Marine Engineers

Invernahaille
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Tizer,
Very impressive. Rule Britannia.
Lets see what happens in the years to come,
History has a tendency to repeat itself. We just don't learn!!
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

I'd like to see a video of all the ships that are tied up to the dock short of repairs and crew. Not a lot of chance of that one.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Dont Know about that Stanley,
There is quite a lot of Media about cruise ships anchored in Weymouth harbour,
Cunards three queens, plus carnival ships.
Their not making a penny. Return to Southampton every couple of weeks, for bunkers.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Stanley.
Have I been blocked?
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

Don't know what you mean Robert. Your post is on the site?
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Stanley,
Good post, when I joined it was a male dominated profession. both Deck and Engineers.
I have met a few female officers, and they can give it as well as take it.
The Landlady of the gallon can, a public house in Great Yarmouth, and frequented by hardened sailors, she held a masters ticket.
I can assure you she didn't suffer any kind of misbehaviour.
Any problems, and she just called 'Last Orders"
Last edited by Invernahaille on 15 Oct 2020, 05:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

I've had dealings with women like that Robert. Sometimes resistance is useless! Fancy ten rounds with Nicola Sturgeon?
My daughter Janet was one of them, she often regaled me with stories about the way she had to deal with men who had decided that this pint sized bundle of brains and energy could be managed. A classic was when she was put in charge of some of the toughest law enforcement officers in Western Australia. They gave her a rough ride until they realised she was the answer to a problem they hadn't been able to solve. Eventually they worshipped the ground she walked on. I was very proud of her.
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Re: Marine Engineers

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The last time I was in the Gallon Can. there was Myself, the bosun, Colin, and John the third engineer. The owners of the ship wanted me to manufacture a reason to fire the third engineer, because they saw him as a liability, due to his age. As far as I was concerned his ticket, and paperwork, were in order, and that was good enough for me. and his ability to perform his duties were good, though he could be a little accident prone.
John had been at sea before I was born, he rose to third engineer, and never wanted any more responsibility.
He used to work trampers, say goodbye to his wife, and say I will see you when I see you. Then join a ship for two or three years.
I had the upmost respect for him.
In my head I knew if John was fired. He wouldn't have lasted six months, shoreside.
So I refused the shipowners request,
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

Sensible decision I reckon Robert. Too often the hatchet man is the next to go in circumstances like that. There's always a reason why management don't want to get their hands dirty!
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Re: Marine Engineers

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Stanley.
The new shipowners used to own a canal cruiser company somewhere in Yorkshire. They wanted to bring their previous shore based engineers, on board, no tickets or seagoing experience.
The engineering superintendent who had spent his life in a canal based boatyard, had never been to sea, and he was trying to tell me how to manage a ships engineering department.
I remember an incident, where I told him that the generator gearboxes, needed new pressure gauges. He said the company didnt have the money to replace them. Strange thing is on my first leave, and my relief took over, sure enough, the gearbox seized up, and had to be fixed. When I returned from my leave, he blamed the engineers for not checking the oil levels.
I suppose there is a place for gifted amateurs somewhere, but not on my ship. I ended up training a young chap from Wigan, who joined as a junior engineer at twenty eight years old, to be a third engineer, basically a passenger for the first few months, until he realised that you cant order parts from a local shop. when you are in the middle of the North Atlantic.
If I remember rightly, he decided a sailors life was not for him.
You just cant fix stupid, can you?
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

I have a copy somewhere of the BOT manual for training ship's engineers and after reading it realised why ex marine engineers had no problem getting a job with the insurance companies as Engineering Surveyors. All my men were ex Merchant Marine and I always valued being able to check with them that what I was doing was good practice, I trusted them implicitly.

Image

It got to the stage where Vulcan used to send their young apprentice surveyors to me for an introduction to riveted pressure vessels and steam engines as they had zero experience and the technology was no longer taught. Here are two of them at Ellenroad getting to grips with a Lancashire Boiler with all the brickwork stripped off.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

That has all changed now Stanley. When I did my tickets it was all under the B.O.T examiner of Marine Engineers auspices.
You started with a second class part A, done at a nautical college. Then Part B. Done on board a ship. Second Engineer.
This of course done over a number of years.
Then you went for your First Class certificate of Competency. another six months college work. Chief Engineer.
Now its under the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
They have a different system.
Class 4 Restricted by Tonnage and HP. 6 Months sea-time and exam
Class 3 Restricted by Tonnage and HP. 2 Years sea-time and exam
Class 2 Second Engineer Unrestricted.
Class 1 Chief Engineer Unrestricted.

PS nice pic of the riveted Lancashire boiler.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

Here's something that might interest you Robert.

CERTIFICATION OF ENGINEERS ON LAND

One surprising fact about steam plant in mills is that there were no official qualifications or even training for persons in charge of the most dangerous part of the mill. Certification for marine engineers was very strict and the qualification was highly prized. In contrast running a similar plant on land was an amateur affair and needed no qualification. It was a job often passed on from father to son and the quality of engineers varied enormously. There were some very good ones but also some duck eggs!
In the late 19th century, after a series of accidents, a Bill was presented to Parliament; '(60 Vict) Steam engines and boilers. Persons in charge.' on 12 July 1897. However the Houses adjourned early because of a visit by foreign royalty, the Bill was dropped and never came before Parliament again. It was a Bill to grant certificates to persons in charge of steam engines and boilers on land along the same lines as the existing Marine Certificates administered by the Board of Trade. There were to be two classes; First Class for anyone in charge of a boiler or engine bigger than 5HP and winding engines of any size. Second Class was for all other boilers and engines except those in agriculture and the Queen's Service.

SCG. 26/09/15
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Stanley.
Well you learn something new everyday.
I always thought that mill engineers were ex navy men, Royal and Merchant navy.
I am extremely surprised to learn that there wasn't any formal qualifications involved.
Surely that would affect insurance?
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

No Robert. The companies guarded themselves by very strict supervision. The System worked well on the whole.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Stanley,
That is interesting ! When I joined the M.N. as a Junior Engineer, we used to stand to attention, when talking to a Chief, and sometimes to a Second Engineer.
Discipline/Supervision, is good for control. However, when you have subordinates, who are Mavericks, it was my ticket on the line.
As the saying goes its tough at the top.
Lol.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

Image

Charlie Southwell, my late feedwater man. It paid to keep such men happy. I treated the boiler surveyors the same way, they were my support system and I learned a lot off them. I think the engine helped, they liked sitting in the house with a pot of tea!
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Stanley,
As the guys got promoted, to 4th and 3rd engineer, they were pretty well grounded in their watchkeeping duties, there was great peace of mind knowing that.
So, it appears not much difference, between shore based engineers
Donkeyman. boilerman. Oilers and greasers, etc etc
All engine room ratings.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

I had the best firebeater in the world....

Image

John Plummer 'burning off' the fires at the end of the day. He was ex-drifters and banana boats and knew his trade. He also told good stories like carrying two 3 gallon buckets of coal across the icy deck from the fish hold in the Sea of Murmansk. The bunker didn't hold enough for the round trip. He also said that firing on the Fyffes boats outbound was a doddle but coming back with all the refrigeration compressors working flat out it was hell. He said that occasionally they would stop in the Bay of Biscay, open the holds, chuck all the bananas overboard and reverse course for another load. This happened if the price dropped on the UK markets.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Stanley,
You just brought back a memory. I was on a reefer once carrying bananas from South America we were in the Western Approaches when the sparks got an order to weigh anchor. We anchored for four days, and then fuel for the generators was starting to get low. The decision was made to knock off the generators. 4000 tons of bananas left to rot.
By the way the order to weigh anchor, came from John Prescott, then leader of the National Union of Seamen.

PS.
Nice pic of your Fireman.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Tripps »

Stanley wrote: 20 Oct 2020, 03:32 chuck all the bananas overboard and reverse course for another load. This happened if the price dropped on the UK markets.
I've not been shopping for a while, but the price of bananas has remained stable for years now. 76 - 79p per kilo for the basic product. Are they still the same?
Born to be mild. . .
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

Don't know David, I don't eat them these days.
Robert, John Plummer was a gent and the best bloke you could ever work with. We were completely in tune with each other and did some hard work together. Luckily I was in touch with his son and managed to get a message to him as he was dying to let him know how highly I rated him. His son said it was a pleasure delivering the message, he said John lit up like a light bulb when he told him and he sent a message back that he was glad I was well and saying it was the most enjoyable job he ever had. One of the few really good men!
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Stanley,
It makes the job far easier when you have guys you can rely on.
That is what the ticketing system was intended for. Examinations to a level of competency.
Though there one or two who slipped through the net. However it wasn't long before they were caught out.
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Stanley »

Image

John drawing the short straw during a repair on a blow down pipe on a winter night in 1978.

Image

I did my share. Daniel's pic of me doing a repair in a hot furnace at the end of the day. The dirty end of being the engineer. (It was hot in there even though the boiler was blown down and the dampers were wide open!
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Re: Marine Engineers

Post by Invernahaille »

Stanley,
My first thought was, things can't be that bad. Life will get better. LOL.
I have been there, mainly on oil fired boilers for pre inspection. Tube cleaning, Dirty horrible job, but necessary.
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