Can't Set Sail

A place to exchanges questions and ideas of a technical / procedural nature. Go ahead, try to stomp us !
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Merlyn
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby Merlyn » Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:31 am

Might be a job then out there in your neck of the woods for me and my bearing scraper? No US metallic packing though ? The only thing that stops my application going in is the fact that I have never seen that much Ice outside of a glass. Looks scary looking at the photos.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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Merlyn
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All Hands To The Pumps

Postby Merlyn » Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:35 am

Talking about the paddlers is for me like having a gallon of Plus Gas in a blue can poured over my head, it's freed off old memories stored within my pea sized brain. One incident involved a laid up alongside for the winter refit paddler, ship rights, plumbers, electricians, labourers and us all doing our bit as well as other outside ship overhauls. Senior Royalty was to attend a battleship in our big harbour for some reason and this was widely reported in the local press etc. Now a fancy admirals launch from this ship was to bring whoever it was back into the inner harbour right opposite where the paddler lay. Management decreed that as this was a Saturday many people would attend and that the best view would be from the paddler. I had the oportunity for a bit of overtime to go on the gangplank and collect with other apprentices the money required to board the ship. The weekend wound around and indeed several hundred people boarded the ship having gladly been offered a closeup of whoever it was. ( can't remember) Down the harbour came the royal barge jobby and from the bars and restaurants rushed all the people to the port side. As the launch came into view and lashed alongside hundreds of people were on the rails and leaning over. Some time went by when someone noticed the end of the gangplank was raised about a foot above the quay. This was put down to the fact that everyone was on one side of the ship. Further time went by and the gap increased by about another foot. Somebody went down below and it was reported that the ship was sinking! Water was pouring into the engineroom. Myself and another apprentice rushed down below to be confronted with a solid wall of water about a foot diameter ejecting into the engineroom. Closer examination revealed the problem, the condenser discharge valve had been stripped from the ships side and taken back to the workshops for machining and lapping in. Now this discharge was normally two feet approx above the waterline but several hundred people's weight had pushed it under and by now was creating a major problem. Mattresses were lowered over the side, attempts to create collision patches were made, the firms divers called out and we had to go back to the workshops and get all the firms fire pumps. Always remember they were Coventry Climax red pumps, old things and some with side valves. Back to the ship to be greeted with a fleet of fire engines from our town and other towns pumping furiously away to save the ship. Blue lights everywhere, local photographers snapping away, everyone wanted a full refund and some considered seeing as they considered an attempt had been made on their lives compensation was in order. What a cockup! All through the night we worked, lovely overtime or what. Eventually on Sunday the water level was reduced to under the discharge pipe level and the ship was saved. This saga was at the expense of the firm widely reported on TVs and the media and the embarrassment factor was never to be forgotten. It was always kept from us as to who the wag was in management who had originally thought of this idea but it was reputed to have cost the firm thousands, which back in the early sixties was indeed a lot of money. As the Plus Gas does its job I feel other stories may well be forthcoming.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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JK
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby JK » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:50 am

That is hilarious!

We were alongside, finishing up our boilercleaning and hydrostatic testing the main boilers. One boiler failed, for a reason I can't remember, and we had to partially drain it. I was up top, when the ship suddenly lay over on the dock. I went down to the engine room and met the 3rd on his way up. He was a big guy with a large beer locker, he was soaked all down the front and the sides, but his back was dry. When I get to the boiler room, there is so much water in the bilge, it is well over the deck plating on the stbd side.
With no steam on the ship, we had removed the exhaust valves of the pumps we needed to use, the fire pump and GS pump,( these were big pumps, 8" Piston duplex) and used air to run them. The 2nd sent me on an air hose scrounge in the yard, I had pretty well everything the yard had on hand to to pump out the space.
It turns out the 3rd and juniors decided in the the interest of time, instead of pumping the boiler down through the blowdown valve using the GS, they would slacken off the lower manhole dogs and crack it.
There were 3 foot extensions that screwed onto the manhole studs, the plan was to use them to crack open the door. So they loosened the dogs and gave a good wiggle to break the seal and lost the manhole cover inside the boiler to the length of the extensions. The three of them are wrestling with the cover, trying to get it in place with 16 ton of cold water pouring out. It is amazing they managed to reseat it.
The best part is the only one who really got wet was the 3rd, the water pouring out was hitting him in the belly and being deflected to the sides! The other two were mostly dry.
There were a lot of funny things that happened on there.

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Merlyn
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby Merlyn » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:17 am

Crikey horrendous or what, bet that won't be attempted again trying to hold back 16 tons of water! Specially cold water!
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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JK
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby JK » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:30 am

Thinking back, I believe I was scrapping bearings on the boat winch when the ship laid over. I went to see what was going on.

Different boiler, same ship , different boiler cleaning required a new test cock flange. The yard brings in a riveter who is about 100 years old, they must have dug him up. He rivets the flange on, with a blank fitted for the test cock. Once again we do the hydrostatic and the flange passes. Myself and one of the other engineers are the only ones that fit behind the boiler and we decided to fit the cock back on without draining the boiler. Every time the other fellow rotated the cock, I'd get sprayed, then he'd be sprayed. You couldn't let go and the cold water would take your breath away.
The worse was having to hydrostatic the boiler several times because the surveyor didn't get the fact the boiler was so cold that it would drip at the test cocks until everything heated up.

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Big Pete
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby Big Pete » Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:46 pm

The old Passenger paddler, Waverly is still going in Scotland, I think she is the last sea going side paddler anywhere in the World.
Was the last of the fleet you worked on the Medway Queen? I remember a campaign to save her when I was at School. She was one of the ships that evacuated the British army from Dunkirk. Most of the paddlers were ferries in peacetime, on the Clyde, Humber, Bristol Channel and Thames and associated estuaries. They were often used for mine sweeping and as floating anti aircraft batteries in the War because of their wide unobstructed Decks.
BP
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Merlyn
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby Merlyn » Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:09 am

Embassy was the last one I worked on, she went in 1967 for scrap, our firm had loads of them but they diminished over the years from a large fleet into nothing. Waverley still calls into our home port each year and one year a few years back there was a reunion for all old hands on the Waverley of ex employees of our old firm.I shall never forget the sight of one of our old chief engineers on the throttle valve when leaving harbour, he had been on the paddlers for about 35 years and here he was, at the age of 87 back on the old job. Photos taken, much ale drunk, back in the good old days indeed good times.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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JK
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby JK » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:26 am

There is still a number of them in Switzerland s Lake Lucerne. I just was reading they re-engined one back to steam years after putting diesels in. The steam engine is electronically controlled. Now that I would love to look at.

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Merlyn
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby Merlyn » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:35 am

Wow the old and the new combo there then, sensors all over, actuators an Ecu maybe or two, controlled from your bunk or does it mean it's got a 24 v starter system?
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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JollyJack
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby JollyJack » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:53 am

That's asking for trouble, electronic control is very reliable, it WILL fail at some point.
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Merlyn
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Re: Can't Set Sail

Postby Merlyn » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:51 am

Could'nt agree more, reliability of failure will occur at some point during its life of that you can be sure. Then the problem of the electronic cause versus the symptom displaced comes to the fore, fault cleared but cause still buried in the ECU awaiting to happen again perhaps. And not visible under interrogation administered. Great fun methinks not.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.


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