In which the Cadets familiarize themselves with their vessel.
In 1977, OPA 90 was unimaginable. However, the Marine Overseas Company (MOC) had commisioned 4 vessels to be built by National Steel & Shipbuilding Co. in San Diego which would meet the stringent environmental requirements of this law. The San Clemente Class, these four ships - the Overseas Chicao, Ohio, New York, and Washington - would carry MOC into the future while other larger ships entered the fleet and smaller ships faded away.
The ship we rode is the second of the four San Clementes. She was launched in 1977; NASSCO Hull #400. Her PanaMax beam allowed the vessel to trade between a plethora of ports east and west, north and south. On a few occasions in the 1980s she even ventured into foreign waters.
While principal characteristics cannot tell a ship's story, they can provide you with some detail:
Locomotion is provided by two Foster & Wheeler boilers, which feed superheated steam into General Electric turbines, which drive a double-reduction GE gearset. The main reduction gear reduces the 6,730 RPMs of the high-pressure turbine and the 3,340 RPMs of the low-pressure turbine into a constant design speed of 92 RPMs. (This vessel operates at a constant sea speed of 83 RPM.) The prop is a 5-bladed, 29' diameter, 19.755° fixed-pitch affair. All of this power got us along at speeds ranging from 14.3 knots loaded to 18.1 knots racing into Valdez fully empty.
Electrical power to the relatively few demands aboard are supplied at sea by a single GE/Westinghouse turbogenerator, which develops 1000 kW at 12,000 RPM. Auxiliary power comes from a 750 kW diesel genset. Cargo, ballast, and fire pumps are all turbine-driven. Main Cargo Pumps #1 and #2 are the largest of the 5 turbine pumps, making 2900 HP each, each driving a pump capable of 15,400 gallons (366 bbls) per minute. Both the turbo-generator and the pump turbines are run on superheated steam from the main line.
The balance of the vital systems, namely deck equipment, is hydraulic. Any 2 of 5 constant-tension winches used aboard are capable of pulling the fully-loaded ship (around 200,000,000 pounds) up to the dock. The kingpost cranes have a 15-ton capacity, supplemented by two 5-ton stores cranes on the house.
Many people wonder how much fuel the ship burns. The answer is pretty laughable: 0.015 mpg. That is right, folks, it gets 15 thousandths of a mile per gallon. That equates to less than 80' per gallon, or roughly 11 gallons per ship length. At sea, burn is about 5200 GPH, which equals 123.8 BPH. The boilers are fed by a 4" pipe full of fuel oil at about 150 psi.
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