repairs, port, knowledge, instructors, physical, welding, machining, fitting,
brazing, soldering, fabricating, bearings, sleeves, marine, seafarer, engineer,
engineering, safety, welding, machining, fitting, repairs, fabrication, steel,
Gate valve problem
Stop leak completely
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The skills of a marine engineer
The Marine Engineer is trained in tradesman skills because any repairs on board ship must be done on board the ship itself. The nearest shore repair facility might be 1000 miles away, or the port of call may be in a forested area far away from workshops.
The training done at the college is the starting point for any skills training. With the knowledge and proper guidance from instructors, the proper handling of welding electrodes, oxy-acetylene torch, cylinders, lathe machines, milling machines, shaping machines, drilling machines will be very useful when the Marine Engineer has to put the skills to use.
Once he has learned the theoretical aspects of the skills, he has to spend time to work on his physical skills, which is what is required in actual use. In order to do a good repair work, he must practice, practice and practice. On board a ship, a marine engineer may have to do vertical arc welding in ship rolling condition. Although the weld may not look very nice, but because he knows what he is doing, the penetration is sufficient to produce a strong weld.
The basics of any skill training for the Marine Engineer are mechanical in nature:
The welding done on board ship are usually electric arc welding, gas welding, brazing, and even soldering. The fabricating machine installed in the workshop of the engine room usually determines the machining work. Normally drilling is very common. Lathe machines and sometimes milling machines are installed. A lot of pipe fitting work is done whenever a machine is dismantled for cleaning. Welding on pipes is also common, especially in tankers, where the pipes can be very long and plentiful.
A Marine Engineer is also called upon to be skillful in adjustments of controls, so that the processes can be stable. In machine repairs, he has to be able to open up bearings, sleeves, rusty nuts and bolts, change valve packing, reconditioning valve seats.
He will also be called upon to fix any emergency repair when ordinary repairs cannot be used. One example of this is to stop a leaking sea water pipe that is below the sea level. (Indeed, the lower part of the engine room is usually below sea level). The normal repair will be to patch up the pipe by welding, or replace the pipe. Both of these are not feasible unless the ship is in dry dock. On steam ships, if there is a small leak in the steam condenser tube he has to be able to close up the leak.
In a diesel engine, if one cylinder or piston has developed a crack, he must be able to isolate the cylinder and still run the main engine. If the stern tube seal at the propeller shaft leaks in seawater, he must be able to do some temporary measures to stop water from coming in through the stern tube.
In short, he must have the skill to make do with whatever he has available to do a temporary fix, and continue to run the ship until she arrives at a repair facility where a permanent repair can be done.