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John Arton
19th June 2012, 03:03 PM
Just a note.
Yesterday was the day the Northern Star left the Tyne 50 yrs ago to commence her hand-over trials. She only lasted around 13 yrs I believe.
rgds
Capt. John Arton (ret'd)

Tony Wilding
19th June 2012, 03:52 PM
Very unusual to have so short a life, and not bought by another company. a nice looking ship,

happy daze john in oz
20th June 2012, 06:52 AM
A totaly noe concept as to design with the engines fitted at the rear. Along with Southern cross did the Oz run for a number of years as migrant ship. Maybe she was before her time in concept?

Tony Frost
20th June 2012, 07:13 AM
A totaly noe concept as to design with the engines fitted at the rear. Along with Southern cross did the Oz run for a number of years as migrant ship. Maybe she was before her time in concept?

Wrong engines?(lots of machanical problems,fuel prices)and end of the 10 POM:th_thth5952deef:

Peter F Chard
20th June 2012, 07:33 AM
The problem was the boilers -- it was a non stop battle to keep the generating and superheat tube passes clear of ' slagging ' -- vanadium pentoxide was the main culprit. Cheers Peter in NZ.

Tony Wilding
20th June 2012, 03:14 PM
Re the last post, what causes that to happen, were the boilers a bad design, ? would have thought by then boiler design would be perfect, been around a long time.

John Arton
20th June 2012, 03:56 PM
Firstly apologies for my mis spelling of her name in the orginal post.
Its 50 yrs ago today that the Northern Star left the Tyne to begin her career, yet she almost never made it. Just after dropping her tugs and approaching the mouth of the Tyne a 40 knot wind blew up and she was pushed to within 150ft of the South Pier. Fortunatley the tugs were near enough to go to her assistance and managed to hold her off the piers and get her back mid-river.
Not a very good start to her life was it.
rgds
Capt. John Arton (ret'd)

Peter F Chard
20th June 2012, 10:06 PM
There was nothing wrong with the boilers -- they were B&W '' Selectable Superheat " boilers and the ship had two of them. Output, from memory was 125000 lbs of steam per hour at 600 psi and superheated to 605 Farenheit. The problem was the gas passages between the tubes were very small and the fuel used was not the best -- high sulphur and vanadium content so slagging was a constant problem. At every port visited the engineers and engine room crew would don asbestos suits and get inside the idle boiler with lances, water blasters, chisels and anything else to chip away at this slag -- it was as hard as concrete. At the next port the other boiler would receive the same treatment, all this happened with the refractory lining glowing a dull red heat !! Once the gas passages slagged up it was diffilcult to balance the air requirements needed to generate enough steam to maintain our speed, trying to force things along resulted in a build up of pressure inside the furnaces and the boilers would start shake and jump around so much that it could be felt all over the ship -- no one thought of asking the passengers what they thought this shaking about was ! On my last trip we steamed from Lisbon to Southampton with one boiler shut down and the other one with the superheat tube banks isolated -- running steam turbines on wet steam is asking for trouble but we got away with it. But otherwise the engine room was an engineers delight, in fact she had the first multi stage fresh water maker made by Weirs to go into a ship -- this plant could produce 150 tonnes of fresh water daily, with a purity of less than 2 parts per million of nasties. Hope this is of interest to someone, cheers Peter in NZ.

Captain Kong
21st June 2012, 02:50 PM
My younger brother sailed home from Sydney on the Northern Star.
He was on the Australian Coast for three years and then got a job on a powder boat, Wongala, he had been out of work for a while , no jobs with the union boats, so he joined the Wongala, a Sailing ship that went down off Sydney Heads and reappeared off the NZ Coast 12 days later, he stuck it for six months and then went back to the Union and they told him No Chance, you have been working on a Non Union Ship so you are finished.
He eventually got a Pier Head jump as AB on the Northern Star and came home.
Cheers
Brian
This is the Wongala, she was wrecked on Bets Reef near Thursday Island.

Ivan Cloherty
21st June 2012, 03:33 PM
My younger brother sailed home from Sydney on the Northern Star.
He was on the Australian Coast for three years and then got a job on a powder boat, Wongala, he had been out of work for a while , no jobs with the union boats, so he joined the Wongala, a Sailing ship that went down off Sydney Heads and reappeared off the NZ Coast 12 days later, he stuck it for six months and then went back to the Union and they told him No Chance, you have been working on a Non Union Ship so you are finished.
He eventually got a Pier Head jump as AB on the Northern Star and came home.
Cheers
Brian
This is the Wongala, she was wrecked on Bets Reef near Thursday Island.

Bet she was hard work, as would have (presumably) only a small crew.

Unions and their inflexibility have a lot to answer for, in the past and currently

Captain Kong
21st June 2012, 04:36 PM
Hi Ivan,
I have just telephoned `ar `Kid`, and he said she had a crew of eight men,
Master, Mate, Bosun, two ABs, one Deck Boy, one Cook and one Engineer.
Cheers
Brian.

Malcolm S
23rd June 2012, 07:01 PM
I had the great pleasure of working on the Northern Star, it was the first passenger vessel I signed onto - never looked back. Yes she did have a track record of bad boilers but another minor deterent for other companies wanting to purchase her for cruising was the lack of cabin facilities. One had to go down the alley for a shower or toilet. No bow thruster. Twin screw single rudder as was common in those days. Southern Cross was the same but being smaller was cheaper to convert.

Rgds
Malcolm


Good judgement comes from bad experience ... and most of that comes from bad judgement.

Peter Carr
3rd August 2012, 02:44 AM
Like her sister SOUTHERN CROSS she was the brainchild child of Lord Basil Sanderson who perceived the Australian and NZ emmigration schemes as good income from their respective governments. And the chance to offer a large number of berths homewards to young Kiwis and Aussies intent on the OE. I sailed on both ships as a deck officer and while S CROSS - from the Harland & Wolff yard) lasted about 50 years her (almost) twin - lauched in the Tyne at Vickers -was not only heavily laden with problems in the engineroom but became a victim of the arrival of the jumbo jet airplanes.

In addition to the near grounding at the entrance to the Tyne she was also involved, during a typical Wellington storm in 1963, in landing heavily on the end of Kings Wharf while attempting to berth. Split open the side which caused a 3 day delay while the patch was fitted. Not a great day for the poor engineers down below for, during the berthing manouevres as 3/0, I swung the telegraphs well in excess of 300 times including 8 double (as in 'urgent') rings. Not easy for the engineers to swing from full ahead to full astern with turbines.

Later in life trasferred to cruising but never designed for that type of operation. I also recall that at some stage she also nudged the reef while departing from Tahiti.