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Author Topic: Steam tug masts- why?  (Read 2460 times)

rfurzer

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Steam tug masts- why?
« on: April 13, 2014, 07:06:45 AM »

I am building the MM487 Blazer (rather slowly).

The Blazer is not based on any particular prototype but is an approx. 1900 ocean-going vessel. It is not related to the 1884 Admiralty tug "Blazer" (launched "Rose" then "Charm" then Blazer - sunk 1918).

Why do these old tugs have such elaborate masts- including additional "boom" -like spars? Is there any suggestion of carrying sail? It seems unlikely that they would be a sort of evolutionary relic- real effort and cost would have gone into fitting them.

http://www.gooleships.co.uk/shipowners/private/goolehulltowing/blazer1888.htm
http://www.myhobbystore.co.uk/product/17062/blazer-mm487-tug-plan
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Umi_Ryuzuki

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2014, 07:43:57 AM »

Visiblity, and cranes.

The higher you can climb, the more visblity you can achieve.

The booms may actually be boom cranes.

Jerry C

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2014, 08:43:51 AM »

Think before VHF.  If you had radio it needed a long wire antenae. If you didn't you used international flag code which took up at least six halyards not counting ensign, house flag and jack. These have all as you say fallen by the wayside but that's how it was when I started.
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rfurzer

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2014, 08:54:44 AM »

Fair enough, but what about the dirty great boom (see the link to a pic of the model MM487).

A very substantial spar, hinged to the mast near the step and lifted with blocks (until nearly parallel with the mast) is seen.

There must have been a reason for that?

Oh- Duh to me!- just looked back and saw Umi's post. - A boom crane - That would explain it



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hammer

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2014, 07:57:42 PM »

Strange as it may seem, it was a requirement for steam powered ships to carry sails, up to the early years of the 20th century. In the picture of the tug Blazer 1888, sails can be seen rolled around the stays. Not much use but complying to the rules. I built a small coaster from scratch & sent to Lloyds for details, although built in 1911 & steam powered, It was listed as a ketch.
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rfurzer

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2014, 09:57:57 PM »

I did suspect something like that. The mm487 design doesn't have enough deck room for the boom so it's either a crane or a vestige of a boom?
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dodes

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 02:46:51 PM »

I think the operative word in this case is " Derrick ", the last ocean going tugs built for the Admiralty "R class" were fitted with a derrick on their aft mast to handle heavy stores in and out of their hold aft. Though I have no recall of them being used in anger on the R's, but looking at your plan's pic there appears to be a small hold behind the main mast.
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thamestug

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 03:59:01 PM »

The old steam tugs also used the derrick aft for coaling, often done in baskets from a barge and also to lift buckets of ash from the stoke hold. In most ports it was an offence to dump ashes over the side.
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dave301bounty

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 08:01:42 PM »

that brings back memories  the ash gang  after your 4 on .
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dodes

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Re: Steam tug masts- why?
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2014, 08:47:55 PM »

Hi Hammer, like your coaster, your comment about sails reminds me of when I first went coasting in the late 60's, there was still a few old coasters which used to set a leg of mutton sail when on a beam sea to reduce rolling.
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