Tallys

The Marine Laboratory in Torry has gifted us some hat tallys from Explorer’s time in service. We will need to obtain a couple of sailor caps to fit them to. Hello Sailor!

The Talking Funnel

A lady who is publishing a bit about Explorer in a book (Secret Edinburgh. An Unusual Guide), asked for a photograph of what she rather charmingly called the “Talking Funnel”. So she got one. Here is the talking funnel!

Stream-line

Today’s geekery involves the Stream-line lubricating oil filter. It filtered the oil from the two main generators. Manufactured by Stream-line Filters LTD. Hele-Shaw Works Ingate Place, London, SW8

Kent Screen

The Explorer has two Kent screens (or clear view screens) in the wheelhouse. The Kent screen is a device where the glass is rotated at high speed to force water of by centrifugal force. Other manufacturers are about but the Kent was much used in UK ships.

Anodes

In February 2017 we installed zinc sacrificial anodes on steel wire to help protect the hull against corrosion. These work because oxidants, which corrode metals, will oxidize the zinc anode rather than the protected metal structure, thus preventing the structure from being corroded. Every now and again we have to land the anodes to remove …

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The huffduff

Todays bit of of geekery is the High Frequency Direction Finder, abbreviated HFDF and often referred to as the hufffduff. It’s function was to determine the bearing of a radio transmitter on the high frequency band which is in the range of 3 to 30 megahertz. This is the range that ship’s medium and long …

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Megger

The Megger

Another bit of historical geekery, the Megger. In these days of practically anything and everything being “Mega”, the Megger was eponymously named as it’s purpose was to measure electrical resistance in the range of “megohms”, a megohm being one million ohms, which is a lot. It was often used as a practical joke device whereby …

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Avometer

The Avometer

Today’s geekfest is the Avometer. Although this one was donated by our late friend Brian Murdoch, it is a racing certainty that a similar instrument would have been used by the engineers and radio officer on board the Explorer. The AVO in the name stands for Amps, Volts and Ohms which is precisely the electrical …

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Decca Navigator

Decca

Geek alert! The SS Explorer’s type 21 Decca Navigator. In the days before satellite navigation, Decca ruled the roost for short range navigation. Land based transmitters, a master and three slaves would form a “chain” located around the area. These would transmit on discrete frequencies from 70 to 130 kHz. Special charts with a Decca …

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outbreak

An outbreak of……

…….. hard labour on the monkey island today saw the remnants of the wooden decking removed. The big top it turns out makes an excellent greenhouse and all the troops were sweating like a glassblowers bum. We are now ready for phase 3, when we have worked out what phase three is.

Then and now.

Today we were visited by Donald Ballance, a scientist on Explorer between 1966 and 1974. Here is a photo of him then and a photo of him now. His tour was more informative for the volunteer conducting it that for him.

A Dreich Day

After some appalling weather, both wind and rain, the big top seems to be doing its job. There is dampness due to blowing rain and slight leaks but nothing is penetrating to the interior. More progress made today and we now have around a third of the deck up. It’s a slog. And rain and …

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Diesel tank

Diesel Tanks

Port and Starboard Diesel Tanks Both these tanks were inspected visually through the manhole doors on 260119.  The starboard tank is in relatively good condition and the port tank has light surface corrosion.  The port tank is not currently considered suitable for fuel storage.

Big top

The Big Top

The big top pretty much complete except at the aft end. Will have to consider if we have enough Monarflex to do the remaining unshielded parts. Should keep most of the water off the deck and out of the accommodation. Turns out it consumed many more man hours than I had imagined. Hoping to start …

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Shifter

The Monkey Island (If anyone has expertise in aluminium corrosion control, can you get in touch please)

A bit of a windy one today and testing the mettle of the Big Top. It is standing up so far but requires tweaking and maintenance. Also we have still to shield the forward and after ends, but we are awaiting delivery of further anchors and clamps. When we had run out of tent tweaks, …

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Monkey Island

The big top progress

One step forward…….. Started covering the tent poles today. Unfortunately due to a rookies error, the poles are too far apart. The blue reinforcing pads should be aligned with the poles. Doh! So we have lowered the main stay ready to saw some pipe on Tuesday. 👍

Harbour Generator

Today, Andy carried out a long overdue oil change and filter clean on the harbour generator. Around 20 litres of oil and 2 litres of water sludge were drained and the sump cleaned with rags. Fresh oil added snd the save all cleaned.

Arctic Corsair

Continuing my adventures in the lookshoory superyacht Síbín, I find myself in Kingston upon Hull, or ‘ull as the locals say. ‘ull is home to the Arctic Corsair, a motor trawler built in 1960 in Beverley. She is now a visitor attraction on the River ‘ull, and she is about to receive a massive cash …

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Annual General Meeting

SS Explorer Preservation Society – Annual General Meeting Saturday 7 July 2018 at 12 midday for a start at 12.15 Leith Docker’s Club, 17 Academy Street, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 7EE Agenda 1. Welcome & Introductions 2. Apologies for absence 3. Minutes of previous AGM 4. Matters Arising 5. Chairman’s Report – Andy Marjoribanks 6. Treasurer’s …

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What connects the SS Explorer to the Rainbow Warrior?

When Explorer was under construction in Halls shipyard in 1955, another  vessel was under construction in Hall Russel at the same time.  This ship was to be the Sir William Hardy, a fishery research vessel commissioned by the the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.  Unlike Explorer, she was a diesel electric vessel and suffered …

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Thursday visitors

Today we hosted a couple of tours of the SS Explorer.  The larger group were procurement professionals from the Northern Irish, Welsh and Scottish governments.  And a net gain of three new members.   Tours are always available through info@ssexplorer.org        

SHIP AHOY!!!

Today the society set out its stall at the Ship Ahoy event on board the tall ship Glenlee in Glasgow. Various exhibitors partook including model makers, Skylark IX, Falls of Clyde, Caledonian MacBrayne to name a few. Jim Charlie and I fielded a lot of enquiries. Time will tell if we get any new members …

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George Slesser

Today George Slesser took a trip down memory lane visiting the Explorer. George served on Explorer as a scientist and he is pictured here in the lab and in the cabin he occupied.

Sir Andrew Cubie

We are delighted and honoured to announce that Sir Andrew Cubie CBE has agreed to become a Patron of the SS Explorer Preservation Society. The list of Andrew’s past achievements and positions is too long to list here so I will ask the Scottish Cancer Foundation to help out. Sir Andrew Cubie CBE Welcome aboard …

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The Radar

The original radar equipment as fitted to the Explorer when new is long gone having been updated probably more than once during her long career. Phil Harley has done some research for us and he believes that the Marconi Mk IV equipment shown was the original fit.

The Fishroom.

In a trawler as opposed to a research vessel the fishroom would take up much of the fore part of the ship and would be filled with ice and hopefully with fish at the end of a voyage. Explorer has two fishrooms, the port one is accessible only from the deck and is equipped with …

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Why Steam?

Why was the Explorer powered by a triple expansion steam engine when contemporary trawlers were being powered by diesel engines? This is a question which has vexed us here at the SSEPS for years. A couple of bits of information have revealed themselves over the past few days which give rise to a theory. First …

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SSEPS Invades Aberdeen

As told by Jim Duff. A bit out of date but interesting if you like ships. To see the blog properly, click the pop out icon at the top right. [gview file=”https://ssexplorer.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/SS-Explorer-Preservation-Society.docx”]

A Net Drag Formula for Pelagic Nets

I came across this document during a trawl (gerrit?) of the internet for FRV Explorer stories. It describes one aspect of Explorer’s (And FRVs Clupea and Mara) research and although it contains some hard sums, there are also some pretty drawings. Enjoy. A Net Drag Formula for Pelagic Nets

Explorer, The Spy Trawler!

It would seem that our venerable old lady was used to spy on the Russian navy in her day.   Commander John Ian Steven Obituary   We have it on good authority that signals intelligence was her primary role.   The 007 of the Northern Seas.

Skiving

Jim and Maggie busy cleaning the labs today.  I laid a bit more anti slip netting before skiving off for a tour of the Apache II pipe-laying vessel, one of our neighbours.  I think Explorer could pretty much fit in Apache’s navigating bridge.     After that back to help Charlie fit a lamp in …

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Liberation of stores.

Liberated various items from the Vos Raasay and the Vos Islay which are being broken up in Leith Docks. Various light fittings, cleaning chemicals, lifebuoys and sundry other items. Thanks to Dale marine for allowing us to scrounge.

New link

A link has been added to the bottom of this page to give a flavour of life on a contemporaneous Granton trawler. Check it out and thank your god that you don’t have to live that life.

Corrody leak water.

After much searching we believe that water leakage into the mess room and engine room is largely originating from the corroded base of this ventilator. So in accordance with merchant navy tradition it will be repaired temporarily with a cement box. Photographed is Jim’s shutter joinery skills.

AGM

A modest turn out for the society’s Annual General Meeting. Attending were: front row left to right Charlie Blyth, Bob Harley, Andy Marjoribanks, Colin Williamson, Derek Learmont. Back row, Alan Hush, Jim Duff, Cron Mackay, Simon Sawers, Brian Murdoch, Alastair Goodman, Emma Fraser and Bill Fallon.

Bon Accord Steam Rally

Caravan all packed up for the trip to Castle Fraser tomorrow.  First thing in the morning I’ll be picking up the newly designed posters and fliers that have been designed by Deborah Mullen     DEBORAH-MULLEN.COM Meeting up with Brian on Saturday to man the Explorer stand  and hopefully attract some followers and sponsors. Weather’s …

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Water damage.

A quiet Saturday on the Explorer.  Mooring lines a bit slack so tensioned up.     Inspection of the ship after this revealed serious water ingress from the recent rain into the mate’s cabin through the decklight.  The decklight has been removed along with the rotten wood in it’s cofferdam.  Covered up but fairly urgent …

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Niagra on board

All that rain on Tuesday (60mm+) revealed a few leaks in the superstructure – one behind the Ruston powered harbour generator sounded like Niagra – even above the noise of the generator.  Andy found a scuppers drain pipe that was blocked and another that seemed to have a completely burst pipe.  The first was cleared …

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A shorter gap

A bit of time has passed since the last blog but things are progressing. The AC generator has been problematic with AVR issues eventually solved and then a persistent over speeding issue which is hopefully now solved. A lot of internal cosmetic work has been carried out by various members, including repairing the mess room …

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A long blog gap

Most of the decklights have been refurbished and refitted making the ship a bit more weatherproof. AC generator has been behaving itself over the last four weeks so fingers crossed it is now reliable.  It was also recently serviced. Work is in progress to get the saloon up to standard with various bits of joinery …

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Ongoing maintenance

Dog repairs continue. New surplus vent trunking on deck dismantled to make tidy. Galley cooker work continues. Two floodlights installed in ER. Further work to do. Fire detector fitted at ER entrance. Further detector to be installed above AC gen. Fire extinguishers restowed in accordance with advice received.

Orelia

Our thanks to Technip and the crew of the MV Orelia. Orelia is currently de-equipping in Leith prior to her last voyage to be dismantled. The Company and the Chief Engineer have been kind enough to allow the SS Explorer to repurpose and recycle some of their stores. Among other things, our engine room will …

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Trim

Port fresh water tank partially filled to improve list and trim of vessel. Ballast tank vented and inspected. Galley floor cooker base screeded. Still to complete. Work on tidying quayside continues. Work on hatch dogs continues.

Forepeak

Forepeak ventilated and inspected. Approx 100kg of debris (corrosion and cement) removed. Tank filled with fresh water. Work started on securing hatch dogs.