The Finest Hours

Anybody else excited about this coming out? First thing I read in the comments everywhere is that nobody believes a ship can still stay afloat after it splits up. I always site the SS Daniel J. Morrell. This steam ship not only stayed afloat after it broke in half, the stern continued and did a massive loop still under power coming around striking the bow. The stern then continued to steam along and was found 5 miles away from the bow on the lake floor. I’m sure most of you are aware of the sole survivor watchman Dennis Hale. He passed away last year but his story was told many times and there is a book as well. Any of you have a ship wreck story that sticks with you? I never heard of the one told in “The Finest Hours” before the trailer came out but have looked into some other famous wrecks such as the Endurance. Are there other good ship stories I should read?

The MOL Comfort broke in two and both parts stayed afloat for quite a while. The stern section sunk first, while the bow section only sunk after it caught fire while under tow towards Salalah: http://gcaptain.com/2013/07/10/mol-comfort-incident-photos/

I have many picture of the last, taken by the Captain of the Salvage vessel that was towing it at the time.

Both T-2s and Liberties had a problem with breaking in half. . . .

Isn’t it true that they’d sometimes get torpedoed, crack in half, and still have crews rescued off of still floating sections.

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;177395]Isn’t it true that they’d sometimes get torpedoed, crack in half, and still have crews rescued off of still floating sections.[/QUOTE]

more than a couple cracked in two without requiring a torpedo

some did it right at the outfitting pier

     Picture from one built in Maine?

[QUOTE=z-drive;177413]Picture from one built in Maine?[/QUOTE]

wrong…the “other” Portland

[B]SS Schenectady[/B]

History

Name: Schenectady
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Ordered: 24 March 1942
Builder: Kaiser Shipyards
Cost: $2,700,000
Yard number: 1
Laid down: 1 July 1942
Launched: 24 October 1942
Completed: 31 December 1942
Fate: Scrapped in 1962

General characteristics

Class & type: T2 tanker
Type: T2-SE-A1
Tonnage: 10,448 GRT / 16,613 DWT
Length: 523 ft (159 m)
Beam: 58 ft (21 m)
Installed power: 6,000 hp (4,500 kW)
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h)
Range: 12,600 nautical miles (14,500 mi; 23,300 km)

The SS Schenectady was a T2-SE-A1 tanker built during World War II for the United States Maritime Commission.

She was the first tanker constructed by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company shipyard at Swan Island in Portland, Oregon. The keel of the Schenectady was laid on 1 July 1942, the completed hull launched on 24 October, and she was declared completed on 31 December, six months after construction began and two and a half months ahead of schedule.

Hull fracture

On 16 January 1943, she was moored at the fitting dock at Swan Island, in calm weather, shortly after returning from her sea trials. Without warning, and with a noise audible for at least a mile, the hull cracked almost in half, just aft of the superstructure. The cracks reached down the port and starboard sides almost to the keel, which itself fractured, jackknifing upwards out of the water as the bow and stern sagged to the bottom of the river. Only the bottom plates of the ship held. This was not the first of the war-built merchant fleet to fracture in this way – there had been ten other major incidents, and several more would follow – but it was perhaps the most prominent; it occurred in full view of the city of Portland, and was widely reported in the newspapers even under wartime conditions.

The cause of the fracture was not fully understood at the time; the official Coast Guard report gave the cause of failure as faulty welding, whilst the Board of Investigation considered factors as diverse as “locked-in” stresses, sharp changes in climate, or systemic design flaws. Defective welding became the most common explanation for these incidents, especially when later investigations uncovered faulty working practices at some yards, but even then it could only be clearly identified as the case in under half of all major fracture cases. Later research indicated that the failure method was probably a brittle fracture, caused by low-grade steel. This would become highly brittle in cold weather, exacerbating any existing faults and becoming much more liable to fracture.
Later service

She was repaired and successfully entered service in April 1943.

Details of her exact service are unclear, but it is known that she sailed from California on June 10, 1944, possibly for service as a fleet oiler. During the next year, she sailed to Australia, the Persian Gulf, New Zealand, the Marshall Islands, then Curaçao, back through the Panama Canal to the Marshall Islands, the Caroline Islands, the Admiralty Islands and finally Ulithi, before returning home to San Pedro, arriving on May 20, 1945. She participated in battle engagements in the Marshall Islands and at Ulithi.

Following the war, she was transferred to the National Defense Reserve Fleet in July 1946. In 1948, she was sold to the Diodato Tripcovich Shipping Corporation in Trieste, and renamed as Diodato Tripcovich. She was finally scrapped in Genoa in 1962.

[QUOTE=LI_Domer;177395]Isn’t it true that they’d sometimes get torpedoed, crack in half, and still have crews rescued off of still floating sections.[/QUOTE]

It didn’t always take torpedoes. . . . and yes sometimes the crews were on the floating sections. I used to have a book that studied the problem, post war. Like anything else, it wasn’t always due to one issue, but several. There were design errors, creating stress risers. There were also welding and steel issues. All welded ships then presented a problem where a small crack would propagate through the entire hull. Design changes like riveted crack arrestors prevented fractures from tearing ship in half and were designed into steel hulls for decades. T-2s were also found to have a lack of longitudinal hull strength, so strapping was required. . . .of course these ships were not meant to be around for very long. . .

I saw the movie last night. It was awesome!
Spoiler Alert don’t read further if you cant handle it!

So the biggest problem I had is why the heck did they need to focus so much on the crazy girlfriend! I mean she was being nuts for half the movie. In real life they were already married for over a year by the time Webber(USCG) left for the rescue and she never once entered the station during the rescue. She was home sick. The other big problem was that in real life the crew of the Pendleton tried to avoid the shoals in fear of breaking up. In the movie the main goal was to bottom her out. Who knows why they went that direction, I think it would of made sense to follow that and it would still keep it dramatic while uniting the crew. Lastly I wish they would of spent even one second in the pilot house of the Pendleton. The 7 crew in the pilot house that died only got a brief mention after she broke in two and made the captain seem like an incompetent man ignoring the words of his chief engineer. Now that that’s out of the way It was so epic how they showed the crew working together in what would seem like real world practices to keep the ship going. The largest ship I have worked is a 125ish foot ferry so I cant really say how accurate it is but seemed like to me it was similar to what we would try with emergency steering gear. It already is one of my all time favorite movies and has made me even more excited to get onboard a working freighter while at GLMA.

I’m about 3 days out from Hawaii and reading the book now. Looking forward to the film.

[QUOTE=cmakin;177424]. . . .of course these ships were not meant to be around for very long. . .[/QUOTE]

Despite that intention of a short-duration service life, weren’t a number of T-2s stretched, converted, etc., such as the S.S. Marine Electric? I’m trying to imagine the level of courage / optimism that would have been required to sail on one of these, knowing the design / construction / materials flaws. Yikes!

CGI overload, corny dialogue, and bad New England accents. What could go wrong? Don’t ruin the book by seeing the movie. You remember “Perfect Storm”, right?

Perfect Storm had Mark Wahlberg, who has a very authentic dialect. No voice coaching required. Also, John Hawkes reminded me very much of a typical Gloucester guy.

They did a decent job with the perfect storm for a lot of the characters. Not accurate representations of the guys according to friends/family who knew some of them though.

Wahlberg is from Boston, all he had to do was talk normally.

I have The Finest Hours book at home, it was a great read. So was A Perfect Storm.

I would like to see The Grey Seas Under about the Foundation Franklin made into a book as well as Until the Sea Shall Free Them about the Marine Electric sinking.

Did the lights on the forward half stay illuminated in real life, as shown in the movie?

Oh, boy. Where to start with this movie. . . . now, I may be tossing out some spoilers, but it isn’t like you don’t know the ending. . . . yeah, more of a silly romantic movie to get the ladies interested, I guess. . . . . as far as life onboard the PENDELTON. . . not sure that the engineers, especially the Chief and the interaction with the crew is even remotely accurate. . . . Now, as a marine engineer, I just about always have problems with movies that involve marine engineering and this is no different. . . they take great pains in identifying the ship as a T2. . . so why isn’t the plant turbo electric? Yeah, no one else will notice. . . and then there is the machinery. . . is it a steam plant, or diesel? . . . and why the hell are they worried about water getting into the Main Engine Air Intakes (I kid you not, with stenciled labels on them and everything). . . and sandbags around that goofy operating console?. . . . Oh, and then the bit about having to fabricate and install a “tiller” to get local steering. . . sigh. . . flames coming from what looks like a reduction gear? And why were the decks above the engine room awash when the engine room wasn’t completely filled with water? Yeah, I just shouldn’t go to movies like this. . . . and yeah, A465B. . . I guess the emergency generator was located in the forward half of the vessel. . .and what was that top deck that appeared to be accommodations or machinery spaces above the tanks at the break? And I am not even questioning the crap that went on in the lifeboat. . . like why the hell did they get so beat up getting out there, but came back in relatively calm seas, or the stern half sinking in about 30 feet of water. . . .

[QUOTE=cmakin;178149]Oh, boy. Where to start with this movie[/QUOTE]

I refuse to give Disney one penny to go see this load…the trailers tell me all I need to know that it is a dumptruck filled with crap!

[QUOTE=c.captain;178150]I refuse to give Disney one penny to go see this load…the trailers tell me all I need to know that it is a dumptruck filled with crap![/QUOTE]

I went twice c.captain so as far as that second ticket it will have been on your behalf haha

and as far as being diesel or steam it was clear it was steam with diesel gens. The intakes where to the generators and when the water stopped going out he said the rate at which he would take on water would increase to much to have any hope of staying afloat. You can hear them say several times they try and conserve steam power when they are engaging the prop. As far as the flames out of the reduction gear, that was the funniest part of the whole film. Even I knew flames would not come out of what ever the hell that was shooting into the air. I think the film crew believes that might of been a “turbo” and used the one boost per episode. Fast and Furious style

[QUOTE=GreatLakesMariner;178151]I went twice c.captain so as far as that second ticket it will have been on your behalf haha

and as far as being diesel or steam it was clear it was steam with diesel gens. The intakes where to the generators and when the water stopped going out he said the rate at which he would take on water would increase to much to have any hope of staying afloat. You can hear them say several times they try and conserve steam power when they are engaging the prop. As far as the flames out of the reduction gear, that was the funniest part of the whole film. Even I knew flames would not come out of what ever the hell that was shooting into the air. I think the film crew believes that might of been a “turbo” and used the one boost per episode. Fast and Furious style[/QUOTE]

But that was NOT clear. . . those were Main Engine Air Intakes, repeated often and shown often, too. . . there were a couple of mentions about boilers, but not clear how they were involved, other than producing steam, but steam main engines do not have air intakes. . . . I should have just stayed away, but figured I would go just to see how screwed up they got shipboard life and marine engineering, and they certainly did a stellar job in screwing it up. . . .aside from the fact that most T2s (including the PENDLETON) were turbo electric. . . . and there was no fracture in the engine room in the real incident. . . and the handwheels on the console. . . .