Author Topic: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull  (Read 3914 times)

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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« on: Aug 26, 2011, 05:20 PM »
The affected boiler had to be replaced by dry-docking the liner and cutting an access hole in her side to remove the damaged machinery and install its replacement.

Similar damage to an older ship would, perhaps, have resulted in its premature scrapping.

So here, in July 1976, we have an instance of a "caesarian operation" carried out on QE2's hull to remove a damaged piece of machinery.

Were there any other such instances? If so, what were the reasons, and what was removed / inserted via the access hole?

Are the "scars" of these holes still visible in her side? Presumably they are under the waterline?

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #1 on: Aug 26, 2011, 05:32 PM »
Isabelle

Such caesarians happened several times during her life.

January - March 1969: when she was laid up in Southampton having to have the damaged port and starboard rotor blades replaced.

1977 Refit: During an inspection by the DTI, the inspector requested for the turbine casing to be removed for an inspection. IT was discovered that the blades showed signs of weakness and it would be necessary to replace the turbine – at a cost of £100,000. Fortunately, John Brown Engineering had built a replacement turbine which was located at their yard in Scotland and the replacement could take place within the time period of QE2’s forthcoming December overhaul and refit. As the turbine was a fundamental part of the ship’s machinery, without which the ship could not operate, arrangements were made to have the new turbine, weighing 17 tons and measuring 10ft x 7ft x 6ft, flown out in a Lockhead Hercules aircraft from John Brown Engineering.
About 120 men were standing by ready to fit the new turbine when it arrived at the repair yard.

1981 Refit: The port turbo alternator was removed and repaired.

June 1983: The low pressure starboard turbine was removed and sent back to its maker, John Brown Engineering, to be repaired and refitted later in the year, while a new one was fitted.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #2 on: Aug 26, 2011, 05:33 PM »
A big caesarian occurred in 1992:

   On 11 June 1992 one of the pistons in ‘Echo’ engine overheated which caused the piston to seize in the liner which resulted in the con-rod to seize and fail quite dramatically by shearing and breaking through the side of the engine. The failure physically shook the whole ship and the debris was extensive.
   
   Fortunately there were no injuries but the whole engine had to be taken apart and stored in crew corridors on the deck above the Control Room.
   
   Later the destroyed engine was laid out in the Terminal area in Southampton.
   
   After the grounding incident QE2 was out of service being repaired between 8 August and 4 October but it was not possible to replace ‘Echo’ during this period as the new engine was not ready.
   
   Rebuilding ‘Echo’ commenced during November / December period in Hamburg. Cunard described work to take place during this refit as “substantial technical work normally performed during an overhaul” but the work involved was far more extensive than Cunard admitted to publicly as it involved the complete replacement of one of the vessel’s engines. The work required cutting open the hull and replacing the engine frame and crankshaft. The engine was then rebuilt while QE2 was in service and was finally commissioned in January 1993.
   
   One of engine’s cylinder ‘lids’ was put on display in the Officer’s Wardroom on board. Also in the Wardroom, at the outboard side of the bar, there is an engine part from that failure mounted on a piece of wood - 'in commemoration'. The brass plate mounted on the piece says 'Echo Engine - R.I.P (Ripped Itself to Pieces)'.

Online Michael Gallagher

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #3 on: Aug 26, 2011, 05:36 PM »
One of the options to achieve the reengining was to cut through the side of the ship but the removal of the funnel to allow access down a shaft to remove and replace the machinery was considered the easiest way of doing it.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #4 on: Aug 26, 2011, 05:59 PM »
Thank you so much, Michael! It must have been absolutely amazing to look into the bowels of QE2 via her side...

As I assume that all such operations took place below the waterline, they can only have happened in dry dock I suppose.

Are you aware of any pictures taken at those times?

Offline Rod

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #5 on: Aug 27, 2011, 12:32 AM »
One of the big problems with  the "section" cant spell that "C" word was that the BOT/DOT objected vehemently to holes being cut in the ships side. Not so much cutting them but putting them back together. To achieve DOT satisfaction, you had to have "duplicate" welders on either side of the hull welding at the same speed. All controlled by walkie talkie.
When we first went to Bremmerhaven, the DOT were shocked at what LLoyd- Werft wanted to do/did. Just to get rid of scrap they got a hole in the side..

Online Bob C.

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #6 on: Aug 27, 2011, 11:56 AM »
Great topic Isabelle!  It's always amazed me how cutting holes in the side of ships (below waterlines especially) happens so often and that our girl had this done multiple times.  I've often looked at these scars and wondered what work was done.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #7 on: Sep 17, 2011, 04:31 PM »
Amazing to hear how many times she's been cut open - and its probably not the last time I'd imagine!  Were the surgery scars obvious if you knew where to look?

Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Rod

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #8 on: Sep 18, 2011, 02:08 PM »
Amazing to hear how many times she's been cut open - and its probably not the last time I'd imagine!  Were the surgery scars obvious if you knew where to look?



Yes they were!

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #9 on: Sep 19, 2011, 12:01 AM »
There must be more than a few photographs taken at a shallow angle along the hull which reveal some or all of the sites if the light was at a similarly shallow angle along the hull?  Would be interesting to see some such pictures. *drops hint*
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Offline Rod

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #10 on: Sep 19, 2011, 01:14 AM »
All you can see is the weld marks.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #11 on: Sep 19, 2011, 10:34 AM »
That's what I mean; there must be pictures showing these marks even years after...? :)
"It is a capital mistake to allow any mechanical object to realise that you are in a hurry!"

Offline Rod

Re: Caesarian operations on QE2's hull
« Reply #12 on: Sep 19, 2011, 11:25 PM »
They will definately be there. When in launches, you could see many "scars" where the welded an "eye" for instance, to make rigging easier, then didn't properly, clean away the weld. Whats one more weld mark?