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  • Favourite Ship(s)

    aHow about a favourite ships thread?
    We could even move onto a "most hated" thread too!
    Even if you've haven't actually joined your first ship yet, you're bound to have a favourite of some description - so lets get them on and then we can heckle at will!

    To start of with, a personal favourite of mine - the good ship 'British Skill'.
    A fine product of Harland & Wolff in Belfast, same yard which build the Titanic of course, and this one was just as seaworthy!
    I spent 5 months on this MIGHTY vessel running around Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan. Load ports were generally awful, but discharge ports generally very good, mainly because to do a full discharge took the best part of a week due to frequent black outs/breakdowns/oil spills etc.
    Some very happy (hazy) memories of lots of time alongside in Tokyo Bay (Disneyland was great for picking up women!), Brisbane (the Valley!), Sydney (Kings Cross!), Singapore (four floors!) etc.
    On a good day she could just about do 12 knots, downhill, with the wind behind her, with sea passages regularly interrupted by frequent black outs/breakdowns and a few oil spills.
    She was pretty 'tired' by the time I was on her, with the crew hammering through the rotten decks/bulkheads on a daily basis, and just about everything else either rusted solid/seized/broken down/running at slow speed/life expired/on its way out. Every day was a different challenge, mainly because we never knew what would break next.
    Saying that, we had it pretty easy compared to what the Engineers had to deal with.
    Indeed I recall a heated discussion going on between our Chief Engineer and a Superintendent about the lack of planned maintenance that had been signed off. The Chiefs response was the classic "we haven't got time for maintenance - we're too busy dealing with the emergencies!".
    She was also one of the last ships in BP to have decent sized crew - 17 (all British) Officers and about 22 ratings.
    One of the hallmarks of this class of ship was a firm work hard/play hard philosophy - you worked your bollocks off and partied like a madman - only way to stay sane.
    She also had a (serious un)healthy cockroach and weevil population onboard which shared the massive accommodation with the rest of us.
    Oh but we loved her!
    The Bars were always busy, the Officers especially so as quite a few of said Officers had their wives with them. Silver service for all meals (Uniform required to be worn for all), Steward serving in the Officers bar between 1700-2200 and BBQ's every weekend, usually in conjunction with some sort of theme/fancy dress party.
    I've since found out that we're all likely to be shaving with her these days, her having gone to that great shipyard in the sky at Alang.
    A fine photograph of her passing the Sydney Opera House which was taken whilst I was aboard hangs in my living room as a reminder of some very happy times.
    Rust in Peace old girl...

  • #2
    Re: Favourite Ship(s)

    Well providing i pass the hearing standards I hope to serve
    Forum Admin

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    • #3
      Re: Favourite Ship(s)

      I'd be quite content if ended up working on this one...

      http://www.rrsjamescook.com
      http://www.ship-technology.com/projects/rrsjamescook/
      http://www.classroomatsea.net/JC010/index.html

      (or either of the other two RRS ships...)
      Emeritus Admin & Founding Member

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      • #4
        Re: Favourite Ship(s)

        Another favourite of mine was the 'Hebridean Princess' built originally as the 'Columba' for David Macbrayne way back in 1964. She was converted to a luxury (5 star) cruise ship in the late 1980s and was for many years in the worlds top 5 luxury cruise ships, I believe she's still in the top 10 - not bad for an old car ferry!
        Mechanically, she's completely original - everything in the Engine Room and on deck is early 1960s technology - no automation whatsoever in the Engine Room, no auto pilot, no bridge control for engines (mechanical telegraphs in use to relay orders), voice pipes/sound powered telephones for Bridge/Engine Room etc communication.
        She was and is maintained like a private yacht by a dedicated crew, most of whom have been on her for many years.
        I was 2nd Officer onboard and loved every minute of it. For a start I only had to do about 6 hours 'work' a day, 4 hours spent on the bridge in the morning watchkeeping, and then hosting lunch with the passengers 1300-1500 (meeting and greeting in the passengers bar at 1230 for drinks). If the weather was suitable we'd have cocktail parties on the aft deck, with some fantastic al fresco dining. Being a very civilised ship, we would drop anchor/go alongside at 1900 every night and not move again until breakfast time the next day - the idea being that the motion of the ship at night might disturb the sleep of the passengers.
        One of my over riding duties was to lock up the Passengers bar at 2300 every night - which never happened, mainly because I was usually still in it. Officers often had a completely free bar tab and we had an absolutely huge whisky/rum collection to choose from, not to mention having a proper wine cellar onboard.
        The crew bar was fully soundproofed (essential) and every night of the week there'd be some kind of spurious party going on - we actually had a committee whose job it was to scour the calendars/diarys to ensure we had some kind of event/theme to celebrate every night.
        A wonderful old ship, and now in her 46th year of operation!

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        • #5
          Re: Favourite Ship(s)

          Ahh, yes, I've seen her... I think a select few lucky Chiltern cadets may have graced her...
          ("All Leisure Group" http://www.chilternmaritime.com/)

          Definitely another on my list of faves...

          (more shots available here... http://www.hebridean.co.uk/ )
          Emeritus Admin & Founding Member

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