Rocker arms activate exhaust valves of main diesel engine

Rocker arms activate exhaust valves of main diesel engine

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
Purifiers remove fine solids from fuel and lubricating oils

Purifiers remove fine solids from fuel and lubricating oils

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. 

Atomizing steam is used in this boiler burner

Atomizing steam is used in this boiler burner

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. 

Crane ready to lift up piston from the cylinder liner

Crane ready to lift up piston from the cylinder liner

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

Main engine cylinder heads

Main engine cylinder heads

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

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The Auxiliary Machinery consists of a large group. Theyincludes 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. 

Servicing the alternator

Servicing the alternator

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.