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Topic review - Ralph H Watson
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  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
Guest wrote:
I couldn’t help but notice how well she was painted in the 1974 picture. Different times I guess.
I am curious though as to why she was converted to oil vs others. Does anyone know if the different fuel source created a substantial advantage over other fleet mates? Wasn’t the her sister, the Irvin one of the slowest in the fleet? Did the Watson not suffer from the same speed deficiency? At any rate I appreciate the posts and information. Classic ships for sure.


I take a guess and say because she was going into Central Furnace. When I went on her in 79 the crew was telling me there were rumors that USS was going to put a bow thruster in her, but never did. In 79 we painted forward end, aft end, plus decks and hatches.
Post Posted: May 7, 2021, 7:41 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
I couldn’t help but notice how well she was painted in the 1974 picture. Different times I guess.
I am curious though as to why she was converted to oil vs others. Does anyone know if the different fuel source created a substantial advantage over other fleet mates? Wasn’t the her sister, the Irvin one of the slowest in the fleet? Did the Watson not suffer from the same speed deficiency? At any rate I appreciate the posts and information. Classic ships for sure.
Post Posted: May 7, 2021, 2:49 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
Quote:
On the MATHER that house contained the CO2 bottles for the engine space fire suppression system (port side) and the steam turbine/reduction gear lube oil tanks(midships).

Great information. The other vessels discussed also had CO2 fire suppression installed at the same time. I thought ambient heat was the culprit because when I worked the HV line at EMD summers while computers were just entering the scene then in the 60s and 70s insulated rooms with air conditioners, generally the floor foreman offices, were built to house them, running 24/7, all season.
Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 8:18 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
Photographer Lou Gerard has a photo of the stern of the Ralph H. Watson in the MacArthur Lock in September 1974 on his Flickr page.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/5632/31687275254

- Brian
Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 8:03 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
On the MATHER that house contained the CO2 bottles for the engine space fire suppression system (port side) and the steam turbine/reduction gear lube oil tanks(midships). That is a gravity system where the lube oil was pumped up to the tanks from the lower engine room sump tank, below the reduction gear. Stbd side of the house contained the emergency lighting generator, powered by a 3cyl. Nordberg diesel and its associated wiring and panels.
The Bailey hardware box is on the engine room operating deck. They did have problems with heat. Fans were mounted on top. The KAYE BARKER had the same system and they had small A/C units incorporated into the doors. An interesting side note; in 1998 or 99 Interlake asked us at the MATHER if they could borrow some of the logic modules from our Bailey to have them copied as they cooked some on the KAYE. It worked out good for all. We actually had the system working on the MATHER, but we didn't go anywhere. The same chief was on the KAYE when I sailed her in 2000.
Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 7:02 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
Here is the Watson in late 50s.


Attachments:
Watson2_Small.jpg
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Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 1:57 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
The Watson was converted to oil in 1970 but I do not know if that deckhouse was related to that project. John Hulst was not converted to oil and didn't have the extra deckhouse.
Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 12:24 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
The Watson at Cleveland and the Leon Fraser at Milwaukee were converted to oil firing with automated boiler controls during the winter of 1969-1970, and both have that small house aft the funnel which does not appear before that work as far as I can tell. My guess is it has something to do with the Bailey automated boiler control system incorporating a (by today's standards) rudimentary computer system that may have been sensitive to the heat of the engine room, forcing its relocation. I note the William G. Mather, the first such vessel so converted on the lakes, has a similar house appended to its funnel aft. The main control console was in the engine room, though.
Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 12:18 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
Guest wrote:
I was wondering why the Watson had an upper deck house behind her stack, while it is absent on the other 1938 classmates. Was this an addition when she was converted to oil? I’m assuming the conversion also changed her stack configuration. I don’t believe the Hulst was converted, but I may be mistaken. Thanks.


Was on the Watson for a yr., but don't have the answer. The Hulst was not converted.
Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 11:01 am
  Post subject:  Re: Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
Are you referring to the structure just aft of the stack?
Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 10:01 am
  Post subject:  Ralph H Watson  Reply with quote
I was wondering why the Watson had an upper deck house behind her stack, while it is absent on the other 1938 classmates. Was this an addition when she was converted to oil? I’m assuming the conversion also changed her stack configuration. I don’t believe the Hulst was converted, but I may be mistaken. Thanks.
Post Posted: May 6, 2021, 6:12 am

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