped up to much flooded my Cabin, Impounded in Antwerp ( I think ) as the ship was not fit to sail. The flood water in My cabin Froze as the generator gave up. Takeaways only as we had no stores. We sailed anyway. As soon as we hit the UK I was off.
 

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The Peter M, one of Metcalfe's motor coasters. A complete sh*thole of a ship.
 

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Did anyone else find that some of the harder-working ships had the best social life? Don't know if it is the work-hard, play-hard ethic, but people always seemed more determined to enjoy themselves on tougher ships.

One of the less enjoyable engine rooms I spent time in had Pielstick engines, which I hated, but I stayed for 7 trips as we had such a good time on board.
 

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Did anyone else find that some of the harder-working ships had the best social life? Don't know if it is the work-hard, play-hard ethic, but people always seemed more determined to enjoy themselves on tougher ships.

One of the less enjoyable engine rooms I spent time in had Pielstick engines, which I hated, but I stayed for 7 trips as we had such a good time on board.
Absolutely true - the hard working ships you were too busy fighting the job to fight each other. (in saying that I do remember when things just got a wee bit too bad on one vessel and it erupted in an eight man brawl - lots of shiners and bloody noses at the party in the bar that night - which says a lot in itself)

On a good ship the devil did indeed make work for idle hands.
 

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Argo Clyde (ex Silver Clyde, the Denholm fraternity will recall her as the Binsnes) Definitely, along with her sister the Argo Tweed (ex Silver Tweed, ex Baknes) in a league of their own. Ughhhhh
 

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commodore

br. commodore,joined nov.70.glad to see falmouth dry dock ,march 71.[canny christmas on board though].home a few days .then join br.centaur in belfast.h.w. talk about out of the frying pan into the fire.
 

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Llanberis of cardiff, bullying for 14 months on end Captain was on his ivory tower didn't have a clue as to what was going on on his ship, even the old mate was subjected to it
 

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Two would have my votes and I would not be able to say which would win the prize so it would be a dead heat
Baron Kinnaird
Celtic Monarch.
Miserable experiences that will never be forgotten
 

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RESTORMEL, took 28 days to cross the Atlantic from London to Newport News. Dangerous coming back with a metacentric height of less than 1". The engineers had to play with ballast continually to keep her stable. That was having to live with there cabins flooded all the way out.
 

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British Unity 1972
Strange that Stewart, I did a couple of back to back trips on there in 73/74, and found it not unreasonable.
How about BP's Eyties?
Comet attempted to sink in The Bay, sent out SOS, first ship that came to stand by us blew up. All this detailed in previous threads.
Do not believe any of that class were any good, and am sure others would have worse tails to tell.
(Cloud)
 

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The coaster MV Roy............. Death trap, or to put it another way a training simulator for ship board disasters. I learned a lot that trip........The only good thing were the crew. Cape Verde Islanders. I have the greatest respect for a few of these folk to this day. Born seamen, gentlemen and people to trust with your life ...just as well that year,we needed it ..As the Dutch Captain said, I hate the British !!!! I was the only Brit on board but he was referring to the unscrupulous owners and their panamanian rust bucket. Did not look back and in 37 years of signing on its the only one I walked off without the normal formalities.
 

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SS Nurtureton!! Chapman's!!!

Sailed for the West Indies with coal in the 50's. We were frequently hove to, mid ocean, with all sorts of problems and took a long time to sight land.
Eventually arrived, discharged cargo then set sail for San Domingo to load sugar.
Had to wash out the holds at sea (polution?), they had to be spotless as the sugar was unloaded from individual sacks into the holds then trimmed.
Did so much soogie on deck it was a wonder there was any paint left, (the bosun was a bas*ard).
The worst part came half way home when we ran out of food.
There were half cooked Haricot beans on toast for most meals, the bread was made from a mix of flour from one good barrel and one sour barrel full of weevils! We were also full of rats and big Bombay Charlies!
To top it off the chippie somehow got sea water in the fresh tank!!
Fortunately, we had brought aboard copious quantities of fresh fruit, coconuts, bananas and so on, which we shared out. (Never ate another banana for at least 20 years!)
The crowd were close to mutiny. Then one day an AB coming off the 12-4 said he could smell ham! He woke up those asleep and we all tracked the aroma to the Bosun's cabin and there was the bas*ard with a huge open tin of Olida Ham!
Won't tell what happened to him, but we all had a share of the ham, only problem was it was so salty (our taste buds were stuffed), that we were very thirsty, but the water was salty too!
There were suspicions that the PO's had sold the majority of our stores but there was no proof of this.
Eventually, we arrived in the Thames Estuary whereupon the deck crew refused to turn to. The captain, who the older crew members said had to be in on the missing stores mystery, threatened to charge us with mutiny and read out the relevant section of our articles.
We proceeded up river and were met by a tug with fresh stores. I can still remember the smell of the fresh baked bread to this day. We had gallons of orange juice and even though we were told not to gorge ourselves most of us were sick and had severe belly ache!
We docked and someone had contacted the Seaman's Union. There was a fair amount of shouting and posturing on both, sides even from me a lowly EDH trying to be grown up, sticking his chest out!!
We refused to leave the ship until the matter was sorted out and the older crew said that this would not be regarded as mutiny.
Subsequently the Union boss said he had agreed with Chapmans a 'take it or leave it deal' which amounted to less than fourpence a day extra pay for every day we were without food. (I think it was three and a half pence from memory).
My pay-slip shows that I didn't get this money, so what sort of deal did the Union do??
On going ashore I met an older second cousin of mine. She said she was married to the chief steward, who, it was said, had a big hand in flogging off the stores!
I have thought of this trip many times over the years and will never forget it and now that I have joined SN maybe there is some old codger out there who reads this and can add to the story of the 'Nurtureton' on that trip so many years ago.

Taffy R556959
 

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cubpilot - Howard....

I'm dragging a few brain cells out of retirement here so maybe I am going to be just totally wrong but was'nt the London Clipper originally built for Zim Lines? If I'm on the right thread here I seem to remember she was set up as an Israel Navy Auxilliary ship and had a larger engine than she was originally designed for squeezed in. Also the mast houses were re-inforced and had all sorts of "sealed" government equipment in them so, with the cranes/derricks removed they could be converted to gun platforms. If I have this right it could certainly explain some of the stability issues......
 

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John re--entry 17
Was that before the problemswith the scraper rings?After that we had huge problems with gudgeon bearings and the stress relief process on the gudgeon oilholechamfers.
Did 3 trips on Luminetta and 1 each on Luminous and Lustrous.Good ships and relatively happy but the work was pretty fullon.Will never live long enough to forget the purifier flat.

After the tankers served for a wee whileon the ACL small vessels (hand made by farmers in Korea). Thought I was on the goodend of Pielsticks then ( Nippon Kokan).They made a few good and thoughful mods but we were again let down by the design engineers changing the piston cooling system. The pistons would look OK until turned upside down when on overhaul. They tended to split across the top end bearing and fall into 3 bits. Start of another replacement programme over the next 18 months as new pistons sourced from somewhere else .Did not really care as we all knew down time was minimal and we had to get the work done. Good thing was regular crew changes with back to back mates so you knew what was coming. After that though I gave Pielsticks a wide berth for quite some time.

Rgds
Uisdean
 
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