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RRS CHALLENGER
Ships and Harbours
No: 19183   Contributor: David Menzies   Year: 1977   Manufacturer: Unknown   Country: United Kingdom
RRS CHALLENGER

Filmed by me at Barry S. Wales in January 1977.
By all accounts by a Master Mariner who had connections with this vessel it's performance was not the best.
It rolled badly, drank fuel like a fish & had bad ahead/ astern movements.
It was re engined & dispose of to a firm in Nova Scotia, Canada in the 1990s.
Oh well!!!
Picture added on 27 February 2012 at 16:13
add commentComments:
Yes she did roll, but thanks to her internal passive anti roll tanks it was a comfortable roll. She was fuel greedy, this was because she was steam turbine, probably the smallest since the Turbinia. She was not re-engined for any other reason than an on watch engineer failed to watch boiler water levels one night in port with a "party" going on.
Her reform acne was good and with her Kortz nozzle propeller and 360 degree bow thruster was extremely manoeuvrable, she could "walk" sideways.

Added by Captain R. Hagley on 14 April 2016.
She was a great little ship. After she was re engined she could ride through any weather with hardly a drop in speed, never great to start with. Accommodation was interesting to say the least having been chopped and changed and added too over the years, crew cabins were actually below the waterline and did not have portholes. Another interesting point, when originally built the bridge was behind the funnels!! the picture shows after first modification. Believe she was sold to Titanic foundation for artifact recovery but not sure if she was ever used for this.

Added by Stephen Dean on 04 May 2016.
Mr Hagley gets it wrong yet again I spent 9 years in That ship & its roll was definitely not comfortable in a quarter or following sea it was totally miserable. When she first sailed from the builders yard she was all steam with a Brotherhood main turbine & two turbo alternators the fuel consumption was horrendous. The turbo alternators were soon replaced with two Doutz Diesels which did improve the fuel consumption but it was still quite heavy for the size & power of the ship. That was the reason it was re-engined this was something that was on the cards for some years before the boiler exploded. On that subject Mr Hagley is wrong again true 2 watch keeping Officers & One engine room rating failed to watch the water level in the boiler but also the low level alarm &low water level fuel shut off also failed . This happened @ approx 17.30hrs . Approx 8 miles out from Barry Dock South Wales . Not at night with a party going on .

Added by Paul March on 19 April 2017.
Well reading through my earlier post I can see I got it wrong the boiler incident happened outside FALMOUTH Docks not Barry . I should know I was onboard at the time eating my evening meal when the boiler went bang

Added by Paul March on 19 April 2017.
I too sailed on that vessel in the mid seventies.
The vessel was a cow of the first order in rough weather.
I can remember the steel railway lines in the engine bilges to supposedly give her better ballast. Not a good sea ship at all.


Added by Rob Fletcher on 11 September 2017.
I sailed on the RRS Challenger post bridge modifications and she wasn't a good sea ship.
To compensate for the addition of the bridge she had a few tons of railway lines in her bilges to improve her stability. In rough weather (and there was a lot for a ship of this size) the railway lines used to clatter.
I can clearly remember being hove to in the North Sea for two days in a Force 8 and we all thought we were going to die.
Please, don't tell me how stable that ship was during the mid seventies when I sailed on her. She was a pig.
Her nickname was the "Clanger" as she was a misfit from the get go.

Added by Rob Fletcher on 12 September 2017.
Paul March is that you sparrow? Ron

Added by Ron hagley on 12 September 2017.
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