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View Full Version : The 10,000 ton tramp and crew manning.



j.sabourn
25th December 2018, 01:45 AM
Looking back on the crews of yesteryear and comparing today as regards workload , just on the normal workload of the past the numbers of today would be extremely hard put to perform the duties of yesteryear. Just as one example for the trampship on the sugar trade Cuba to Japan, loading at the surf ports in Cuba. Apart from the continuous readjustments of the derricks preventers guys etc. at the five hatches, and the old type hatches themselves with wooden boards ,which had to be opened and closed as per weather a big job in itself before. The advent of tents. If bagged sugar had to have a tallyman at each hatch usually the 4 apprentices and the sparks if willing.
Making a lee for the lighters, for those who have never done , used to take about 6 men at least, meant passing the insurance wire ( the vessels tow wire) the biggest and usually the heaviest wire on the ship , which was usually stowed under the focsle head on its own drum, leading down aft , through the quarter leads ( Panama lead preferably in case jumped out of the rollers as was then in strife) up the outboard side of the ship and shackled onto the anchor chain with a 100 ton shackle. The other end or the bight of this heavy wire was then turned up on the bits or even two pairs of bitts as the case may be. The anchor cable was then walked out and weight on wire pulled the ships stern across the wind and tide. All this took manpower ,apart from other on going jobs.
Today you have very large deadweight ships running around with 15 of a crew and that’s all hands.
Old methods of seamanship unless they are mechanised are impossible to do as we knew how to do the job. All I can say job wise of today’s future seamen if there are any, thank your lucky stars that today things are different muscle wise. Cheers JWS

j.sabourn
25th December 2018, 06:04 AM
How many hull colours of ships that you sailed on can you remember? Black (of course) , but also red, grey, green, high luminosity orange, purple, blue, and many just a rusty colour. Never did sail on a white hulled ship. Nearly all superstructures however were white, but some buff, one was silver ( aluminium paint ) . Sometimes when you think back you can remember people on a ship and things that happened many moons ago, but the actual name of ship can forget together with her company colours , so the mind must work on the principle of remembering the important facts first. Cheers on this bright sunny and red hot Xmas morning and should be doing better things than sitting here doodling. I’m off to greener pastures. Unfortuanetley this period of the year as far back as I like to remember, the media is quick to make us aware of the various tragedy’s around the world which seem to be always more so at this time of the year. The Sydney to Hobart yacht race starts tomorrow and I can remember the bad one and loss of lives 20 or so years ago, I sailed from Sydney in the same gale conditions for a passage to Fremantle and nearly made for a port of refuge. Let’s hope they all make it safely this year and every year. Also other tragedy’s are null and void. JS

Louis the fly
25th December 2018, 08:39 AM
Well here am I 0800 Christmas morning , just getting light , the heating is on. Sitting at the computer , coughing , sneezing and my nose running like an old wash down hose.
Yesterday for the first time in many days it was not raining. I decided to give the car a good dhobi , it was covered in mud at the bottom and dirty water marks from the roadside puddles.
I am now paying the price for this sudden surge of energy. Got to get myself moving soon , shower and shave them meet up with the family about 10 miles away for a pub lunch. Wrong day to be ill.

With regards to John's post on ships paint. British ships had too many colours. The masts , Samson posts and derricks were one colour , bridge , super structure and housing another colour usually white. The decks were painted red or green , over the wall there could be two or three different colours of paint. On a typical Norwegian or Swedish ship just two colours , perhaps blue and white. They always looked much smarter than us.

Time to get my ass into gear , more coffee and tablets. Hope you all have a pleasant family day.

robpage
25th December 2018, 09:22 AM
On the Asian Crews clan line ships there were 15 offices 2 cadets 10 in catering 10 in the engine room and 15 on Deck making a total crew of 52

The Hulls were all black , the decks red the masts Ray except on steamships where the masts on number 4 and Number 5 Hatch were black superstructure always white and the final black and red with red boot.topping . Inside the accommodation they seem to like a pale green

In the rest of the fleet the bowaters were green hulled ,v and the Union Castle ships that carried refrigerated cargo had London grey which we all referred to as lavender

vic mcclymont
25th December 2018, 09:29 AM
RB, you were lucky, eleven officers on the Ranald, sometimes a cadet. Now and again a 4.E..
Can't remember how many Zulus we carried, seem to remember totalcrew about 35sh.
Vic

Captain Kong
25th December 2018, 09:31 AM
The `Nicholas K ` had only one colour all over the ship. RED.
Just covered in Red Rust.

robpage
25th December 2018, 09:39 AM
RB, you were lucky, eleven officers on the Ranald, sometimes a cadet. Now and again a 4.E..
Can't remember how many Zulus we carried, seem to remember totalcrew about 35sh.
Vic

When the CLan Rs came out I'm not sure from memory if they weren't engine room watches one man a watch so you had second junior 2nd and 3rd engineer in the engine room but didn't they go UMS in the end

vic mcclymont
25th December 2018, 09:46 AM
Went UMS in 1971.
Vic

j.sabourn
25th December 2018, 10:38 AM
#5 Vic if I remember correctly every ship had a minimum manning scale. This was usually as regards the deck centred about having 9 ABs to cover 3 on a watch. Those basic 9 ABs could be made up of lower ratings for example 2 SOSs equaling 1 AB. The BOT to my thinking never did concern themselves too much about the trade of the vessel
Just the basic of going from A to B. This worked in most cases to the shipowners benefit where he could increase his labour force by say employing 6 ordinary seamen in place of 3 ABs. I think the manning scales also included the carriage of certain other deck ratings as well as the 9 AB. I remember as 2 mate being left in the shipping office by the master with his instructions of what ratings he wanted this was at that grain port up the MSC. So probably the manning was left up to the ship as long as the basic manning was adhered to. And on tramps you needed the man power. I think but not too sure 4 deck boys could be carried in place of 1 AB. You could never have too many. Men, as long as you had beds for them. That’s one of the reasons why DBSs were so welcome. Accomodation and lifeboat cover were the only two drawbacks that I can remember as to the number of crew you carried, as well of course as to medical facilities. Of course this today bears no resemblance to today’s manning.
JS.

Keith Tindell
25th December 2018, 11:49 AM
Ref 1, i remember well those hatch-boards, stacked up on deck, steel beams as well, and i was a young fit man in those days, and even then those bloody boards were heavy. Slightest sign of rain a big work up to get everything covered up. I never experienced the hatch tents, but would have been a big improvement on the old system. On later ships the pure luxury of Mc gregor hatches. On Mc Andrews ships, all white, hull and super structure, and much overtime keeping them pristine, kt

Ken Norton
25th December 2018, 11:58 AM
Remember the domino hatchboards, the steel beams and three tarpaulins per hatch, the "Booty free" being rolled up in the first tarp, they never did find it. lol

j.sabourn
25th December 2018, 11:41 PM
As this post is mainly for things at the fringes of our memory banks. Can anyone supply that is if there is one the correct name for the redesigned bosuns chair one used up the seaway for landing men on the approach walls to the locks to handle the ropes. It consisted of the piece of wood with one hole drilled in. The centre to which the rope went . The seat was just placed between the legs and you just stepped away from it on touching down on the Quay. Did it have its own name.? Or just the usual bosuns chair. ? JS. Something just tells me it was. Referred to as the seaway Chair. JS

Des Taff Jenkins
26th December 2018, 12:17 AM
Hi John.
For the most part of what I remember there were 9 ABs, three on day work; two to a watch plus a SOS and a JOS, plus a two deck boys as alternate Peggy's. I suppose different companies different manning. On the NZ coast I don't remember carrying any deck boys, all ships had a mess man, there was no JOS or SOS, just what was called a Bucko which was the equivalent of a SOS, I have often wondered how the Kiwis started at sea as I don't think they had a sea school as such, the majority there were former Poms.
Cheers Des

j.sabourn
26th December 2018, 12:17 AM
#11... we used to call them tin lids ken. The king and queen beams , were marked by holes in them for them going back in right position , even then mistakes were sometimes made Whose fault it was that couldn’t count correctly usually developed into a slanging match , especially if it was job and finish before going ashore. Cheers JS

j.sabourn
26th December 2018, 12:33 AM
#13.. it’s ok it’s not Friday with ref to #13. My time out here was all on the new categories of deck manning so can’t go back to your time here Des. I was on offshore agreements also mainly. However new entrants to the profession , like the old deck boy, went on to 50 percent of what a general service seaman got. Which in the 1990s was about 60,000 $ a year , so a new entrant was on 30,000 $ for 12 months probationary period. This was for a 1 on 1 off system. Not bad earnings out here for that period. Since I officially retired in 2002 , I am lead to believe by a person I know who still goes back from time to time, conditions haven’t kept up with the times and cheaper labour has crept in which was unheard of in my time working here. Any discussion will probably bring back Union policy’s or lack of today and will pull politics back into the argument and people’s views on unions. Myself I would give preference to the way things were , before I retired , what salary’s are today I wouldnt have a clue, but do know my source of information is not too happy with the state of affairs in shipping in general. Cheers JS...

Ken Norton
26th December 2018, 11:35 AM
#14 Yes John I know we used to have fun and games with the beams at times, also remember fun and games starting the Lister/ Petter engines up on the derricks. I used to get the job of swinging these over and starting up, (PERHAPS GREEN) but a young and fit deck boy. It became "My job" on the M.V. Foxfield, one early cold morning I managed to start them all after various attempts by the rest of the crew. The Irish mate used to say, "Get out the way boys Big Lofty will start 'em", after that it became engraved in stone.lol

Louis the fly
27th December 2018, 08:48 AM
As this post is mainly for things at the fringes of our memory banks. Can anyone supply that is if there is one the correct name for the redesigned bosuns chair one used up the seaway for landing men on the approach walls to the locks to handle the ropes. It consisted of the piece of wood with one hole drilled in. The centre to which the rope went . The seat was just placed between the legs and you just stepped away from it on touching down on the Quay. Did it have its own name.? Or just the usual bosuns chair. ? JS. Something just tells me it was. Referred to as the seaway Chair. JS

Hi John one's I have used are different than you describe . They were known as T bars , the person being swung ashore stood on the cross end of the T and held onto the upright section.