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Old 29-10-2006, 21:58   #1
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Lessons taught by a Port Engineer (Tugs)

Having worked on Tugs with EMD and DDC engines, I felt rather comfortable. One day the owner of the company went out and bought a Tug with a 10 cyl Fairbanks-Morse Opposed Piston Diesel. (The purchase is another story in itself).
As the PE and I looked over this behemoth(eye level was midpoint on the engine the remainder being another 5.5 feet above me) I said "I don't know the second thing about these" (The first being suck-squeeze-bang-blow). The Port Engineer Said, I can tell you in a few words about these F-B OP's
First...The same speck of dirt that stops your sailboat...will stop this
Two...If there is a problem look for the simplest thing first (OCCAMS RAZOR)
Three...Never.....ever leave the Captain or First Mate alone in YOUR engine room.........they have enough knowledge to REALLY eff things up.
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Old 30-10-2006, 05:03   #2
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He's not joking. Years back as a Chief Mate, newly joining a ship, I would tell the Chief Engineer that I'm open to helping with his work load but he was to remember that I was a M-A-T-E and as such, I couldn't guarantee that he'd be happy with all of my mechanical efforts....
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Old 30-10-2006, 11:33   #3
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There is a reeeaaally old tug in the Marina over the hill from me. I met the owner and talked about his ummm, project... Mate, what a project. She's a rust bucket with much of the steel work rusted to thin egg shell material. anyways, that's another story. The story I have is that this thing is direct drive engine to shaft/prop. No gearbox, so no easy fwd/rev. It is one of those old engines that will run either direction. So when he brings this vessel into the wharf, he has to time it just right to work out when to stop. To stop he has to steer in the direction he wants to go, run down from the wheel house to the engine room below, stop the engine and then start it again in reverse, run back up to the wheel house and hope like hell he timed it all correctly. It is definatly a two person boat. One steering and one in the engine room I think. But he had been doing this on his own. Maybe it has changed by now, not sure. But so far all docks are still standing, so he must be doing OK.
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Old 30-10-2006, 12:59   #4
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Fairbanks-Morse monster engines. 10 cylinder opposing means 20 pistons. We had two on our Cruiser to run generators. Impressive beasts.
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Old 11-03-2007, 23:45   #5
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Sorry I've been gone so long.

One of the Tugs I worked on Had a Plate on the Side of the Engine.
"Built for the War Department Dec 9, 1941"

It also had a bell "like a big disc(door chime) about 18" in dia.
That was the communication in the old days.

Probably the place where the term "ring her up" came from.
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Old 12-03-2007, 00:22   #6
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When I was an engineer on a 300' trawler I had a skipper who didn't even know where the doors to the engine room were or that he could telephone us. One of the best captains I've ever sailed under. (I think he thought the boat stopped at the mess on the main deck)
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:25   #7
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Quote:
(I think he thought the boat stopped at the mess on the main deck)
As long as the boat stopped would be my main concern.

I had a freind and I do mean Had as he died of Cancer a few years back, that was in the Merchant Navy. He nearly single handedly put a large steam turbine powered ship onto dry land in Singapore or HongKong (dunno, all look the same to me) when he was younger.
Now I may have some of the facts slightly wrong here, so don't go jumping on me. But I think the order was given to stop engines, which was rung on via one of those controll thingies that do that. But somehow he rung on the wrong thing and the ship was put into fwd motion. Not sure what speed. The Cpt then gave the order to drop anchor and then went below. Apparently it was a few minutes after the bridge was cleared, that my friend realised his mistake. He knew he had to ring full stop or reverse or what ever he did, but new the ship would all go nuts when the bells rang on. He threw the handle over and then vacated the bridge and ran to the Bow. He said the Anchors were trailing out to the stern of the ship and they had quite a bow wave on. The ship finally came to a stop rather closer than many wanted and he then had to shout orders at the capt as to how to steer his ship back over the anchor chains.
He never did tell me what truoble he got into however.
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