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Author Topic: Dry docking QE2  (Read 10533 times)

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Offline June Ingram

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Dry docking QE2
« on: Jan 28, 2014, 06:53 PM »
Perhaps there is a topic dealing specifically with my question.  If so, perhaps someone could point me in the correct direction.  What are the steps when drydocking a ship the size of our QE2 ?  What systems are kept running aboard ?  How is she lined up properly ? And then when she leaves drydocks, what are the steps ?  Thanks in advance !  June
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Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #1 on: Jan 28, 2014, 07:28 PM »
Perhaps there is a topic dealing specifically with my question.  If so, perhaps someone could point me in the correct direction.  What are the steps when drydocking a ship the size of our QE2 ?  What systems are kept running aboard ?  How is she lined up properly ? And then when she leaves drydocks, what are the steps ?  Thanks in advance !  June

Hi June,

I think there are at least two questions here - Dry Dockings with Cunard - and after Cunard.  It sounds like you're maybe talking about routine drydockings when she was with Cunard?  Not all were equal, of course, with the ones for the re-engining and after running aground standing out as being a bit different from the norm!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #2 on: Jan 28, 2014, 07:32 PM »
Hi Rob - Thank you for your reply.  Yes, I am asking about routine drydocking with Cunard.  Thanks again !  June
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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #3 on: Jan 28, 2014, 07:37 PM »
Hi Rob - Thank you for your reply.  Yes, I am asking about routine drydocking with Cunard.  Thanks again !  June

Thank you, June. I have accordingly moved the topic here, so that we can receive contributions about QE2's dry docking throughout her Cunard service life.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #4 on: Jan 28, 2014, 07:39 PM »
Thank you, Isabelle, very much !  June
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Offline Rod

Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #5 on: Jan 28, 2014, 10:25 PM »
More than willing to start this off.
First big question??? WHERE???? Rotterdam for instance demanded that the ship be totally dead. Only minor shore power for lighting would be supplied. If the ship is totally dead all crew must live ashore in hotels or similar, adding much expense.
Southampton we did a dry dock where they bought "mushpower" generators to hook up to the ships electric board and limited services were available through that.
This is ALL pre re-engining BTW.
One drydock we had supplied shoreside steam (limited) so that there was some heat available...NOT ENOUGH, but we lived on board.
Back to basics: There is a drydocking plan. This decides where, and how high all the blocks go in the bottom of the drydock that the ship will sit on. The following year the arrangement would be changed to allow painting those bits that couldnt be painted because of the blocks from the previous year. When the blocks are arranged the dock is flooded the ship comes in and winched exactly in position. I was told that for the for-aft centerline position had to be exact. Positioning of the bow had to be within 6" of the set point. As the dock is emptied a we boat goes around putting wooden plugs with 6' long pipes in them into ALL the ships side drains. So any water etc does not drip over the new paintwork.
When the dock is actually dry the underwater (now dry) examinations take place grating on sea water inlets, corrosion anodes etc, etc. When you travelled on 4 or 5 deck and in the might you couldn't get to sleep because of that rattling? Might have been a loose grating! All the grating are taken off and inspected the pipes that they cover inspected too, work orders drawn up and the work decided upon commences.
Propeller work is also done at this time, also rudder work.
Propeller work will essentially decide how long the dry dock remains dry. If there is no prop work it will be just a quick clean and polish.
Interesting fact...During the supposed "half life" refit when they put the spare props on, the old ones had lost 1 1/2" from their diameter... Not alot for the size but about 5% fuel loss! During these inspections, the hull is being pressure cleaned, 18,000 psi to prepare for painting.
Once all the painting, prop, and grating work is complete the dock can be flooded again.
Why flood the DD you ask? Because they can then do some of the hull cleaning and painting  from barges...cheaper .
At one dry dock in Southampton, they decided to go dead ship for a week then flood the dock and put 1 ships boiler on line for power and heat and all other facilities, thus saving on hotel accom. Even with limited crew, can you imagine the amount of sewage in that drydock? Smelled gross too! As the water comes up, the wee boat that put the plugs with pipes in goes around and takes them out, sometimes with hillarious results. Yes, watching "the wee boatmen" was a spectator sport. Especially when they did the port side from the Columbia Kitchen Soup boiler Yard. Almost every time the poor sap would get DRENCHED with the remains of soups, stews rice etc. They never learned!
If all DD work is done the ship is moved out for the rest of the work to be completed tied up alongside.
If anyone has any questions I would be more than happy to answer them to the best of my ability.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #6 on: Jan 29, 2014, 05:43 PM »
Hi Rod --

Thank you very, very much for all of this great information.  I do appreciate your taking the time to reply to the dry docking question.

Is there ever a time when QE2 was generating her own power for the whole time in dry dock, or wasn't that ever done and if not, for what reason ?

How high usually are the blocks ?

Do tugs bring QE2 to the entry to the dry dock ?

How many lines are attached to the winches ? and from what parts of QE2 are they attached to ?

How quickly is the dry dock emptied ?  at what rate per minute ?  and how long does it take ?

Are the winches adjusting QE2's position as the dry dock is emptied ?

Does she settle onto the blocks from bow to stern evenly at the same time ?

Were the replacement of the anodes major at each dry docking ?

That is amazing about the loss of size of the props !

At what rate is the dry dock flooded again ?

That must have been quite something to see the plugs taken out of the pipes !!

How is QE2 backed out of dry dock ?

Thank you again very, very much !!

June


 
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Offline Rod

Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #7 on: Jan 29, 2014, 10:14 PM »
June...WOW!!!!
In her steam days it was not possible to generate power because you needed salt water cooling to condense the steam. Diesel electric I could not tell you. I believe at one time the possibility of hooking up salt water cooling from shoreside was looked into, but because of her size.Not possible.
The other problem is that when steam driven , drydocks and "dead" ship were used to ovehaul/repair steam valves, pipes and other steam equipment. Even if shore power was used it increased the risk of accidents, delayed electrical work that might have to be done "dead" ship.
The blocks on the flat part of the hull were about 4'-5'high.
As with all docking/undocking manoeuvers tugs were used, along with ships power.
There were winches on the dock as well as on the ship. Both were used usually a total of 8 lines if I recall. Attached to the winches them selves.
Drydock was usually emptied to a certain level, alignment checked, plugs with pipes put in etc the emptied until the ship just sat on the blocks. Don't forget that often considerable movement of fuel/ water may have had to have been done prior to get the ship on an even keel.
I have no idea as to what the pumping rate was. Total process usually took about 16 hours
Winches would constantly adjust as the ship settled. There would also be ropes attached loosely ...just in case!
It was preferable to have the ship settle evenly to avoid undue stress on the frames.
Anodes would be totally replaced at each drydock.
Yes the removel of the plugs ALWAYS provided a little bit of entertainment.
After the dock is flooded and the okay was given, the ship would slowly be "flashed" up again. If extensive boiler work, especially brick work had been done. You might put one burner on for 30 minutes every 2 hours.
SLOWLY was the watchword for a steam ship. Everything had to be done slowly. After say 2 weeks cold there would always be an unexpected steam leak that had to be fixed. Flashing up was a very long and exhausting process for the engineering dept!
Backing out...combination of ships power and tugs!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #8 on: Jan 30, 2014, 06:33 PM »
Hi Rod -

Thank you very, very much for all of this information and for taking the time to write it.  This is the kind of information that one can not easily find if at all and just the kind that I like to find out about.  One of my favorite questions is, "How does it work ?" in relation to QE2 and all of her systems. 

Were there lines attached amid ships as well as fore and aft ?

Thanks for mentioning about moving around fuel and water.  I was wondering how she would settle on an even keel. The stress on the frame was exactly what I was thinking of. 

How many burners were there when she was steam ? 

Again, thanks very much !!

June
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Offline Rod

Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #9 on: Jan 30, 2014, 06:54 PM »
Yes lines would be attached amidships as well.
Burners. 3 Identical boilers with 5 manual burners and 2 supposedly automatic burners/boiler.
I say supposedly automatic because even in 1972 they had to be"assisted" in with a pipe wrench or the hammer of your choice!
If the boiler was already lit, then more burners would be lit from the already lit ones.
If the boiler was not lit then you had an electric ignitor for the job.
The facility did exist to light the boilers using diesel (for completely dead ship) but as far as I know it was never used.
During dead ship periods jou just had to keep steam on the "in use" fuel tank.
« Last Edit: Jan 30, 2014, 06:58 PM by Rod »

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #10 on: Jan 31, 2014, 02:49 PM »
Hi Rod - thank you very much for your post and information !

When the supposedly auto burners were "assisted", was your "assisting" method of choice a pipe wrench or hammer ?

For the "dead ship" periods, was offshore steam provided for the "in use" fuel tank ?

Do you happen to know if there is a topic here that has photos of the schematics for the original steam propulsion system ?  If not, do you know if they exist anywhere ?

Thanks again !

June
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Offline Rod

Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #11 on: Jan 31, 2014, 05:15 PM »
June

Whatever worked.
Yes shoreside steam was used to keep the fuel warm.
As far as the steam diagrams go that would be pages and pages. I do not think the is a topic on here already.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #12 on: Jan 31, 2014, 06:02 PM »
Hi Rod -

Thanks very much for your post. 

It would be interesting to learn if QE2's original drawings are archived somewhere such as University of Glasgow. 

Were there schematics on board when you were on QE2 ?

Thanks again for all of the information in your posts !!

June
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Offline Rod

Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #13 on: Jan 31, 2014, 09:49 PM »
Yes there was a complete set of "As built" drawings in the plan room.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #14 on: Feb 03, 2014, 06:33 PM »
Thanks, Rod, very much !
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Offline Clydebuilt1971

Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #15 on: Feb 05, 2014, 01:11 PM »
Thanks for the info Rod - to date the only experience of drydock I've had is with a 690grt Paddle Steamer!!

Due to her size she could almost get herself into dock with a wee tug on her bow to help line her up (damn all steerage below 5 knots!). Was interesting the first time I witnessed her blow down her two boilers.

Thanks again!

Gav

Offline jdl

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #16 on: Feb 05, 2014, 03:01 PM »
Cheers Rod, great to understand a bit more about the work that went on during a dry docking

Jdl

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #17 on: Feb 24, 2014, 09:38 PM »
Hi Rod - Is there just one set of blocks under the entire length of the ship or are there 2 or more parallel sets amid ships ?  I believe you mentioned that water, oil, etc. was moved between tanks to adjust the trim for settling evenly on the blocks.  How was that calculated ?  Is there something that measures if the ship is level ?  Please excuse my ignorance in the details, but  I am anxious to learn.  Thanks !  June
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Offline Willum

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #18 on: Feb 24, 2014, 11:41 PM »
Yes trimming the ship was vital when entering drydock, it was always a nervous moment when the drydock was flooded as you couldn't be sure whether she'd float without a list. Easy to forget that the bottom of the ship is dead flat from about the bridge all the way aft. Its a spooky experience to walk right under the hull there was about 4-1/2 feet clearance. Another feature of the drydock is that there'd always be some fish to collect once its been pumped out. Drydocks were always in December in N.Europe so it would be seriously cold on board. We'd often be living ashore and then rejoin a couple of days before she sailed when the services were supposed to be working but never were. Its an unwritten rule that ships come out of drydock in worse condition than when they went in. Floods toilets not working etc. My claim to fame was coining the term 'Niagara' to convey a sense of urgency over the Tannoy concerning a flood incident!

Regarding the ship being level, there was an inclinometer on the bridge, but the Mk1 ear can tell you if theres a slight list.  By the way, Ask Rod about the Drydock Engine room repair list item that read ' Item 213: One Engineroom Bolt to replace or repair '

;-)
 
Willum

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Dry docking QE2
« Reply #19 on: Feb 25, 2014, 03:11 PM »
Hi Willum -- Thank you very much for all of your wonderful information.  I can imagine it would be spooky to walk under the hull of the ship.  Yes, I have heard "Niagara" !  Thanks again !  June

Hi Rod -- Yes, please tell us about Item 213 !  Thanks !  June
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