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Opposed piston engines

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archie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 November 2007 at 10:03pm

Anyone out there sailed on the old Doxford's, Harland & Wolffe B&W's

Fairbanks Morse, anyone remember blast injection?????

Archie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johnk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 November 2007 at 7:35am

Hi Archie,

Just seen your above post, you should have a look at the current issue of Ship's Monthly, they have an article on marine propulsion and a small bit therein on Doxfords.

 

JohnK

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Magic Fingers Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 November 2007 at 8:16pm

Hi Archie,

Steamship man myself but worked on the prototype Doxford J when it was installed in South Shields Marine college. 5 ton pistons, metre bore, 1000hp per cylinder as I remember. Still got the bent finger I broke in the process and the Doxford blurb on their wonder engine.

Richard.

If it ain't broke don't fix it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tramontana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 November 2007 at 6:57pm

Like yourself Magic Fingers I was mainly a steam man and avoided Doxfords like the plague after the "North Sands" had a very bad crankcase explosion, that was one of the reasons why I went Foreign (besides the money paid in Dollars to a "special Account") a lot of the Tramp Companies were selling their steam tonnage for Doxford 4 cylinders and I went with one of the steam jobs as the handover Engineer and stayed, I did however work on a B&W which was my first walk in  crankcase job, she was pushing out 19,000hp, 9Cy in an O.B.O. called the "Har Addir" which I joined at the Botlek in Rotterdam and belonged to an Israeli Company on charter to Krupps, I have been with Skippers who had their shotguns on board to fire over the Taff Rail for a pastime but this vessel had a complete Armoury hidden away down her Duct Keel, I thought the boxes were spare ballast valves mind you it was in the early 70's and tensions were high in the Middle East.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tramontana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2007 at 4:57pm
To continue-- the "Har Addir" was fairly new when I joined her at the Botlek her 3rd Engineer had to go home in a hurry and as I was on standby for one of the parent companies ships (after political vetting!!) so it was a matter of getting the Hull-Rotterdam overnight ferry arriving at the Botlek in the morning and reporting to the Chief Engineer who informed me that I was the only Brit aboard and the Master would see me after lunch regarding paperwork and meantime aquaint myself with the layout of the ship. She had some systems on her which I had not come across before, her main engine could be started and monitered from the Bridge meaning that the Engineers worked days normally unless the alarm went off! then it was all hands to the engineroom (the business of  not having an Engineer manning overnight to me was/is  foolish as most fuel leaks on board happen at that time and a good Engineer can taste a high pressure leak on his lips as well as see the mist, something a Camera cannot do) still that was the system that was being worked on board, the other thing that was new to me was her Ballast System the only valves operated from the deck were her saddle tank dump valves which dumped the ballast water  over the side, every other valve was operated by electo-pneumatic valves in the duct keel which was a chamber that ran from the engineroom to the forpeak and had air operated ballast/bilge valves in which could be worked on no matter what condition of loading the ship was in and all controlled from a schematic panel in the engineroom. After my talk with the Master I took my duties in the engineroom and as a former steam man one of my  responsibilities was looking after the exhaust gas/oil fired Boiler the other was this new ballast system (to me) along with the Second/ 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tramontana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2007 at 6:32pm

I asked the Second if I could go into the Duct keel to have a look at the business end of the system and after a short delay when he disappeared to talk to someone we unbolted the hatch and entered the Duct keel, the Duct keel is between the hold bottoms and the bottom of the ship, to the port and starboard of the Duct were other chambers some containing valves and others had wooden crates in them, automaticaly I assumed they were spare valves and their air operated heads, thinking what a good idea it was to have them already down there rather than lugging them down from the engineroom store as they were a heavy item, We boxed the hatch up  and later sailed for Narvik. When we docked for loading there was another Ore Carrier alongside which just happened to be German. It was decided that barring for the Watchkeepers we would all have an evening ashore for a bit of bonding ( or how much can this Brit drink before he disappears under the table, fortunatly I have been a Rum drinker since sippers, gulpers and sandy bottoms!!) and with the price of drink in Norway it was going to cost them and some, as sods law would have it we went for a meal and a drink in the same place as the crew of the German ship and immediatley there was an "atmosphere" bearing in mind we were an Israeli ship on charter to Krupps and wore their houseflag!! and then it all "kicked off" fortunatly the Norwegians threw the German crew out and we carried on with our meal and then it was time to return to the ship, as we were walking along the jetty I could see a group of men coming towards us and it was obviously some of the German crew we had met earlier and I looked at the 2nd Engineer who was walking next to me who immediatly said to me "don't worry we have our little friends with us we never go ashore without them" when the Germans were getting close to us out popped the pistols from under the Crews jackets and the Germans turned and fled back to their own ship. When we got back on board we went to the  2nd Engineers cabin for the nightcap drink and he showed me his Walther pistol in it's embossed leather holster and confirmed that he never went ashore without it and asked me if I wanted one as there was some spares! After loading we returned to Rotterdam for  discharging and after another English/ Isaeli bonding session touring the bars in the Katendrecht it was time to set sail for West Africa and another suprise for me along the way/

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tramontana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 November 2007 at 3:47pm
Just some technical info about the vessel, she was nearly 1,000ft long and weighed in at 75,000tns, she had 9 holds and was one of the largest O.B.O's in her day to fully ballast her she took 25,000ts of water with No2 and No8 hold flooded. We moved off from the Botlek with partial ballast and took the rest on after clearing the Channel and then the ship settled down to it's routine, I was called to the Skipper's Office to discuss when I was going to leave the ship as the Parent Company wanted me back for a steam job they had bought, at this point the Skipper asked me to stay on till we got back to Rotterdam and would I do him a favour by keeping score in a shooting competion followed by a "Barby" that was due to take place on the aft deck, I agreed and made my way aft, some of the crew and my fellow Officer's were already there along with some of the boxes I saw in the Duct Keel, two tables were set out with all sorts of weapons laid on them from pistols to machine guns and strapped to the Taff Rail was a Bren Gun. The Skipper came down with a sheet with all the names on, the type of weapon and Hit, Near Miss, Miss on the top of the sheet, the ship was stopped and empty 45 gallon Oil Drums were thrown over the side, the competition began it was as simple as that, the Bren was set up to tear the barrels apart if they had not sunk and that was the task that was left to me as my reward which is how I came to fire a bren Gun on a Merchant Ship, I left the ship in Rotterdam as agreed. Piracy has always been a problem in S.E.Asia but not in West Africa like it is today along with hostage taking, but at that time Munich was fresh in everybody's mind and the mess the German Police made of it all,  what went on in regards to the equipment on board were clearly anti -terrorist measures, their policy of an eye for an eye was alright in my book and I left the ship with great admiration for them especially the older members of the crew who had that awful number tattooed on their lower arm  their only Family were the crew of the ship. they looked after me very well and boy could they party    Right, Merchant Navy lads I have set the ball rolling have you had any experiences you would like to share. The above story is Copyright and will appear in my forthcoming book.  "Going Foreign"        &nbs p;         &nbs p;         &nbs p;         &nbs p;         &nbs p;         &nbs p;         &nbs p;      
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tramontana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2007 at 4:45pm
Has any other Engineers out there worked on large Ships with unmanned Enginerooms (at night) what did you think? for me you cannot beat themark1 eyeball of a "Roving Engineer".  My experience was over 30 years ago and since then there has been a number of ships stricken and lost with engineroom fires usually at nightime when nobody was down there, including a Modern Ro-Ro off the Yorkshire  a few years ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tramontana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 November 2007 at 11:37am

A lighter story about a steam job, the vessel concerned was a Scotch Boilered triple expansion engined British  owned Tramp with the "blood" at 200lbs per square inch which I was onboard early on in my career at sea, as one of the older generation now a lot of old saying's that were said to us by our Parents were said to  to be true although  we did not believe it at the time if you understand what I mean and this story concerned one of those old sayings.   The Chief Engineer Bill was a devout Christian he did not swear, gamble (not even for matches) smoke or drink and his hobby at sea was playing his guitar which he had rescued from his cabin when he was sunk by the "Atlantis" during W.W.2. He was a kindly man who called the younger members of his team "My Son" and treat us as if we were, I was her young Fourth Engineer and in R.N. terms he was our "Sea Daddy", his Wife ran the village Post Office and they were both deeply involved with the local Church. He was a big chap at 6ft 2" but a gentle giant, you get the picture. As we were going to be alongside for a week it was decided to strip a valve on the water feed system which was passing and the job was given to the two junior engineers as a lesson in valve grinding, however when they lifted the top off it the seat had been badly marked and would take a lot of grinding paste bearing in mind the valve and seat were made of monal metal which is a very hard wearing anti corrosive alloy, not to worry there was two lugs cast into the seat and with the proper device the seat could be changed, this of course depended on the person who fitted the seat smearing it with white lead paste and how long it had been insitu which looked like since the ship was built. The "approved" device was fitted over the lugs and the "T" bar fitted to commence removal, would it move, would it hell as like, just about everyone down the the engineroom had a go, we soaked it in easing oil, put a tube on the "T" bar but it still would not budge, at that point the Chief strolled into the Boiler Room and decided he would have a go at which point one of the Firemen jokingly said "swear at it Chief", the Chief gave a loud roar followed with a mouthful of expletives that would make a Chief Stoker blush and much to our sheer astonishment the seat of the valve moved and he unsrewed it to our applause, he bowed and went back to his cabin. So those old saying's do sometimes work!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tramontana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 December 2007 at 11:53am

 

The picture is of the Rembrandt, as far as I am aware the only purpose British built Gasifier powered Gas Turbine Tramp, she was a bulk carrier of the shelterdeck type and built for world wide trading. She was around 500ft long and around 8,000 tns gross, as you see she had 5 holds but like a lot of cargo ships built before the 60's the small hatches led to their demise indeed apparently when she was building the boat being built next to her was for Manchester Liners and a purpose built "Container" vessel a type which killed off most "normal" style of cargo vessel's which we new and loved. Along with Container Ships came fixed schedules with better timetables than Arriva buses, gone were the day's when you could anchor off, launch the Ship's motor lifeboat and nip ashore to a favourite pub for someone's birthday!! No wonder I went contracting on some of the old British boats that were owned by the "London Greeks", amongst other's, a far better way to see the World



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