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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted -  26/06/2006  :  04:02







Edited by - Invernahaille on 10 April 2007 04:41:19
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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2010 : 12:07
Stanley saying "fire like hell to power the refrigeration units" reminded me of something I learned recently. It's new to me but perhaps someone with more knowledge can confirm if it's true. I read that some `factory trawlers' mix fish oil with diesel to power their engines. This might be regarded as simply making biodiesel but when there is a shortage of health-giving fish oil for food production it seems a ridiculous waste of a material much more vaulable than diesel.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/11/2010 : 07:01
You're right of course, it is a waste but if the people doing it don't know about the value of fish oil it wouldn't surprise me. I often wonder what people are burning in their boilers these days when I see pale blue smoke coming out of the chimneys. Look up Cemfuel and Castle Cement at Clitheroe. Unless very strict conditions are adhered to dioxyns can be generated. It's still being burned somewhere but everyone keeps very quiet about it.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 29/11/2010 : 22:30
Stanley,
I response to your ealier question regarding sailors pay being suspended if their ship was lost.

I began my career at sea with Ellerman Lines, who were a highly reputable company, on my first trip as a junior engineer,  arriving in Durban, South Africa for bunkers, the shipping agent came onboard and informed me that I required a yellow fever innoculation. I was whisked away by the agent to the port hospital and told that he would pick me up to return me to my ship at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. (My ship was due to leave at 2.00 pm )  1 0'cloc k arrive and no sign of the ships agent, and by two o'clock I was watching my ship leaving port. I spent eleven days on Durban before being flown to Karachi to rejoin my ship. The outcome was that I got a severe blasting from both the Master, and Chief Engineer. The upshot was that if I was brought before them again on the trip, I was basically out of a job, and would become a passenger working his passage home, without any hope of getting another ship ever again. . However because it was not basiccally my fault I didnt get back to my ship they allowed a little bit of leaway (excuse the pun), but I was docked the 11 days pay plus the leave that I would have accrued.
A few years later, I was on the City of York a passenger liner that did the South Africa run, in competition with Union Castle Line.
One of the electricians on board was found to be interfering with the cargo (if you understand what I mean). He was summarily suspended and fired. However, as he put it he became a passenger, although he would wear his boilersuit on the passenger boat deck, with, a knotted handkkerchief on his head as a protest. We all knew the what would happen for any breach of the rules, some people didnt care.

The general rule is that if you do not return to your ship it is classed as jumping ship, for which any pay is automatically suspended. I suppose they took the view that if your ship jumped you, the same rule applies


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 30/11/2010 : 08:17
Thanks for that Robert. I always thought it was a harsh rule if the ship sank. Imagine those poor lads freezing in the North Ataltic, choking on fuel oil in their lungs and knowing that they were not being paid! Every time I go to Liverpool I go the the Merchant Seamen's Mamorial, last time I was there it was overgrown and neglected. Anyone seen it lately?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 30/11/2010 : 23:07
Stanley,
             I have thought a little deeper into your question regarding stopped pay for sailors losing their ships.

When you join the Merchant Navy, you either registered as an Esstablished or Unestablished Seafarer.
I was employed by Ellerman Lines and therefore on a salary.

Most crew members Deckies and Engine Room ratings, signed on unestablished. This basically means that they signed on for the voyage at a daily rate.

If they left the ship or vice versa, they were paid up until the day of  either theirs or the ships departure.

I understand your feelings about those brave sailors who have fought for their country in the Merchant Navy. I have served on ships that have come under fire on a couple of occasions. Nothing serious.

Like you said extremely unpleasant to lose your home, and friends, and end up in the freezing cold sea, coughing up oil and bits of their lungs.





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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 30/11/2010 : 23:14
Most people believe that the Captain is the last man to leave a sinking ship. There is little mention of the engineers who risk their lives to keep the ship afloat as long as possible.

The Braid on an engineers uniform as a purple backing, this was given to them by Princess Alexandra around 1920 to commemorate the engineers who kept the Titanic afloat. Without these men even more passengers would have perished.

Every Titanic Engineer went down with her.


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 01/12/2010 : 02:38
Correction.
I have been informed that the purple behind the Engineers was not given by Princess Alexander, but had been in use since 1865 to distinguish Engineers from Deck officers.

Apparently engineers on cargo ships rarely wore uniforms prior to 1920, when they started to wear uniforms, hence the populat myth arose.

I must confess that I was told that the purple was indeed awarded by Princess Alexandra, both when I was kitted out, and joined my first ship in 1970.

Indeed until being corrected by a friend this evening, I still believed that to be the case.

Urban myth or not, if it had not been prescribed it should have been.

This in no way detracts from the bravery of the Titanic and other great ship losses, Engineers.

I am extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to become a Marine Engineer.


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thomo
Barlick Born Old Salt


2021 Posts
Posted - 01/12/2010 : 17:14
Marine Engineers are indeed a very special breed. The title Marine Engineer can cover a very diverse range of skills and a good one is usually extremely competent in all of them, Blacksmith, Welder, Plumber, Refrigeration and Air conditioning, De-salination, Mechanics, Generation of electricity, Fitting and turning, Milling, Damage control and repair coupled with firefighting are some of them. A knowledge of the ship from bow to stern, Truck to keel and port to stbd, the state of the fuel and fresh water supply, Lub oil purification are others, and then there is carpentry, Domestic equipment, Spare gear, the list is endless. The working conditions have to be kept spotless and these can be severe under certain weather conditions, and if you are not happy with it, you cannot down tools and clear off home, your home is the ship. Pride in the job is paramount and there are few rewards that have the same satisfaction of knowing that you did what was required and got it right.


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 03/12/2010 : 23:36
You got it Thomo.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/12/2010 : 06:46
Part of the pride was the severity of the examinations for the ticket. I have a Marine Engineer's text book for the old Board of Trade exam and my God, is it complicated!I always wondered why the same level of qualification wasn't used for land based plant.

During research I came across the following.  '(60 Vict) [1897] Steam engines and Boilers, Persons in Charge' This was the title of a bill which was to be dabated in Pariamant on 12th July 1897 but was dropped because the house adjourned early because of a visit by a foregn royal and never came up again. It was  Bill to grant certificates to persons in charge of steam engines and boilers on much the same lines as the BOT Marine Certificates. There were to be two classes, Fisrt Class for anyone in charge of a boiler or engine over 5hp or a winding engine of any size. Second class was for all other engines and boilers except those in agriculture or the Queen's service.

As late a twenty years ago it was noticeable that most of the insurance company boiler surveyors were ex-marine men. Big loss to the insurance cos as the merchant navy contracted. They lost a reservoir of expertise.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 04/12/2010 : 13:15
Stamley,
               You are absolutely correct. Even back in the 1970s, donkeymen (Boiler Attendants) had to have c.o.c.s. 

I am fortunate enough to hold a marine surveyors ticket, which covers vessels of any size, from little sailboats to ocean going juggernauts. I only hold a second class D.C.E. (dangerous cargo endorsement) which allows me to work on small (less than ten thousand ton) tankers. I am more than happy with that , as I dont particularly like working on tankers anyway.

Ship and boat owners dont like to pay for survey fees as they see it as govenment legislative interference. They dont understand the safety reasoning behind it. They take the view that they employ marine engineers and that therefore there is no reason to require surveys.

Boilers on the other hand are a different subject, and although they hace so many modern safety devices (steam relief valves, automatic shut down systems etc) I always remember what Fred Dibnah decribed a boiler as. He said, and I quote, " A boiler is basically a bomb" and it can go off at any time. I always thought that was funny, but it was true.
        


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/12/2010 : 05:35
Absolutely correct. If you calculate the explosive force locked up in a lancashire boiler (lots of water in it) it's the eqivalent of a very large bomb!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 05/12/2010 : 17:55
The Masters (Captains) and Chief Engineers in the seventies were the last of a breed. Most of them had seen service in the second world war, and they were seasoned sailors, and a few  of them had conducted extremely dangerous missions, like the ball bearing run to Sweden and Norway. They carried an aura with them. They just commanded respect. They held a discipline which has now totally gone in the M.N.

I rember one of my junior engineers who had taken a telling off by the Captain about not being in the engine room whilst he was on duty. Apparently he thought because we were in port that he could hang around the messroom taling to the crew. He told me he was going to see the old man in the morning and give him what for. I told him to pack his bags before he saw the Captain, because if he tried that he would be leaving the ship at a rapid rate of knots.

After a while he calmed down and I explained to him the importance of being within the vicinity of the engine room, whilst on duty. He still could not understand why the Captain and myself had given him a bollicking. He said that no man has the right to talk to me in that way. Poor Brian, I explained to him that when I joined the M.N. you stood to attention when the Captain and Chief Engineer addressed you.

He still could not grasp it. It transpired that he had been a mechanic for the shipowners when they owned a canal barge hire company, and they felt a responsibility in keeping him employed when they sold the barge company, and bought the ship.

He actually viewed the ship as rather large canal boat, and could not  comprehend the dangers on board a sea going vessel. The strangest part about this story is that after six months of sea time he would qualify for a class three cerificate of competency, which would allow him to be a chief engineer on the smaller sea going vessels of 2000 SHP or 2000 tons dwt.

Like you said in your earlier posting Stanley, when I went through both my seconds and chiefs tickets the examinations where stringent and tough, you simply had to know your subject. Even after qualifying I sailed for at least a couple of years as second engineer after gaining my chiefs ticket. Just consolidating my experience.

The shipping companies just knew that seconds and chiefs where capable, knowledgeable and experienced marine engineers.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 06/12/2010 : 07:16
Robert, you'd love to sit and have a read of this. BOT and Marine Engineering Knowledge. Steam and motor. by W G MacGibbon (who had his own marine engineering school in Glasgow. 1000 pages, cost me £2.50. The name of the first owner is F A Wood, 8 West Bank Road, Edge Lane, Liverpool. I wonder if he was studying and took the book with him on his travels? It covers lierally everything connected with the structure and machinery of ships and also the mathematical theory. Impressive!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 07/12/2010 : 00:57
Stanley.
W.C MacGibbon. His books are the Marine Engineers Bible.
They have been on the market since around 1900.

After completing my second engineers couse at Sunderland I spent my next two trips consolidating from books like MacGibbons.

I spent many an hour down the ship tunnels whilst on watch, reading up and  revising really consolidating what we had been taught at Marine College.


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