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Author Topic: HMS Ocean  (Read 5586 times)

davidm1945

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HMS Ocean
« on: April 11, 2017, 08:51:20 PM »

Hi All,
    We were watching HMs Ocean on TV last night. They had a leaking valve on one engine, and had to fit a replacement cylinder head. Now, if I get a faulty valve on my car engine my garage would remove the faulty head and replace it with a new (recon) head complete with valves - job done. So why did the Ocean mechanics spend the best part of a day fitting valves into the replacement head?  Doesn't seem cost or time effective to me - but what do I know.....or did I miss something?

Anybody explain?

Dave.
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Paul Swainson

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 09:33:24 PM »

If I watched it right they cylinder head had a stuck open exhaust valve.  Which was what they replaced as they had a spare valve in the spares locker.  At the start of the program they did say that the engine was over 25 years old and spare are not readily available.  To replace the head and install new valves they would have needed more then 34 hours to do that job.  Think they did very well since the head weight was more then any car engine on the road today.


But what do  the experts Know!
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boatmadman

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 10:01:07 PM »

Didnt see the program myself, but it was discussed at length today at work.
The general consensus  was that, given its an armed forces support vessel, a spare head unit should have been available for a straight swap out, taking no more than a couple of hours to change.


34 hours seems an awful long time to overhaul a cylinder head!


But, what do we know?


Ian
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 10:06:51 PM »

You have to remember too that it has to be cost effective and only replace the bare minimum. We do the same thing in the RAF- it's only massively complicated components that get changed as a complete unit. It's cheaper to replace one part of it than the whole thing. If we have a fuel pump failure we will replace the pump rather than replace the whole engine out even though it would probably be quicker to replace the engine but the price difference is tremendous!
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boatmadman

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2017, 10:14:05 PM »

Yes, that is a valid point, but surely, when reliability and availability of the ship is compromised there is a justified case to swap out the head unit complete so as to get back into reliable service quickly.


I wouldn't consider a cylinder head to be a massively complicated unit. Engines like these have a complete head unit for each cylinder.

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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2017, 10:27:01 PM »

It does rather depend what spares you have on board and also the actual practicalities of making the repair.

I doubt if anyone on here is qualified to second guess the people actually responsible for getting the engine going again in the circumstances at the time.

From what I saw on the programme, the damaged components had to be lifted up several decks to the hangar space to allow the repair to take place. Difficult enough for the part being worked on but possibly impossible at sea to replace a larger major part of the engine.

The on board engineers know their machinery and are not stupid people. They would have taken the most effective course of action to effect repairs according to the circumstances and it seems a bit presumptuous for armchair experts on here to question their decisions.

Colin
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boatmadman

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2017, 10:34:25 PM »

Colin,
Some of your comments are, of course, valid.
I do, however, take issue with "ARMCHAIR EXPERT". This one spent 10 years in the Merchant Navy as an engineer. The discussion I referred to initially was with a number of ex Royal navy and RFA Marine engineers. They know the score.


Ian
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 10:40:40 PM »

Ian,

So are you saying that the people onboard got it all wrong then? These people are supposed to be highly trained professionals so I would have assumed that they would have made the best decision on how to proceed in the circumstances in which they found themselves.

Is that an incorrect assumption?

Colin
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boatmadman

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2017, 10:45:17 PM »

I am not saying that the onboard engineers got it wrong.


I am saying that the policy setters and money men have got it wrong, thereby forcing the front line engineers to operate in a less than satisfactory environment which could, under some circumstances, put the vessel and all personnel at risk.


Ian


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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2017, 11:05:04 PM »

Unfortunately times have changed especially in the last 10 years and cost effectiveness now takes precedence over the idealism in the military. As an engineer myself I would love to ensure that we used only brand new components but we have to make do with individual parts of the component as it's usually the bits that you're going to get that's new. What we call rolling robs are common until the refurbished item arrives after it's been repaired by the manufacturer. Mind you new aircraft don't seem to suffer compared to the poor old Tornado! Older stuff is like your old car- the manufacturer will only make brand new parts for so long.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2017, 11:06:28 PM »

I wouldn't argue against that. I think the onboard crew did the best with what they had available. But surely there is a practical limit on the complexity of repairs that can be carried out on board without recourse to dockyard facilities? Would it be considered normal practice to be able to replace the entire head unit at sea?

It is obvious that the entire RN is currently being operated on a shoestring to save money and is probably incapable of extended operations should they be required. The phrase is 'hollowed out' I believe.

It was clear some years ago that the policy of the Navy was to get the two carriers built at all costs on the basis that once they were in service funds would have to be found to support and protect them.

I don't disagree with that personally as two big decks represent a longstanding and ultimately cost effective asset which I think will serve the Navy well over an extended period. I believe  that the base crew requirement is in fact less than the earlier Invincible class despite the greater size of the new ships. The fact remains that more investment is needed in the Navy with the Type 26 frigates and in bringing the Type 45 destroyers up to par with adequate power plants.

The Navy has been criminally run down by politicians over the last decade or so on the basis that future offensive operations will be low intensity of an anti terrorist nature but it is now becoming apparent that there is an increasing danger in respect of conventional warfare as relations with Russia have deteriorated. Historical lessons are having to be painfully relearned.

As ever, short term thinking has placed the nation in a vulnerable situation.

Colin
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rnli12

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 01:21:09 AM »

Having spent many years serving on her, rest assured depending on operational tasking, stores support on an ageing platform was not easy based on a commercial hull and outfit.


But it worked and we got where we needed to be on schedule.


R
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david48

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2017, 01:29:07 AM »


They would have been finished quicker if they had a electric hoist .
David
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tugmad

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2017, 08:20:48 AM »

After serving in the M,N. as an engineer all of my working life, I found the fact that they had to lift the head up to the hanger deck very strange,and that they do not have a spare head ready to fit in the engine room, with a total of 24 cyl heads on the running engines one spare head ready to fit should have been the minimum requirement, we always had a spare piston, cyl head ,bottom end and valve pockets ready to fit , and stored in the engine room for ready access.we did not have the luxury of another engine to keep under way just the one main engine,we once had to remove a head and piston,then hang the piston upside down in the cylinder because the cross head slides had started to break up the piston and piston rod weighed over 4 tons,the head was twice the size of the one in the program by the way, and it only took 12 of us 16 hours to do it and all done stopped at sea. I suspect it was done that way for the media to make a program.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2017, 09:59:09 PM »

I remember a series on the telly twenty years ago, maybe less about goings on in the Royal navy. In one episode, engineers had to pinch an air reservoir for engine starting from the Submarine depot to replace a life expired one in a Destroyer! It was filmed in Portsmouth.

I take my hat off to all our military folks. They are stuck between specialist equipment on the one hand, and a tight budget on the other.



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Buccaneer

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2017, 10:02:42 PM »

I think tugmad that with your last sentence you may have come closer to the truth than you think. It is quite interesting how many documentaries on ships that you see on Discovery and History Channels suddenly have a small crisis of some sort that gets fixed 'just in time'. It all makes for good viewing, or so the producers think.

As an ex Naval Officer with 20 years service I do not say this in any way to discredit those still at sea or the superb job they are doing.

John
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derekwarner

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2017, 11:35:27 PM »

Adding weight to the last post from Buccaneer, I watched an episode of a similar show...yes, when drama hit at sea >>:-(

We saw a RED flashing light on the main engine control console and a very loud  <*<  alarm sound.......

A main engine Alfa-Laval oil cooler overheated....the engine room crew worked feverishly to strip the cooler plates with the clock ticking by and constant zooming shots of the main engine oil temperature gauges......and Captain on the bridge monitoring his steering wheel  %)

The only thing the producers didn't really understand was that the oiler cooler was a duplex unit & designed to have one bank in operation with the opposite bank available for use or in maintenance

The other side of the coin was that the producers were informed of the functionality of the cooler but surmised the general public did not

Derek

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tugmad

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2017, 04:35:23 AM »

Yes I am afraid that nowadays if a programme about ships or the sea comes on the TV it has got to the stage that my wife says ,   You are not going to watch this if you are going to go on about how wrong things are portrayed, my granddaughter asked if I would like to go to the cinema with her to see the film Capt Phillips , but with the proviso that I didn't keep saying  Oh no that's not right, I am afraid it must be an age thing, as for the documentaries there must be fewer of us that really recognise these faults than those that do not.
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meechingman

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2017, 06:26:23 PM »

Ooh er, I recognise myself here....


Went to a film show at our local historical society last week. A very enjoyable evening, with lots of footage of Sussex from the 1920s through 1970s. However, the guy who put it together admitted to being a 'bus nut', his descriptions of the local buses, trams and trolleybuses were spot-on.


But when the section on Newhaven and its ships came on, I had to bite my lip several times as the commentary was, shall we say, not quite right.....


As a local historian, especially when it comes to the port's shipping, should I gently point it out to him and his good lady (who did the commentary) or keep shtum? I chose the latter course.


And, yes, it does annoy me when I spot something that's obviously in a 'documentary' just to make it more 'entertaining' or even just to look better. Anyone spot some of the aerial shots of Ocean where the radars are rotating the wrong way? Either an editing mistake (though I don't see how - you can't load in the 'film' backwards) or they just wanted the ship going from right to left for some reason.
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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2017, 11:40:33 AM »

Watch the program myself, even as a 'layman', lifting a heavy cylinder head to the flight deck seemed a little 'over the top', the deck below had as much room, so probably did several of the floors below, so any of them would have done, they only needed about 9 pallets (in a square 3600mm x 4200mm) space for physically working on the head, having a spare head to swap out and then work on the damaged one to then become the spare is probably what they actually did, just the program makers portrayed a different story for the peril factor they are trying to infer.

Didn't help that the 17 year old girl said, its falling to bits (though the Russians would be boyed by the fact - they have as much reason to hold their heads in shame with that faulty aircraft carrier).

Surprised that all navy ships engines are not built like the one I saw in one of Quests programs, it had 9 cylinders, but it could operate on any 8 with the 9th being repaired. ideally an naval engine should have more than enough cylinders with the ability to disconnect any and carry on while that's repaired, and more importantly, if the engines are below a flight deck or hanger, blast doors above the engine with a suitable crane to lift out the whole or parts of the powerplant without having to dismantle half the ship should be employed in future designs.
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Paul Swainson

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2017, 02:38:51 PM »

Well if you work on that point Warspite the type 45 Destroyers have got a major build problem as the engines on this type have to be changed as they are under powered and need to be cut out of the ship.  http://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/putting-the-type-45-propulsion-problems-in-perspective/
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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2017, 02:40:56 PM »

That's my point - if the designers had specified that the powerplant could be split down and then the decks opened up to allow the parts be removed then the extra expense of having to dismantle half the ship to get the faulty/poorly specified engine out. Just my opinion, in fact a audit should be undertaken to find out who approved the design, then hauled over the coals, place the blame squarely at the feet, it could be that the penny pinching accountants had their say and hence went against common sense.

As an example - and this was found to be the case in most of the companies we dealt with - an engineer of a corporate business asked us to supply a quote for a replacement centrifugal fan that had been running in the process plant for niegh on 15 years (it also was one of ours), the process had been upgraded for a greater throughput and the existing fan was seeing some wear and physically had some patching work done to it, the cost of the fan was 2126.00 for a higher throughput the same spec (gauges) and a more efficient motor (ie3 was just becoming available for certain motor sizes that fitted in with the new fan), so it would be more cost efficient on its running costs.

The engineer received the quote and did a search online (by his own admission) to see if there was anything cheaper for the accounts department to compare against, he found a fan by kongskilde that was just at the specs he had costing about 1000.00, the accounts went for that, why because the cost of the K fan was 1000.00 in the yearly budget and he justify that and ours was 2126.00, over twice that.

But if you look at it from a engineers view - our fan was able to run more efficiently at 2/3 the cost of the K fan, had spare capacity of at least 15%, had of a thicker gauge - 5mm, so in theory would have lasted a minimum of 5 years before needing a repair or even patching or even a replacement impeller (remember the original had been going for 15 years at least and only needed replacing due to the extra throughput required, the K fan was 1mm thick steel and would probably have worn through in just over a year and would require replacing, but the as far as they were concerned, they had saved 1126.00, but if you look at it logically, they would have broken even with ours after 2 years and be making a saving of 1000.00 + yearly increase, every year after that not including the power saving.
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Netleyned

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2017, 03:17:10 PM »

The hull and associated running gear
is not a mod design, but a commercial
set up.
One thing that was cheaper and quicker
to commission at the time.


Ned
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rnli12

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2017, 03:20:52 PM »

Hi,
 
Perhaps you should appreciate HMS Ocean was taken up from a commercial hull to fill a capability gap at the lowest cost and expense to maintain to the bridge the amphibious gap.
 
It has filled her role most admirably over the past 20 years, how many of you still have 20 year old cars running around!
 
Rich
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Rich

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Re: HMS Ocean
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2017, 03:37:04 PM »

My point entirely Rich :-))


Ned
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