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Author Topic: C632 and C653  (Read 1668 times)
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« on: June 06, 2017, 11:53:08 am »

As a result of consideration of the ID of a number of images of former Admiralty service tankers, including contributions from a former owner of one of them, there is important discussion at: and
and other relevant photos are:

Member Nimrod22 also contributed a old GA drawing, which I have moved here, along with his further comments:

This GA of the C632 does not support some of my earlier observations. It shows vertical ladders at port and stbd to monkey island. I would point out that actual verifiable photos of C632 (where name on bow is clearly visible) shows that the C632 was actually built with only one sloping ladder access to monkey island further aft. The reason for the dwg inaccuracies is that changes are often made during construction, especially during periods of materials shortage. Draughtsman are reluctant even today with autocad to make numerous revisions, which require reissuing of updates to many.The outfitting department possibly had a sloping ladder available and used that instead of two verticals.
I first saw this vsl in Poplar Dock (just North of West India Docks) around 1979, and it belonged to Mr Valman at that time. I still have the bill of sale (June 1982) to J Skoda (Frenchman) for the vsl that I knew as C632.I can't find the purchase document. I bought the vsl alongside at Gravesend, possibly early 1980 from a company that was going to break it up. I was onboard when the vsl was moved from Gravesend to KGV Royal Docks, where I changed the hull colour from black to grey. The drawings onboard were a mixture of C632 and C653.All other documents had been removed. There are positive id photos of the two hulls, with names on the bow. C632 mast fwd support tie attaches below the crosstree spar, C653 fwd mast tie attaches above the crosstree. As I've mentioned before, I'm just as happy to be proved wrong re the id, no point in being dogmatic about it, just to be shot down later!!!

I suggest further discussion continue here.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 11:56:42 am by davidships » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 06:24:50 pm »
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The above link shows the PAS lub oil tanker C632 as per name on bow.
It also supports some of my earlier observations.
1. Fwd mast, fwd stay wire is below the crosstree (C653 is above).
2. No vertical ladders port and stbd to monkey island either side of the bridge, but access from aft (C653 has vertical ladders, and access P&S through the canvas dodger).
3. C632 quick release/roll free liferings at bridge wings (C653 does not have this arrangement, but rings are supported on hooks at other positions).
4. C632 vertical pipe stanchions with tensioned horizontal wires at maindeck ship's side (C653 has vertical & horizontals fabricated from pipe).
5. C632 Stbd running light box is much taller and able to accommodate a double vertical lamp (whereas C653 is not so tall).
6. C632 forecastle upper handrail at fwd end slopes down at 45 degree angle to the horizontal fashion plate/breasthook (whereas C653 handrail turns down at 90 deg).
7. C632 has external hand grip bars above the officers messroom fwd portholes so as to assist in use as an exit route for emergency escape (there are no indications of this on C653).
8. As mentioned in my earlier posts, the black hull vsl at Royal docks was painted grey whilst I owned it at start of 1980s, & I believe is the same vsl alongside near Gravesend for many years.

Links below show RFA C653 for with name on the hull for comparison.

Whilst looking for photos, I found some others out there which I believe are misidentified such as below:
This photo IMHO is C632 alongside at Poplar docks (North of West India Docks). The crane in the background is of the type used at Poplar Dock (there are other landmarks), and
the vsl is in the location where I first sighted it around 1979/80.
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