How is Marine Engine Repair Done On board a Ship?

Marine Engine Repair is one of the most important tasks carried on board a ship. It involves repairing and carrying out of routine maintenance tasks on the marine engine of the ship. The repairs are generally carried out by marine engine mechanics, famously known as marine engineers.

Need of Marine Engine Repair

Marine engine parts need to be checked on regular basis to avoid breakdown or heavy loss caused by ship going off charter. Marine engine repairs are carried out by the marine engineer as per his basic understanding of the machine, sound troubleshooting knowledge and correct techniques used for testing and overhauling.

auxiliary engine

Moreover, there are several agencies around the world that provide services for marine engine repairs, which cannot be done by marine engineers on board the ship due lack of special equipments and manpower. Some examples of heavy maintenance of marine engine repairs are metal stitching or metal locking, recondition of piston, honing of liners etc.

Understanding Marine Engine Repair

When we talk about marine engine repairs, they not just include maintenance and repair work on the mechanical parts of the engines but also include repairs on various electrical equipments as well. Thus, marine engine repair is categorized in two parts – electrical and mechanical.

For an effective performance of the marine engine and in order to prevent breakdown of the same proper procedures are to be followed as described in the manuals. Marine engine repairs have to be done at specific running hours as described in the planned maintenance system of the ship.

On board ship there is a team of marine engineers or marine mechanics, along with crew ratings such as motorman, oiler, fitter, etc. to carry out the work of marine engine repairs.

The team of engineers includes chief engineer, second engineer, third engineer and fourth engineer. Chief and second engineer are management level officers, whereas third and fourth engineers are operational level engineers.

The chief engineer looks after different surveys that are to be carried out on the marine engine and also plans out when they are to be carried out. The second engineer plans the marine engine repair work that is pending or scheduled to be due soon.

The second engineer also looks after main engine and different pumps in the engine room. The fourth engineer looks after the repairs of compressors and purifiers whereas third engineer looks after the boiler and auxiliary engines along with the help of crew ratings.

For electrical equipments the repairs are carried out by a separate dedicated electrical engineer, who looks after various motors, batteries, print card electronics etc.

Important Points for Marine Engine Repair

For marine engine repair, the most important thing is to make available several sets of spare parts on board the ship. If there is a shortage of any of these parts, then they need to be ordered by the respective engineer, who is looking after the particular machinery. Some special considerations also need to be given to emergency, safety and life saving equipments.

Marine engineer also have to make sure that all the equipments are working fine without any problem. External agencies such as port state control and flag state will detain the ship if equipments like emergency generator, life boat engine, and fire fighting system are not working properly. The agencies may fine the ship heavily for these abnormalities.

For this reason, proper checks and routine schedule have to be maintained to avoid unwanted circumstances related to marine engines on board a ship.

Do you want to know what exactly does a marine engineer do? Read it here.


Do you have info to share with us ? Suggest a correction

Subscribe To Our Newsletters

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy and may receive occasional deal communications; you can unsubscribe anytime.

Web Stories


  1. Current issue facing is the marine assets that my company is having.

    Most of them are over the age of 20years and the hull are all in the weakess state and its require a lot of surface harderning and doubling plating.

    On the deck are machine that are as equally old. !!!

    Under the deck are re-condition marine engines and generators. Some are beyond market sources. Maybe?

    To focus on the key problem, is that I am being entrusted to create a set of Preventive and Periodic maintenance to educate and implement into the Fleet of vessel and make sure that they don’t break down as offen as they do currently.

    From my sources are all either old files and paper in the office library and they are not consistent. This make my investigation much harder then it has already been.

    Adding on this these challengers, I am from a navigation deck trained background and has little know how about Marine engines or generators?

    Therefore so far I has been finding the right steps to prevent and enhance the performance of the fleet.

    Hope you are able to advise more.please reply to my email and confidential is much appreciated.


  2. Good day, please i will love to learn how to work and service shop engine. can anyone help and pick me up please. thanks.

  3. You said that engine repair also includes mechanical parts. If I needed to get any type of engine repaired I would want to make sure I took the automotive vehicle to a professional. I’ll need to ask someone that I know for assistance when I am trying to find a professional that would be able to assist me.

  4. In cases where high stressed areas are involved, toughened steel locks are introduced into the repair and installed at 90 degrees, at regular intervals along the length and bisecting the stitching pin line. In each case pins and locks are fully sealed to give leak free repair even under high pressure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *