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RFA Support Vessels

My dad and uncle both worked in Pompey dockyard and would tell tales of union job demarcation rules eg. an electrician had to wait for fitter to turn up to fix an electrical junction box (supplied by the electrician) to a bulkhead as he wasn’t allowed to do the job himself. Crazy.

My dad is an apprenticed boilermaker who served his time in Camel Lairds, ship repair on the mersey and a fair few other places.
After his apprenticeship he went to holland and worked there - he is now pushing 80 and every other conversation seems to be on the lines of “they haven’t got a clue in this country...”

Included in his diatribes is having to carry a 1/4 ton of (I forget what exactly) steel the length of the yard because nobody else had the exact job to do it. Whereas in the Dutch yard he was flagged down by a guy when carrying his tool kit across the yard - his oppo translated and a quick phone call they were both shuttles across in a truck, said truck waiting until the job was done so that they could go back to their normal workplace. Turned out the guy doing the flagging down was the shipyard owner.

His other favourite story is on working on a Diesel boat (sub) and an RN guy starts hyperventilating about the placement of a location of a bit of kit. Kit is moved at the cost of many man hours. A couple of months later RN Guy is replaced - sure you can guess what happens next.

It isn’t just shipping either. He later worked in Africa where the British management were kicked off site and not allowed back in again. The reason why was that they installed a pipeline that cut off the makeshift road that all the construction traffic was using to access the sugar refinery they were building.

Sorry for the rant but I have to listen to this every other night and it seemed at least partly pertinent.
 
My dad and uncle both worked in Pompey dockyard and would tell tales of union job demarcation rules eg. an electrician had to wait for fitter to turn up to fix an electrical junction box (supplied by the electrician) to a bulkhead as he wasn’t allowed to do the job himself. Crazy.

Nothalf as crazy as a now former U.K. shipyard refitting a tanker back in the day.....

picture the scene if you will, new main airline, new BFO electrical junction box.

the idea was, airline along the bulkhead, box in front on stand offs.
Sparks come up, look at plans, No pipe, shrug shoulders, fix box to bulkhead, all wires run to it.
pipefitters eventually turn up, look at plans, look at box, shrug shoulders, run pipe along bulkhead, and you guessed it, dog legged it in front of the now you can’t ever open it cabinet.

Chief pops down to see how things are going, has a bloody fit, grabs gas axe and cuts away offending pipe and tells everyone very explicitly what he thought of their parentage. OUT BROTHERS! Scream the shop stewards.

Rather than fire the clowns, management go into appease the unions meltdown, union calls a down tools in the yard, ship is blacked. Months later, and with lots of agreed overtime, the Union permits the refit to continue sans the offending Chief Engineer.
unsurprisingly, they got no further refits.

British shipbuilding committed suicide.
 
A hold is a hold its only complicated for the Uk everyone else manages it.

The US has been supporting carriers fore years yet we cannot simply follow there lead.
Yeah they were so good at it they only stopped using the three Ness class stores ships they bought off us in the 70s circa 2005.....

Your posts so far have shown a severe lack of understanding of modern design rules and safety requirements.

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 
Yeah they were so good at it they only stopped using the three Ness class stores ships they bought off us in the 70s circa 2005.....

Your posts so far have shown a severe lack of understanding of modern design rules and safety requirements.

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk

a typical civilian dry cargo Merchant ship will have a crew of 14-25, RFA’s require @ 100 crew to operate them, plus stores and RN types
They are rather complex by Civilian standards, things like refrigeration isn’t a Zanussi fridge.
 
But anyways, back to the Solid Stores Ships....

they are big, properly Tide sized big, over 40,000 tonnes, which very much limits the U.K. build options.

although I note they are now being referred to as ‘warships’ in parliamentary statements.....setting the mood music for mandating a UK build?
 
Makes you wonder how they could move all that stuff in WW2 - Oh wait loading cargo has been known about since Bjorn Ironside

It will be 3 of what the US is having - rather than some gold plated bae built crap and will fill the LSL role as the US is gifting LCAC
Well..there may have been lessons learned..

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Obviously - Its been confirmed the Merchant Navy cant be trusted to man them - if they think they need more manpower than Maersk for the same sized vessel.
The only difference is a few shooty things and the RN does them.

Maersk don't do 24 hour pump overs and cargo transfers in bumpy seas.
 
But could if asked without over specifying ships or jobs for the boys. Or if you actually need real comitment - then make it a Navy task like everyone else does.

Almost as if they no something we dont

no Maersk cant, even the USN has its own dedicated ‘RFA’.

the last merchant ships fitted to do RAS with the RN and the crews trained to do it, were BP’s River class product tankers in the 70’s.

and when playing Auxilliary RFA, you had a 4 man naval party aboard, and you needed 12 on deck and were double headed Bridge and engine room. Which, with just 40 people aboard was a furious and tiring pace.
 
It seems a unionised workforce and success are mutually exclusive in the UK’s heavy industry. It’s not just shipbuilding - coalmining, steelmaking, car manufacture, electricity generation all decimated their indigenous industries, and what remains of these capabilities is frequently (but not exclusively) foreign owned.

In some countries, unionised workforces have been successful, but these tend to have a “we’re all in it together” philosophy, rather than an “us vs them” outlook. Compare Toyota with Rover Group, or DeutscheBahn with British Rail. It seems like I’m talking about ancient history with Rover and BR, they went away years ago, but their competitors/foreign equivalents prospered.
 
Even more reason to leave it to the RN or better yet just sack it off.
Our 2 FSS and 4 tankers are pretty insignificant alongside the US and NATO - 3 torpedos and our contributions gon so instead of trying to play with the big boys and wavbe our national willy - srap the RFA and invest in Fast attack craft
 
Even more reason to leave it to the RN or better yet just sack it off.
Our 2 FSS and 4 tankers are pretty insignificant alongside the US and NATO - 3 torpedos and our contributions gon so instead of trying to play with the big boys and wavbe our national willy - srap the RFA and invest in Fast attack craft

we have 3 solid stores ships and 6 large fleet tankers, Far and away the biggest capability in Europe. @ 380,000 tonnes, the RFA is a not insignificant amount of tonnage.
 
Insignificant compared to the US - 5 mins air attack and its gone

Oh look Britain can send 4 tankers - I bet Putins shaking in his boots - terrified that the migh of Britains RFA will deny him the Carribean

US has 15 large fleet tankers. With 6, I’d say we are punching well above our weight.
they are also fitted with Extensive defensive weapons and systems.
 
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