Doxford Engine

Anybody care to share their experience and opinion?:

Poetry in motion.

Here’s another video of Doxford engines:

I’d be very uncomfortable around so many large moving components. I have a nearly irresistible urge to touch them…

Most of them needed touching to check for overheating!

You would not have been happy working on reciprocating steam then.

I guess I don’t miss the noise much!
first time I’ve seen the O’brien work, been aboard but nothing happening.

For those who like to see and listen to big Diesel engines running, but without the heat, dirt and oil that goes with the real thing, here is a link to a likeminded FB Group:

A recent example:

I have been lucky enough to have been onboard for a “steaming weekend”. Pretty cool. In a way, I am glad that I don’t still live out there, because I would probably spend too much time onboard. . . . and it wasn’t a museum when I did. . .

More Doxford sound for your enjoyment:

Some old engineers love them, other hate them.
Anybody here that has an opinion about them?

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That is a Harland and Wolff B and W opposed piston engine . In an old Port Line ship that was converted from a reefer to a passenger ship.
I did 4 trips in a row on another Port Line ship, the Port Alfred, with this type of engine. Built 1960, direct current electrics, only a couple of alarms for the engine. Crew of over 40 for a 10000 ton dwt ship.
Very enjoyable time, 4 weeks to load frozen chickens in Brazil. 4 weeks to discharge in the Persian Gulf.

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Likewise. 1962 built Maria Elisa, I joined as cadet back in the late 70’s and then purely by chance joined it again as 3/0 when it was called the Alpac Asia, in the early 80’s.
4 cylinder Doxford thumping away down below.

Did 15 1/2 months on that trip, had a great time.

Maria Elisa


those are what I’d call real ships !!!, For their age they seem to be pretty clean and orderly but I also suspect they had a flag that allowed for a lot more help in the eng. spaces?
There is or was till ‘recently’ one such tied up in Charleston, looked to be steam. Was near the Dept. Homeland Security training center and where NOAA tied the R. brown up but it was probably steam? never got to go aboard. Also in Seattle was the uss Zeus we snuck aboard around 1980, First ship i’d ever been aboard but it was cold iron and at night. Still a education!

I was on three ships with Doxford main engine.
The first was in 1959-60 as Deckboy, a tanker built in Amsterdam in 1950 as Bergestrand., than Balmi. When I joined she had changed ownership and was called the M/T Polyrambler. Lots of engine problems, especially scavenger fires:

My next ship was a Wilhelmsen liner, M/V Tamasis, built in Glasgow 1950. Also Doxford. No engine problems when I was onboard as OS (1960-61):

The third ship with Doxford engine was M/T Cherry Viken as Master (1972-73) Ex London Enterprise, ex Altaire. Built at Furness Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Haverton Hill in 1950 Worn out and nothing but engine problems when I was there:

PS> The extra deck in the midships superstructure was because the Engineers had their cabins midships. (unusual) She was built for the PG- East Africa trade with a large local crew, initially.

Engineers in the Officers accommodation? outrageous!