10 Things To Consider While Reassembling Ship’s Machinery After Maintenance

Maintenance of  machinery and systems on board ships often require dissembling and assembling of parts for repair, cleaning, and lubricating purposes. Those with hands-on experience of repairing ship’s machines know that dissembling a machinery is much easier as compared to reassembling. Among the several important things that has to be kept in mind is to ensure that the right part of the machinery has been fitted at the right position while reassembling.

Mentioned below are ten things which maritime professionals must consider while reassembling any machinery on board ships

1. Read the Manual Properly Before Starting the Process: Ensure that you are thorough with the manual of the machinery before actually commencing the process of maintenance. You must know which part goes where and the sequence of inserting parts during reassembling. Keep the manual always by your side. When in doubt ask your colleagues instead of assuming, sometimes you might have to carry out the whole process again. 

2. Use a Base for Parts: While overhauling any machinery, it is better to use brown paper/ cardboard/ wooden plank to keep all the removed parts over it. While assembling it back, it will be easy to figure out if you have left or missed any part during reassembling. Make sure you do not lose any part during the overhauling process. 

Ship Machinery

3. Keep Note of the Markings: Most machinery parts normally come with markings for alignment during assembly. Ensure to insert the parts and align them as per the markings.

4. Clean Everything, Don’t Miss Out: Note down everything that you have to do before overhauling the machinery to ensure that you do not miss anything. Also ensure that all the internal parts are cleaned off carbon deposit, soot oil or grease before assembling them back.

Ship Machinery

5. Check Records: Check the previous records before renewing parts, especially bearings and bolts for under or oversize aspects. This is important to ensure that you have the right size of spare parts during the overhauling process.

6. Check for Defects: Ensure that all the assembling parts/ spare parts of the machinery are tested or does not have any defects. This is important to prevent any breakdown in near future. 

7. Keep Check on The Torque: Ensure that the assembled parts are tightened as per the required torque provided in the manual. Over or under-torque can result in breaking or loosening of the parts after restarting the machinery.


8. Don’t Miss Any Parts Inside: Before boxing up the machinery, check all the internal parts/ space/ crank case/ gear case of the machinery for any left over tools, rags etc. and remove them if found.

9. Open Valves, Check Oil/Water Levels: Once the machinery is fully assembled, ensure to open all the isolated valves and check oil/water levels before starting it. One must also know the right procedure to restart the machinery. 

10. Check For Any Abnormality: The machinery should be tried out for short period before making it fully operational. During this short time, following things are to be checked: vibrations, vital parameters, sounds and any other abnormality. If any problem is found, the machine should be stopped immediately and its cause should found out by opening the machinery again.

These are some of the important things that are to be noted while reassembling any machinery on ships. Do you know any other point which needs to be added here? Let us know if the comments below.

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An ardent sailor and a techie, Anish Wankhede has voyaged on a number of ships as a marine engineer officer. He loves multitasking, networking, and troubleshooting. He is the one behind the unique creativity and aesthetics at Marine Insight.

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  1. Thanks this is good basic list. Just remember to do things when they are needed, I would always do things like this about a year in advance. I went through all the spare parts needed and also those that MAY be needed. Then I would check with my on-board spare’s, the sister ships and the warehouse. I would contact our suppliers and see what they had in stock. If it was a long lead item or something that may have to be made I would order it and if I did not need it then it could be sent back to the warehouse of added to the inventory so other knew where it was. I also made sure I had all the needed materials like gasket material, sealers and ceramic coatings and paints. If bolts are special or must be torqued or stretched, order the new ones so you can replace all the nuts and bolts that should not be used over again. Be sure you have the manuals and special pages printed and put together in a booklet so you never use or handle a manual with dirty hands. These manuals must last for many years and you don’t want them dirty and damaged. If you have certain things like valves or pumps that need overhauling and rebuilding sandblasting or ceramic coating of internals then it may be best to order a spare, or a new valve or assembly and coat it before assembling. I used to always tag the item, date it, with initials as well as logging with details for the future. Never reuse parts that have a limited life, as there may be things you can not see with the naked eye. The list is good, my only comment is add to it with they whys things are done. You are making a learning experience here. Good work.

  2. @ Clarke Dodge: Thank You for your comment. You have added some fine points which are very important while planning an ovaerhaul of machinery.

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