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Messages - jantac

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The Voyages, The Work, The People: Everyday Life at Sea / Ballast
« on: September 13, 2017, 11:11:02 am »
Hello to the world,

I had a response about ballast, with a suggestion that shingle was used. Sailing folk are practical people, I have difficulty getting my head around the practicalities of a vessel arriving in ballast requiring an expensive army of chaps with shovels in the hold loading loose shingle into containers to be hoisted onto the quayside. Presumably, whatever was used as ballast would have been in some form of container (baskets or whatever) and it was the containers which would have been moved. Also, in a sailing vessel moved hither and yon by the wind and the sea, a loose ballast presented the danger of movement that could aggravate the motion of a vessel.

The turnaround time at Cardiff was quite efficient, in many cases arriving and emptying of cargo or ballast, ready to load either the same day or the next. My database of 20,000 Cardiff shipping movements (so far!) has dates of arrival, 'entered out' (ie cleared to load for export and destination) and 'customs cleared' (ie tonnage of cargo loaded & ready to sail), doesn't seem to give much time for a labour intensive removal of ballast. 

Outgoing cargoes of loose coal would have been loaded onto a vessel directly from railway coal wagons hoisted up and the coal tipped down chutes into the holds. The coal made stable on board by dockyard 'trimmers' employed for that purpose (NOT members of the ship's crew).

Cardiff imported little, most vessels (steam or sail) arrived in ballast with a skeleton crew. Before departing a vessel would have recruited a full crew locally.

Am I explaining this properly?

Any ideas or knowledge on the processing of solid ballast?

Regards to all,

JANTAC8

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