Good Watch Keeping

NL 45 Good watch keeping

Chief Engineer Mahendra Singh
Engine room watch keeping

By Mahendra Singh

Example of not so good watch keeping

In a recent report, it was mentioned that a bridge watch keeper was not paying attention even when the visibility was not very good, He did not call the master and he himself was busy listening to loud dance music on his mobile phone. Masters generally do not object strictly to the use of mobile phones while on duty for the fear of getting un-popular. They want to be in the good books of their junior officers.

Engineering example of not so good watch keeping

In engine room watch keeping, the bad tendency is not to move out of the control room and check things physically using the senses of smell, touch and hearing. In many cases they tend to over protect themselves vis-à-vis noise protection and therefore miss many fault indications. It is desirable to wear ear protection
but this is more necessary while working near the turbochargers and other such machinery producing shrill sound that irritates rather than wearing it all the time and at places where intensity may be normal.

Let’s not forget good maintenance

There is a marked tendency of not seeing the boiler water level from the local position, but only from remote glass in the engine control room. That is why the practice of blowing through the gauge glasses has almost vanished. We read too much discussion regarding use of heavy fuel oil and diesel oil. It is true that environmental concerns must be addressed but 1% Sulphur fuel (Low) is quite okay in almost all SECA areas and 0.1% LSGO good enough on berths in these
areas. There is no point in discussing endlessly if the cut off date should be 2018 or 2020. Let this work for say 5 years and in the meantime devote attention to good maintenance. For, example, if you keep your injection viscosity 13-14 Cst at the injector, things will be reasonably okay but if you actually check, half of the vessels may not be having Viscotherm working properly. It was pointed out earlier that this equipment be made part of machinery survey but no action yet from IACS.

Good watch keeping practices

They are doing a very good job, beyond doubt, but they must also pick up good suggestions raised through GlobalMet Newsletters. LT and HT temperature controllers for engine cooling water, steam dump condenser controller should also be included in the continuous survey of machinery items. In the recent past, while
sailing on some older vessels, the control of LT temperature (central cooling) has been taking most of our time. Such operational difficulties are not revealed to the class surveyor, but he himself must try to unearth the problems faced on board by interviewing the crew and checking the log books. Mostly the smoke is generated on berth when the boiler cuts in and one solution is to adjust it so that it does not cut off, but for this excess steam the dumping valve must work on auto and the
dump condenser must be clean.

Use of LNG as fuel and record keeping

On the latest vessels we see the use of LNG as fuel and Class NK gave an illuminating presentation on the subject of LNG use, bunkering and tank locations, which our younger seafarers now should learn thoroughly. While using Low Sulphur fuel (0.1%S) we should keep shaft seals of fuel oil circulating and supply pumps in spares and must handle the switching of fuel very diligently. Proper recording of this in the Log Book and Oil Record Book is important for PSC checking.

 

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