Tinker Taylorís Homepage

a new look to an old site.

4th Gallery ~ Machinery & Engine Plant

Here are some photographs taken of shipboard machinery and includes that of both Motor and Steam powered ships. To most lay-persons an engine is something that is hidden under the bonnet (hood) of a car ........... so lets attempt to gain some perspective........

Relative Size

Here the house and a coss sectional schematic of a typical ships main engine are drawn to the same scale.

A copy of the piston and piston rod has been placed to the right of the house for further emphasis of their relative dimensions.

The schematic is that of a slow speed, two stroke, diesel engine, as are the pictures below, unless otherwise stated.


This is an old style marine diesel of the M.V. Athelking built in 1964. The rocker arms are no longer used on modern marine diesels as you will see below.

Something of a monster when it was built. This was a nine cylinder Burmister & Wain engine with a cylinder bore of 1,040mm and output of 20,800 hp

Forward of the main engine can be seen the two boilers to operate the ships steam plant - Cargo Pumps, Turbine Alternator and other steam auxilliaries.

Click to see Enlarged Photo

Routine maintenance. Here a piston is being removed for overhaul.

This relatively modern engine is equipped with hydraulicaly operated exhaust valves.

Click to see Enlarged Photo Click to see Enlarged Photo

During a periodic dry-docking all six cylinder heads and pistons have been removed from this engine.

Click to see Enlarged Photo

A major Dry-Dock job is the tailshaft survey.

1. Remove propeller

2. Uncouple intermediate shaft and lift clear in the engine room

3. Withdraw tail shaft from sterntube into the engine room

and it all has to be done in a very confined space

Click to see Enlarged Photo

Here the crankcase doors are open to give access for maintnance.

Several people together with chainblocks, large spanners and BIG hammers all climb inside the crankspace.

Click to see Enlarged Photo

Looking through a crankcase door and down at the big-end of the connecting rod.

Click to see Enlarged Photo

Unfortunately this engine is internally painted red which is of little help to the photographer. However the timing chain and sprocket wheels are clearly visible.

Click to see Enlarged Photo

Cylinder head removal on "Rheinstern"

This Medium Speed Diesel engine is somewhat smaller in dimension than it's big-brothers above.

Engine Builder: MAN B & W

Engine Type: 4 stroke, 7L 48/60

7 cylinders of 480mm bore with a 600mm stroke

Power: 6600 kilowatts or 8850 horsepower

Click to see Enlarged Photo Click to see Enlarged Photo

General view from the Top Plates on "Rheinstern"

Click to see Enlarged Photo

The main switchboard on "Rheinstern". This this is the nerve centre for the ship's electrical power. The generators (altenators) are synchroized in parallel here, and their output distributed around the vessel through the breakers and switches located on these panels.

Click to see Enlarged Photo

"Rheinstern's" Engine Control Room

Click to see Enlarged Photo

Major overhaul on a generator. Crankcase doors are opened for access to renew the 'Bottom End Bearings'.

Engineers with long arms are beneficial for this work.

Click to see Enlarged Photo

The steering gear on a Ultra Large Crude Carrier with four large hydraulic rams to turn the tiller arm.

Click to see Enlarged Photo

Looking vertically down onto the main engine of the "Al Rekkah".

This is a Steam Turbine plant with High and Low Pressure Turbines coupled to the single propeller shaft through a compound reduction gear box.

Steam Pressure = 65bars (942psi)

Steam Temperature = 550°C ( 1022°F)

Power = 45,000 BHP

Second picture is looking across the spaceous turbine flat.

Click to see Enlarged Photo


Click to see Enlarged Photo

Link Button to my Athel Apprentices Association pages...

Athel Apprentices Association