Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
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before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.
To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.
Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.
One of the Worlds mightiest Ocean Going Salvage Tug's was the next ship on the stocks at the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon.
She was ordered by the famous towing company Union Towing Co Ltd, a company with a long and proud tradition of ship towage and doing the jobs that few others would attempt, when the company needed the best it was the Leith Yard that they turned to, as the yard had built many, many fine tugs since inception in 1918.
She was managed by Humber tugs Ltd of Hull, which was to be her home base.
The LLOYDSMAN was a special ship with a special power system installed, namely the Towmaster propulsion and steering system .
The super Tug Lloydsman in Leith dry dock after her first six months.
Note the complex "Towmaster" propulsion and steering system a 17ft Kamewa controlled pitch propeller and five steering vanes, two for'd and three aft of the prop tube.
(Seen here in this photo by Pete Bass and shown here by permission.)
The following is from a Promo written just after her handing over to the Union Towing Company in 1971 by David Rowlands.
Bristling with salvage gear, radio antennae and navigation aids United Towings new 16000 horsepower tug, the Lloydsman is capable of handling the largest ships and oil rigs. Lloydsman, designed by Burness Corlett Partners patrols the world's shipping lanes listening out around the clock for distress signals or the news of a hardwon towing contract. Lloydsman challenges, in power and range of operation, three mighty tugs owned by the West German operator Bugsier.
United Towing have introduced a mighty contender in the ocean towing stakes, the Lloydsman.
"The dominance of West German and Dutch operators in the field of ocean salvage is a very successful myth put about by their publicity agents and the British press," says the man at the helm of Hull-based United Towing, Britain's only contenders in the offshore undertaking business. Playing it cool is managing director Tony Wilbraham's ploy because that's the way the customers like it- he could back his claim with impressive lists of tonnages and valuable cargoes rescued but prefers not to. You understand why when you realise that some of his most contented clients are oil companies whose ships have the habit of creating international panics at the first whiff of helplessness on the seas.
Admittedly Bugsier, the largest West German ocean salvage company. has three giant tugs - Oceanic. Arctic and Pacific-each of 17500 hp. All capable of handling the largest super-tankers with ease. Since last October they have been challenged by United Towing's Lloydsman - not on the face of it, at 16 000 hp. quite in the same league but owing to a unique propulsion and steering system able to undertake equally exacting jobs. Lloydsman was designed by Burness, Corlett & Partners and built at Leith by Robb, Caledon Shipbuilders Ltd.
The Towmaster principle is to enclose the ship's propeller in a fixed nozzle and replace the normal rudder by aerofoil section vanes fore and aft of the nozzle tube. The system is completely variable to suit the smallest in harbour vessel right up to Lloydsman. The designers have evolved a computer program incorporating all the relevant parameters of Towmaster - feed in the design parameters like bollard pull, free running speed and manoeuvrability required plus the amount of engine power you want to install and the computer chews out the various optional Towmaster arrangements. Tug design is inevitably a compromise between free running speed, forward and stern steerability, displacement, bollard pull and economy of operation.
"United Towing's specification for Lloydsman stretched our program to the fullest," admits partner J L Smettem: "when you go to the extreme limits of a design like this you have to verify the results by tank testing". They did this at British Hovercraft's laboratories. A model of Lloydsman was subjected to every possible condition she was likely to meet at sea. Wind' tunnel tests enabled the architects to fair her massive 17ft diameter nozzle into the steel hull and modify the design of the Kamewa controlled pitch propeller rotating inside with only one inch clearance all round. Her bulbous bow, designed to modify the wave pattern of water entering the nozzle, was proved satisfactory as were the architects' attempts to keep the vessel's stern down at all times. Lloydsman has five shutter rudders, two forward and three aft, giving a turning circle of only two and a half ship's length diameter. She is 262ft long and has a breadth of 46ft 6ins.
The LLOYDSMAN being launched at the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon (Henry Robbs)
Lloydsman is driven by two Crossley Pielstick V10 diesels of 5000bhp each coupled through a Richardson Westgarth gearbox. On one engine Lloydsman has the capability of most ocean-going tugs now in service -with a bollard pull, measured during trials by an independent laboratory at Europort, Rotterdam, of 80 tons. On both engines the inspectors measured a pull of 135 tons steady. rising to 150 tons maximum. These figures are the indisputable record of Burness, Corlett's achievement because they are as high as the claimed figures for Lloydsman's German rivals which don't have the backing of independent trials. In addition, Oceanic et al are twin screw tugs so single engined operation is inefficient, while United Towing reckon that most of their work can be done economically on one engine. At full stretch Lloydsman can pull a 350 000 ton tanker at 7 knots and can make 18.6 topknots running free. Tugmen place a high value on their ships' displacement, reckoning that in certain situations the more like a sea anchor the tug becomes the easier it is to perform their task. Fully loaded, Lloydsman has a world beating displacement of 3100 tons including 1 500 tons of fuel, enough for 45-50 days towing at maximum power.
LLOYDSMAN seen above at Greenock in the Clyde where she completed some of her trials
(Photo from Paul (Fairfield) and shown here with permission.
Ocean tugging is not the glamorous life it might appear to be, UT's crews do six month on/six week off stints throughout the world. UT's Englishmen, for instance, has operated out of Singapore for the last two years. Often these tugs sit around like floating vultures in the middle of the international seaways waiting for the plaintive bleeping SOS or the glad news of a hard won contract. There's something of the flavour of piracy in the operation of listening out round the clock with powerful radios tuned to the world's distress frequencies. Designed and supplied by Redifon, a company in which UT maintains a minority financial interest, the radio room equipment consists of a 1.2kW main transmitter, general purpose SSB receiver, reserve transmitter and receiver, 500kHz automatic distress signal and extensive battery charging equipment. A third receiver is installed in the chart room. The company was also responsible for the crew's rest room tv, which receives programmes from all over the world. The radio officer and his assistant listen in to three distress frequencies simultaneously or occasionally tune in to the chatter of other radio officers on the off chance of overhearing misfortunes. In this way Lloydsman could be half way to the scene before receiving a signal that they've got a salvage contract signed by the shipowners.
Most of the 25-man crew do an awful lot of reading and lying around in their comfortable but modest cabins. The food - enough for three months out of port- is varied and plentiful if unexciting. Accommodation is roomy and there are extra berths for supernumaries - the occasional rescued crew or added complement of divers and Salvage experts. Lloydsman anyway carries a trained diver and has deckhands capable of handling the plethora of salvage equipment. There's even a two-berth sick-bay with a watertight door opening out onto the bridge deck for stretcher access.