domingo, 5 de junio de 2011


Machinery on board ship

The machinery on board a ship can be divided roughly into 2 categories, namely:
  • Machinery for the Main Engine Propulsion
  • Auxiliary Machinery

There are basically 2 types of Main Engines, namely:

  • Diesel Engines
  • Steam Turbines

The nature of the ship will be determined by the main propulsion method in use.

A Motor Ship is one, which is propelled by Diesel Engines, while a Steam Ship is on propelled by steam turbine. The main engines will drive the propeller shaft, either directly or through a reduction gear.

The Main Engine will have many parts, which have to be serviced. For example, for a Diesel Engine, each cylinder, piston, connecting rod, main bearings, con-rod bearings, fuel pump, starting air valve, relief valve, fuel injector, exhaust valve, are large and serviced individually.

The common items of a Diesel Engine like turbochargers, starting air distributor, engine telegraph, thrust bearing, oil mist detector, also need close attention.

For the steam ship, the Main Boilers, the Steam Turbines, and the Reduction Gear make up the Main Engine system.

The Auxiliary Machinery consists of a large group. They includes pumps, purifiers, electrical generators, fresh water generators, heaters, coolers, oily water separator, auxiliary steam boilers, steering gears, air conditioning machines, refrigerator machines, cargo winches, cranes, air compressors, air tanks, oil tanks, water tanks, bow thrusters, stabilizers, fire fighting installations, lifeboat engines, filters, and many others.

These are equipment, which support the systems of the Main Engines. Some are run independently. The electrical generators are an essential item in the list because without electricity, all the machinery cannot be run. The steering gear is also very important, as this is where the ship direction is controlled.

Each auxiliary has its role to play. Refrigeration is needed in the cold stores where food provisions are stored, air conditioning for comfort, oil purifiers for conditioning of the bunker oil, or lubricating oil. The auxiliary boiler is used to heat up fuel oil. This is essential especially during the winter months, when fuel oil can become very viscous

sábado, 4 de junio de 2011


Operating in Reduced Visibility

Boating during the fall can bring special challenges for the mariner. In addition to the need to be aware of reduced temperatures which can lead to hypothermia, you also at times have to deal with reduced visibility.

Fog is the primary cause of reduced visibility, but haze, heavy rain and snow all present problems for mariners. Boating in these conditions presents two hazards, navigational errors and collisions.

Preventing both of these begins with reducing your speed. The old saying, “Be able to stop in half the distance of visibility” doesn’t appear in the Navigation Rules, but it is very good advice; remember slower is better!

A sailboat with an auxiliary engine, if under sail in fog, should have her engine available for immediate use, but you’ll be better able to listen for fog signals and other helpful sounds if you leave the engine off until it’s needed.

Fog signals must be sounded, the time interval specified in the Navigation Rules is the minimum.


Required Sound Signal
Power-driven vessl making way one prolonged blast every two minutes
Power-driven vessel not making way (stopped) two prolonged blast every two minutes with a one second interval between them
Sailing Vessel, vessel not under command, vessel restricted in ability to maneuver, vessel constrained by draft, vessel engaged in fishing and a vessel towing or pushing another vessel. one prolonged blast followed by two short blasts every two minutes

Vary your interval so that there is no possibility of your signals being in step with another vessel’s, thereby preventing you from hearing them. Listening for another vessel’s fog signals is just as important as sounding your own. If you have crew aboard, post a lookout well forward and consider having another person aft if possible. The lookout should listen as well as look. Listen for other vessels, the sound of aids to navigation, breaking surf, and other helpful sounds. Lookouts are especially important if your helm station is inside. Switch bow and stern lookouts occasionally to provide some variety and increase alertness.

If your engines are noisy, periodically shift into idle, or even shut them down for a few minutes to listen for faint fog signals. The transmission of sound in foggy conditions is tricky, if you hear something, don’t jump to a quick conclusion about its direction and distance, listen some more.

If several craft are traveling together, it is advisable that they stay close in a column formation in which closely following vessels aren’t directly behind the leader so they can easily steer clear if the lead vessel stops suddenly. If the fog is so thick that it is hazardous for them to be within sight of each other, each vessel should tow a floating object such as an empty fuel container or a cushion well astern on a line of approximately 150 feet. Then, each vessel can keep its “station” in column by keeping that object in sight, rather than the craft ahead.

May-Day and Pan-Pan Calls

Transmit a May Day
distress call only when imminent danger threatens life or property and immediate assistance is required. Transmit a Pan-Pan ("Pahn Pahn") urgency call when the safety of a person or vessel is in jeopardy, but the danger is not life threatening. Transmission of a Pan Pan follows the same format as given for a May Day below.


  1. Review radio manuals (VHF and SSB) for transmission of distress signals using their GMDSS features.
  2. Tape the instructions beside each radio.
  3. Do a radio check on an appropriate frequency.
  4. Review operation of the EPIRB.
  5. Test the EPIRB.
  6. Charge the hand-held VHF.


  1. Transmit May Day on the SSB and the VHF while you still have power.
  2. Transmit using the emergency buttons of each radio according to the manual instructions.
  3. Transmit May Day on Channel 16 as follows:
    • May Day, May Day, May Day
    • This is 'Vessel Name' repeated three times, followed by Ship Station License callsign
    • May Day
    • 'Vessel Name' is at Position (Lat and Long), or distance and bearing from landmark
    • We are (describe nature of emergency)
    • We require (describe nature of assistance needed)
    • Aboard are (describe number of people, age and condition if relevent)
    • We have (describe safety equipment)
    • 'Vessel Name' is (description: length, sail/power, design type, hull color, trim color)
    • Over
  4. If there is no response after a few moments, repeat the above message.


[If you have transmitted a May Day or Pan Pan, and later find you no longer need assistance, you must cancel it.]

  1. May Day
  2. Hello all stations, hello all stations, hello all stations
  3. This is 'Vessel Name' and callsign
  4. The time is .......
  5. Seelonce Feenee (to cancel May Day) or Cancel Pan Pan
  6. Out


Cargo care at sea

containership underway

A) Lashing check

Condition of Cargo (Container) Securing / Lashing shall be checked at least once daily and tightened as required.

In case of Heavy weather, more frequent lashing checks to be carried out and additional lashing taken as necessary, at masters discretion.

B) Prevent for Wet damage for Cargo

At sea, careful Sounding of Cargo Hold Bilges is paramount to early detection of potential damage to cargo due to ingress of sea water or leakages from water or oil systems on board.

Water accumulated inside Cargo Holds due to rain or other reason shall be removed well before it rises to a level where the lower tier containers are affected and cargo within may be subject to Wet damage.

Bilge sounding shall be carried out at least once a day, In port, cargo hold bilges shall be drained into a holding tank where provided and pumping overboard shall be avoided as far as possible.

Careful checks must be made before pumping Cargo Hold Bilges overboard to ensure no danger of Pollution by Oil or Contaminants.

C) Prevent for Cargo damage

Dangerous goods

Containers are to be visually checked at random to determine if they continue to remain in good condition. D.G containers require special attention and must be checked for Leakages/Damages.

D) Refer containers

All Reefer containers shall be monitored for condition and proper functioning at least Twice daily.

More frequent monitoring will be required in case of special/VIP reefer cargo containers and units giving trouble or suspected to be malfunctioning.

E) Cargo & Hull damage

If despite observing due diligence, damage to cargo or hull has occurred, the master shall take prudent action to minimize such damage and promptly report the facts to the company. The master shall make appropriate entries in the Ships Log Book and also preserve all relevant records including navigation charts, navigational and meteorological equipment records and print outs, weather reports and other related documents. Such documents and records may be required as evidence in case of claims.

The Master shall prepare a Masters Report on the damages sustained and also lodge a Sea Protest at the next port before a notary public and have it notarized.



Damage to cargo is the most frequent type of liability that confronts
a shipowner. Unfortunately, cargo damage is often caused by small
mistakes. In the case of damage to a cargo on board, it is vital that all
the facts are recorded and documented.


Is it damaged?
Inspect cargo as it comes on board. Check for any differences you
may find and record them. Notify the shipper and charterers that you
intend to alter the shipping document to reflect your observations.
Alternatively, reject the cargo

Record inspections
Record in the log book inspections of cargo holds undertaken by the
ship’s officers or crew during the voyage.

Safely stowed
Make sure that cargo is carefully and safely loaded, stowed, separated,
carried and discharged.

Sea- and cargo worthiness
The Master always has the final responsibility for the sea- and cargo
worthiness of the vessel.

Survey the damage
If you suspect that your cargo may have been damaged during the
voyage, inform your owners. They should then request Skuld to
arrange for a surveyor to meet you at your destination. Alternatively,
you may always contact your local Skuld correspondent. They are
instructed to immediately assist you in any way.

Weather reports
In case of heavy weather, keep a copy of any meteorological reports,
or warnings, and properly record the conditions in the ship’s log.
This particularly applies to adverse sea conditions which may cause
damage to the goods on board

Minimise losses
Damage can be reduced by immediate separation of wet cargo (e.g.
wet fertiliser) from the rest of the cargo.