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Duke Drennan
1st September 2018, 09:21 PM
Dirty job but the O.T. compensated somewhat.

Any clues on the origin of the term?

Captain Kong
1st September 2018, 09:50 PM
Butterworth was the name of the company that manufactured the equipment.

Duke Drennan
1st September 2018, 10:15 PM
Butterworth was the name of the company that manufactured the equipment.

Took me 50 years to hear that. Thanks.

Lewis McColl
3rd October 2018, 09:15 PM
When ships carried Butterworth gear , hoses and spray heads were they always on hire? someone once told me the company could not buy them only hire them !!! any truth in this??

John Arton
4th October 2018, 12:18 PM
Lewis
Don't think any ship owner would hire the tank cleaning gear but when I worked with Ceres shipping, which were the Greek owners who started Seachem, because of friction between the Chief Officer and the 2 me engineer on a number of the Greek tankers I was looking after as a port captain, if one of the machines broke down, despite there being ample space parts on board neither of them would attempt to fix them, instead they would just order replacement machines at the next port, landing the broken machines to the makers representative in exchange.
Butterworth were the original maker's of the tank cleaning machines and there's were bleddy heavy jobs with the machine bodies being made of cast bronze.other makers such as Dasic, Gunclean etc used lighter gun metal castings but all makers used the basic principles of operation. The machine half a small turbine in its body that was driven by the wash water, the turbine then driving a gear box that trotated the whole body of the machine through 360 degrees in the horizontal plane whilst the was water came out of nozzles that rotated through 360 degrees in the vertical plane. Lowering the machines connected by hoses to the deck tank cleaning water main in " drops" of 20 minutes or so, ensured that all surfaces of the cargo tank were subjected to high pressure water washing. Depending upon the cargo being cleaned the wash water would be heated to the required temperature.prior to the introduction of MARPOL regs that wash water would be pumped directly overboard leaving an thin oil slick behind the vessel, after MARPOL the wash water was pumped to the slop tanks where the residual oil would settle out to the top and the clean water below would be pumped to sea via the oil water monitor. Modern tankers have fixed machines in there cargo tanks as all tank cleaning is done under inert atmosphere so you cannot have the bolted Butterworth hatches through which you would lower your tank cleaning machines through.
Chemical tankers, which is where I spent the majority of my time on tankers with were not much different as we often carried oil products so we're governed by the same regs as oil tankers but most of the chemicals we carried the washings either had to be discharged ashore or could be discharged direct to sea so long as certain strict criteria was met such as max. Amount remaining in tank after stripping, distance off shore, rate of discharge, speed of ship, discharge to take place via a specifically designed under water discharge opening that enabled dilution and difusion and also the category of the cargo.
Rgds
J.A.

robpage
4th October 2018, 12:38 PM
Gulf Oil tankers owned the Butterworth machine that we used , hot water and discharged over the side , We certainly never did every tank every ballast passage ,

Red Lead Ted
4th October 2018, 02:32 PM
I was only in one tanker, Shells Achatina, My experience of changing cargo and using Butterworth gear was it was bloody hopeless you still ended up Tank diving, That's the reason I only done one Tanker Terry. :eek:

robpage
5th October 2018, 10:51 AM
Our ABs would do a tank dive , tank re ballasted , a lot of 50 gallon drums of float-coat paint tipped into tank using a chain block , frame and drum grabs , ballast pumped out , tank repainted , drums flogged off at $5 each , job's a good'un

John Arton
5th October 2018, 11:09 AM
Rob
Float- coat, that's a blast from the past. As cadet I can recall using it once as an experiment in the dedicated ballast tanks on my first ship. Don't know if it was effective though. Tank diving after butterworthing was my 3 rd job at sea ( after recovering from sea sickness crossing the bay of Biscay). 1 st job, scrub out wheelhouse at 06:00, 2 nd job, polish compass binnacle on monkey island, 3 rd job, tank cleaning for 14 hours a day including going down cleaned? Cargo tanks to remove sludge and sediment remaining. Can still recall to this day the smell and effect on taste of those crude oil sediments.
Rgds
J.A.

Tony Taylor
5th October 2018, 11:45 AM
I was only in one tanker, Shells Achatina, My experience of changing cargo and using Butterworth gear was it was bloody hopeless you still ended up Tank diving, That's the reason I only done one Tanker Terry. :eek:

I did two trips on the Achatina, last one was 9 months and tank cleaning with the old butterworth system was a pain for everyone. .

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Rob
Float- coat, that's a blast from the past. As cadet I can recall using it once as an experiment in the dedicated ballast tanks on my first ship. Don't know if it was effective though. Tank diving after butterworthing was my 3 rd job at sea ( after recovering from sea sickness crossing the bay of Biscay). 1 st job, scrub out wheelhouse at 06:00, 2 nd job, polish compass binnacle on monkey island, 3 rd job, tank cleaning for 14 hours a day including going down cleaned? Cargo tanks to remove sludge and sediment remaining. Can still recall to this day the smell and effect on taste of those crude oil sediments.
Rgds
J.A.

John, Float coat was rubbish and I believe disappeared from the market.

robpage
5th October 2018, 12:23 PM
We got the drum money from the scrap man in Ecuador , paint was gash but the drums were good

Des Taff Jenkins
6th October 2018, 01:01 AM
Hi All.
On Tank cleaning with BP always volunteered to do the wheel; spent eight hours a day on the wheel still got the overtime but clean.
In Antwerp we were cleaning tanks and pumping the sludge ashore when three blokes were gassed down the tank, had a hell of a job getting them out I went down and tied a rope around two of them then had to get out, someone else did the other one, they were rushed to hospital and were lucky to live.
Cheers Des

happy daze john in oz
6th October 2018, 05:57 AM
Not having experienced anything like that, it sounds horrific to some extent and one wonders why there was not a better system than sending men down there to clean up.
Sounds a bit like Dickens, sending four year olds up chimneys to remove the soot.

cappy
6th October 2018, 07:38 AM
Hi All.
On Tank cleaning with BP always volunteered to do the wheel; spent eight hours a day on the wheel still got the overtime but clean.
In Antwerp we were cleaning tanks and pumping the sludge ashore when three blokes were gassed down the tank, had a hell of a job getting them out I went down and tied a rope around two of them then had to get out, someone else did the other one, they were rushed to hospital and were lucky to live.
Cheers Des

###morning des .....glad to see you aboard again .....welcome old buddy regards and respects to you cappy

Captain Kong
6th October 2018, 07:46 AM
It was a stupid system,
Go down a gas filled tank digging out sludge which releases more gas, climb up a 50 foot ladder wobbly and dazed, then the Mate gives you a large tot of rum then go down again. ,only another 27 tanks to do,


Today on VLCCs there is a branch line from the main discharge line. that leads into the Butterworth machine. that rotates at a high angle and slowly as the tank level of the crude goes down the angle changes, it blasts all the tank side removing the crude and scales of rust. all th way down to the bottom and all the tank bottom is blasted with the outgoing crude, leaving the tank all nice and clean.
At the same time the Tank is full of inert gas, so no risk of explosion. All the sludge and scales are discharged with the cargo.
Brian.

John Arton
6th October 2018, 12:45 PM
Another strange thing irecall from tank cleaning on my first trip to sea was that after tank washing we had a fitment that was placed in the deck opening where the Butterworth machine had been and live steam was injected into the tank to assist in gas freeing. After a certain period of time this would be removed and a water driven fan would be used in its place to remove the steam and gas free the tank. Using this injection of steam caused a hue and cry from the engineers as it rapidly went through the boiler water content.
Rgds
J.A.

Chris Allman
6th October 2018, 06:12 PM
As far as I am concerned all of you who worked on Tankers were heroes. I was on General Cargo all my seafaring time and deep tanks were enough for me. We carried linseed oil, palm oil, vegetable oils and some stuff called ' Iso -octinal ', something to do with Aircraft Jet Fuel. How you went through all you did, tank cleaning and living with the ever present risk of gas and explosion I don't know. All I can say is ' thank you ', thank you very much.

robpage
6th October 2018, 07:50 PM
I did it solely to get my steam time in for my seconds ticket I had all the general time in that I could handle which I think was 9 months as a junior watchkeeper and I then needed something like 9 months of steam time as a junior watchkeeper to do that on the Union castle mail ships could take 5 or 6 years at least took two trips on a tanker .

Captain Kong
6th October 2018, 08:40 PM
I did 12 years with ESSO and also on several Shell tankers.

I found that ESSO was the best ever company to work for, Good wages, excellent accommodation and leave ratio, Excellent catering
All my college fees and exam fees paid whilst on full pay all the time. Stayed in the very best Hotels world wide, usually a Hilton, good none contributory Pension scheme, and early retirement with a very LARGE Golden Handshake, with excellent financial advisers, I am still spending the results 30 years later. Best move I ever made.

Cheers
Brian.

j.sabourn
7th October 2018, 01:11 AM
As said I am not a tanker man at heart. The two clean products carriers I was on , on the NZ coast running from Whangerie as far as Bluff we did about 4 or 5 runs we never tank cleaned between between cargoes as was petrol on top of petrol. After 3 months coming off the coast went up to Newcastle NSW to tank clean alongside away from the town cum city. On the other tanker running between Bangor Mashur and Japan carrying mainly jet A1 and Jet A2, Naptha, and all sorts had to tank clean after every cargo. We were not inerted . In fact on doing my year on tankers went as a previous post on a seller of the Inert systems products in Southampton and may have been responsible for a bomb cell being discovered in that fair city. Anyone looking for me for retaliation purposes my name is Cappy and I sometimes can be contacted in South Shields. JS....

Tony Taylor
7th October 2018, 10:59 AM
If I recall correctly we used to recirculate the settled water back to the heater as it still retained some heat and therefore reduced the load somewhat on the boilers,

Jim Brady
7th October 2018, 06:39 PM
Story being told on Hamilton a tanker i was on.On some tanker (no name) the Butterworth gear knocked a sheet of rust off the tank bulkhead as this rust slid down the bulkhead it created a spark which in turn created an explosion,possible or just another urban myth.???
Regards.
Jim.B.

Keith at Tregenna
7th October 2018, 07:31 PM
What is ‘butterworthing’ a tank?

https://www.bicmagazine.com/departments/maintenance-reliability-subsection/may-2018-what-is-butterworthing-a-tank/

https://www.butterworth.com/

K.

j.sabourn
8th October 2018, 12:02 AM
To my recollection Keith it was a machine you lowered into a tank and jetted out water under pressure whilst trying to reach every part of the tank. Just like your garden reticulation system if you have one. Used to lower this into the tank to be cleaned at various drops in a tank , I seem to remember it was at 20 and 40 foot drops on the 2 tankers I was on. They being clean products carriers would not have had the deep sludge that crude oil carriers would have had. The tankermen will clarify this better. You were not considered gas free until this had been done and the explosometer lowered and tested for gas. The most dangerous part and time on a tanker was when it was empty and not gas free. jS

Keith at Tregenna
8th October 2018, 12:07 AM
Sorry was uncertain, if it was a quiz or not.

Will hold on for an answer.

K.

j.sabourn
8th October 2018, 12:29 AM
That is your answer hopefully Keith. Others may have more modern versions of the Butterworth system and if so we both can benefit by it . The basics of the inert gas system for tankers it used to be the flu gases that is those from the engine room that went up the funnel were put through a water chamber and converted to either a high or low oxygen content and then passed into the oil tanks to give the tank either an oxygen rich or lack of oxygen to DIminish the prospect of fire and explosion which requires the correct amount of oxygen which any fire has to have.. There again this is 1970 teachings. Today is probably different . JS...PS Keith on the IOW will explain the fire triangle to you if you don’t know , him being an ex firefighter will be one of the first things he learned in the fire service. There you are Keith ( IOW) can we drink during your lecture , I stopped smoking a long time ago so others will have to ask that one. Cheers JS

Keith at Tregenna
8th October 2018, 01:24 AM
Thanks.

K.

j.sabourn
8th October 2018, 01:47 AM
I think the greatest lack of knowledge I have seen on this site and was totally unnecessary, was that of clearing out of under the forecastle head prior to a Suez Canal transit. The reasons that many believed it was due to a Bolshevik mate or a secretive master and just plain cussedness by others, and this was allowed to fester. A two line explanation that it was to comply with the Suez Canal certification would have saved a lot of malice and ill feeling that a lot of people carried for years. The working of a ship there should be no secrets. Thank God I sailed mainly with people who were only too pleased to impart their knowledge to others. Another one as when there was no shore leave and no reason given, it may have been there was cholera or some other disease ashore and this was not imparted. There were numerous instances on a ship which only took a minute to explain. People are much happier being kept in the picture rather than being shut out. JWS.

robpage
8th October 2018, 03:32 AM
Story being told on Hamilton a tanker i was on.On some tanker (no name) the Butterworth gear knocked a sheet of rust off the tank bulkhead as this rust slid down the bulkhead it created a spark which in turn created an explosion,possible or just another urban myth.???
Regards.
Jim.B.

the Big Bangs were the Shell Mactra and the King Haaken III if I remember , the Mactra had a hole in the deck that would have swallowed the 8,000 ton cargo ship I was on moored next too it in Durban, the other was in Dakar, we were told that the big tanks had moisture clouds thst were electrically charged and had miniature lightening storms banged the fumes , never heard of scale doing it , but don't see why not

Tony Taylor
8th October 2018, 08:48 AM
the Big Bangs were the Shell Mactra and the King Haaken III if I remember , the Mactra had a hole in the deck that would have swallowed the 8,000 ton cargo ship I was on moored next too it in Durban, the other was in Dakar, we were told that the big tanks had moisture clouds thst were electrically charged and had miniature lightening storms banged the fumes , never heard of scale doing it , but don't see why not

Massive research done by Shell resulted in finding that a static charge had built up in the fixed tank washing machine which discharged to hull when nozzle came close. Also found that the bronze tools that had to be used in hazardous spaces more readily accepted a charge than steel tools and equally as readily discharged. Cable round whole fleet, all Telcon tools to be ditched over the side bearing in mind every ship (about 95 ships in the fleet then) had big sets kept in tailor made boxes, must have been worth a fortune just in scrap value. Just while on subject, I was on site at Shell Stanlow a few years back and their fitters were still using the same tools! just shows how these big companies dont always coordinate.

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That is your answer hopefully Keith. Others may have more modern versions of the Butterworth system and if so we both can benefit by it . The basics of the inert gas system for tankers it used to be the flu gases that is those from the engine room that went up the funnel were put through a water chamber and converted to either a high or low oxygen content and then passed into the oil tanks to give the tank either an oxygen rich or lack of oxygen to DIminish the prospect of fire and explosion which requires the correct amount of oxygen which any fire has to have.. There again this is 1970 teachings. Today is probably different . JS...PS Keith on the IOW will explain the fire triangle to you if you don’t know , him being an ex firefighter will be one of the first things he learned in the fire service. There you are Keith ( IOW) can we drink during your lecture , I stopped smoking a long time ago so others will have to ask that one. Cheers JS

Ha Ha, , reminds me of my first fire fighting course at Shell Stanlow in 1970, believe it or not , they served us jugs of beer at lunchtime. Just the ticket for us as we were on sherbet every night back at the hotel.

robpage
8th October 2018, 08:53 AM
With Gulf Oil the No-spark tools were Bahco and in the early 1970's were insanely expensive and in short supply , i.e. deck use only

John Arton
8th October 2018, 10:00 AM
Keith at T
#2 explains how a tank cleaning machine, or Butterworthing operates.
JWS
Inert gas systems take flue gas from the main engine, pass it through a scrubber to remove particles and any remaining oxygen. It then goes through the deck water seal which acts as a non return valve to prevent any hydrocarbon carbon gases getting from the cargo tanks back to the engine room. I sailed on a vlcc that when the regulation's regarding the fitting of an inert gas system came into force, we had two inert gas generators fitted on deck below the bridge wings. They consisted of a structure housing a diesel engine that supplied there flue gases to the inert gas system of blowers, scrubber and deck water seal. Bloody noisy when in operation and not very efficient. Chemical tankers cannot use flue gas for inerting cargo tanks as it would put the cargo off spec. Instead they put a nitrogen blanket on top of the cargo, topping it up with nitrogen supplied from bottled nitrogen carried for the purpose, or from their own onboard nitrogen generator. The nitrogen used for blankets/ inerting tanks has to be 99.9% pure in order to prevent cargo contamination.
Rgds
J.A.

j.sabourn
8th October 2018, 11:10 AM
#32. If things had turned out different I would of probably carried on with J.I.J. And finished up on the big monstrosity they built and lay up one of the Norwegian fiords and never carried a cargo for them. They even built a wharf for her to lie alongside. Think I was one of them being groomed for her. However the bottom dropped out of the market and she finished up a white elephant and broke the back of the company , the dry cargo ships paying the price. As said in a previous post I had a lot of time for JIJ and believe they were one of the original private owned tanker companies. The new building I didn’t even know her name if she had one and not just a number. I had The choice of going with Runcimans . back where I started or Chapman’s , I got the interview in my house , Runcimans got there first and went back with them, big mistake never go back with a company you once spent 11 years with, everyone thinks your a company spy and getting preferential treatment , one trip and I got out. This was another Exmoor think one of the members was on her under Runcimans shipping at a different time, what I saw of them the night of the long knives had nothing on them. Suppose they were all terrified of redundancy. JWS

Ken Norton
8th October 2018, 11:43 AM
While on board an old riveted tanker, which was kept purposely for Northern Hemisphere ports to carry furnace oil to very remote places it was necassary to carry out repairs to leaking cargo heating steam pipes in the tanks. Not a very pleasant job and usually the chief would choose a couple of junior engineers for the work, remember being down there between ports, light ship repairing (Thisle bond bandages and flange jointings in the main) field days galore. Only bonus was a tot of Four bells per day for tank diving, always got good measures so didn't moan at all. Happy Days lol :rolleyes:

Ken Norton
8th October 2018, 12:20 PM
Inert gas systems for tankers https://cultofsea.com/tanker/inert-gas

Tony Taylor
8th October 2018, 12:28 PM
While on board an old riveted tanker, which was kept purposely for Northern Hemisphere ports to carry furnace oil to very remote places it was necassary to carry out repairs to leaking cargo heating steam pipes in the tanks. Not a very pleasant job and usually the chief would choose a couple of junior engineers for the work, remember being down there between ports, light ship repairing (Thisle bond bandages and flange jointings in the main) field days galore. Only bonus was a tot of Four bells per day for tank diving, always got good measures so didn't moan at all. Happy Days lol :rolleyes:

Nice one Ken, done lots myself, but no Thistlbond on heating coils, we had to do em the "right way". On that subject tho, in late 60s, Shell removed all oxyacetylene gear from the fleet and replaced it with "sophisticated repair kits", in other words, a blue toolbox with a few tins of Thistlebond, some glass bandage, a couple of wooden sticks (spatulas even) and a couple of tubes of A&B cement. If you were in hot climates you had to be super quick when mixing otherwise there would be an exothermic reaction and the resin would boil out of the tin before you could use it.

Ken Norton
8th October 2018, 01:10 PM
Hi Tony yes in those days we never carried welding equipt. as time went by we did and then used to fabricate pipe section replacements also, in the main the old Thistlebond was a temporary evil as it never lasted long (Bodge up), never used it much after that ship so pleased for electric arc welding machines as where I had served my apprenticeship I had become a class A welder, so you can imagine the frustration of using "glue" for repairs. However we still never carried oxy- acetylene, used to have to use a giant vaporising oil blow lamp (eng. rm.only) for silver solder and the likes. (Frustrating to say the least but hey) what as it we used to say "If you can't take a joke you shouldn't have signed on" :) Ken

Red Lead Ted
8th October 2018, 01:13 PM
As far as I am concerned all of you who worked on Tankers were heroes. I was on General Cargo all my seafaring time and deep tanks were enough for me. We carried linseed oil, palm oil, vegetable oils and some stuff called ' Iso -octinal ', something to do with Aircraft Jet Fuel. How you went through all you did, tank cleaning and living with the ever present risk of gas and explosion I don't know. All I can say is ' thank you ', thank you very much.


Chris, A few years ago Pete Price was doing his late night show on radio { Magic } He was banging the drum for the trade that the scrape and metal mincer which as you know is situated on the dock road had brought to the city, I rang him and basically asked him where he was coming from, That heap of junk that was once a dock on the dock road is trade know one on Merseyside wants its toxic/ Unsightly/ And basically a bloody disgrace we are becoming the capital of asthmatic kids growing up around that . As you probably know he was a Merchant seaman, That is if a few Montreal crossings on the Empress of Canada qualifies you because that was all he done, Where about do you live he asked me Seaforth I said what's that got to do with it ? Well he said know one complained when the oil tankers unloaded, Pete I said there was no oil discharged on this side of the river only Palm oil from the Palm boats of which I sailed in a couple myself. I beg your pardon he said I was in the M.N. So was I Pete but unlike yourself doing a few crossings on the Empress of Canada which I also done, You are talking out of your :Whatever: The phone went dead. Just shows you how misinformed people can be. I agree one Tanker was enough for me give me a good old General cargo boat with a good mix of crew any day. Terry

Captain Kong
8th October 2018, 04:40 PM
That Thistlebond was also very useful for filling teeth when a filling came out. it worked.

Lewis McColl
8th October 2018, 06:27 PM
Do you mean the A&B cement?

robpage
8th October 2018, 07:52 PM
When on Gulf tankers we used Heather Bond they had a whole series of different compounds for filling bronze brass aluminium steel repairing pipes etc but the main thing we use for repairing pipes with like a 6 inch long jubilee clip that you put around the pipe and I think it had two or three tensioning screws that you can send it up on and a rubber liner once i't clamped on the pipe it was therefore good

Tony Taylor
8th October 2018, 09:49 PM
When on Gulf tankers we used Heather Bond they had a whole series of different compounds for filling bronze brass aluminium steel repairing pipes etc but the main thing we use for repairing pipes with like a 6 inch long jubilee clip that you put around the pipe and I think it had two or three tensioning screws that you can send it up on and a rubber liner once i't clamped on the pipe it was therefore good

Then of course, the ultimate if all else fails..... the good old cement box ha ha!

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That Thistlebond was also very useful for filling teeth when a filling came out. it worked.

It must have b-ggered your sense of taste tho. ha ha

robpage
9th October 2018, 05:17 AM
We used a lot of sand and cement , mixed 4/1 with waterproof additive and rapid set , on sea inlet valves , a lot of aging welds

Tony Taylor
9th October 2018, 08:05 AM
It was a stupid system,
Go down a gas filled tank digging out sludge which releases more gas, climb up a 50 foot ladder wobbly and dazed, then the Mate gives you a large tot of rum then go down again. ,only another 27 tanks to do,


Today on VLCCs there is a branch line from the main discharge line. that leads into the Butterworth machine. that rotates at a high angle and slowly as the tank level of the crude goes down the angle changes, it blasts all the tank side removing the crude and scales of rust. all th way down to the bottom and all the tank bottom is blasted with the outgoing crude, leaving the tank all nice and clean.
At the same time the Tank is full of inert gas, so no risk of explosion. All the sludge and scales are discharged with the cargo.
Brian.

It came in early seventies, VLCCS in Shell had fixed machines but also had Butterworth heaters (hot washing stopped after the Mactra blew up 69 / 70). I did a trial discharge in Europort on Marticia in 71/72 ish. The main reasons were that the shoreside decided that as the sludge was oil rich they wanted it as previously they did not, other reasons included, COW (crude oil washing) as it became known as , meant that operations were carried out in over rich conditions so safer, and the best thing to remove oil sludge was - oil.