Chief engineer of the ship is the head of the engine room department and the sole controlling authority for all machinery systems of the ship. He has the responsibility to ensure that all the systems of the ship function smoothly without any breakdown.
For this reason, while assigning duties of handling a ship, the chief engineer is required to go through a specific procedure to ensure safety of the new ship and its personnel.
The procedure for “taking over” of a large vessel is often divided into several steps starting from the briefing at the shipping office to that on the vessel.
Briefing at the Office
While taking over a vessel, the chief engineer would be briefed by a superintendent or technical manager according to the ISM practices.
He would be asked to fill up appropriate checklists wherever required.
He would also be required to go through company instructions and policies.
Note : The chief engineer should properly read the policies and instructions of the company before taking on the job. He should also be aware of the following things:
- Status of surveys and certificates
- Condition of class if any
- Other important instructions stated by the company
Chief engineer must take copies of all the certificates, surveys, and regulations when he starts to plan for the ship stay.
Briefing during taking over on Vessel
There are several points a chief engineer should keep in mind while taking over the ship. The first and foremost thing the new chief engineer should do is to read the letter prepared by the outgoing chief engineer. He should then verify/discuss the following:
- Fuel oil, diesel oil, and lube oil soundings – by comparing actual figures with the logged figures
- Voyage requirements
- Bunker inspected
- Consumption pattern with any specific instructions
- Oil record book
- Overdue certificates and surveys, if any
- Previous pending requisition
- Spare parts list for critical spares of Main Engine.
- Email and fax routines to office
- Different external and internal audit reports (ISM, ISPS etc)
- List of precision measuring instruments and location
- Competence and performance report of current engine staff
- Removal reports of last 1 year
- Spare for OWS
- Overboard key for OWS and Sewage plant.
- Passwords for computers
- Records of previous trainings and drills
- Schedule of forthcoming training and drills
- Pressure testing dates of various system and pipelines
- Last Dry dock Report
- Sea Trial report
- Dry dock files for pending job to be done in next dry-dock
- Crew overtime records
- Last checked dates of safety systems
- Last checked dates of main engine emergency appliances safety and alarm systems and their conditions
- Last testing dates of shore analysis of lube oil from different systems
The chief engineer should also get information about company’s action plans regarding
- Maintenance status of main auxiliary machinery
- Vessel sailing programme
- Random check of alarms and instrumentations
- Special tools required on board
- Sounding book
- Boiler water treatment files
- Readiness for port state inspections – LSA/ FFA
- All important checklists and forms
- Drawing lists
- Recent maintenance carried out by ship’s staff / workshop
The chief engineer should then meet the 2nd engineer, electrical officer and other engineering staff to confirm about the engine room condition and other specific instructions.
A combined report of both incoming and outgoing chief engineer is then signed and sent to the company office.
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