How is Marine Engine Repair Done On board a Ship?
Marine Engine Repair is one of the most important tasks carried on board a ship. It involves repairing and carrying out of routine maintenance tasks on the marine engine of the ship. The repairs are generally carried out by marine engine mechanics, famously known as marine engineers.
Marine engine parts need to be checked on regular basis to avoid breakdown or heavy loss caused by ship going off charter. Marine engine repairs are carried out by the marine engineer as per his basic understanding of the machine, sound troubleshooting knowledge and correct techniques used for testing and overhauling.
Moreover, there are several agencies around the world that provide services for marine engine repairs, which cannot be done by marine engineers on board the ship due lack of special equipments and manpower. Some examples of heavy maintenance of marine engine repairs are metal stitching or metal locking, recondition of piston, honing of liners etc.
Understanding Marine Engine Repair
When we talk about marine engine repairs, they not just include maintenance and repair work on the mechanical parts of the engines but also include repairs on various electrical equipments as well. Thus, marine engine repair is categorized in two parts – electrical and mechanical.
For an effective performance of the marine engine and in order to prevent breakdown of the same proper procedures are to be followed as described in the manuals. Marine engine repairs have to be done at specific running hours as described in the planned maintenance system of the ship.
On board ship there is a team of marine engineers or marine mechanics, along with crew ratings such as motorman, oiler, fitter, etc. to carry out the work of marine engine repairs.
The team of engineers includes chief engineer, second engineer, third engineer and fourth engineer. Chief and second engineer are management level officers, whereas third and fourth engineers are operational level engineers.
The chief engineer looks after different surveys that are to be carried out on the marine engine and also plans out when they are to be carried out. The second engineer plans the marine engine repair work that is pending or scheduled to be due soon.
The second engineer also looks after main engine and different pumps in the engine room. The fourth engineer looks after the repairs of compressors and purifiers whereas third engineer looks after the boiler and auxiliary engines along with the help of crew ratings.
For electrical equipments the repairs are carried out by a separate dedicated electrical engineer, who looks after various motors, batteries, print card electronics etc.
Important Points for Marine Engine Repair
For marine engine repair, the most important thing is to make available several sets of spare parts on board the ship. If there is a shortage of any of these parts, then they need to be ordered by the respective engineer, who is looking after the particular machinery. Some special considerations also need to be given to emergency, safety and life saving equipments.
Marine engineer also have to make sure that all the equipments are working fine without any problem. External agencies such as port state control and flag state will detain the ship if equipments like emergency generator, life boat engine, and fire fighting system are not working properly. The agencies may fine the ship heavily for these abnormalities.
For this reason, proper checks and routine schedule have to be maintained to avoid unwanted circumstances related to marine engines on board a ship.