Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

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Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby ChEng2009 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:05 pm

Good day all.
I have succesfully challenged all the written portion of the 2nd Class Motor exams, having said that I like the 2nd class oral exam so much that I have taken it 4 times!
I believe I have a good handle on all the relevant regulations but what is currently tripping me up is that my whole career has been high and small medium speed diesels using diesel fuel. So when questions come up concerning slow and medium speed diesels using disttillate I have problems because my knowledge is all learned out of a text book.
What I am looking for is someone who is local to the Vancouver Island area who is an experienced Chief Eng or First Class and would be willing to spend a few hours tutoring me. I will offer excellent hourly rates, $35 per hour.
I just want to pass this damn oral board.
Any advice or takers?

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby The Dieselduck » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:56 am

Sounds like youre getting very unlucky, or you pissed off the examiner. I am not sure what kind of questions could be worth tripping you up for that many times. If you don't have any takers, I might be able to answer some heavy fuel related questions, although like you I have never sailed on a modern two stroke slow speed.

BTW, I have moved your topic to a more appropriate area - The Training Room. Cheers.
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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby Madzng » Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:05 am

I'm not in Canada, but I'm willing to try and answer any questions which either caused you problems, or explain areas for which you need more information.

I've spent the vast majority of my career sailing with the large Sulzer and B&W two strokes engines, including the latest electronic controlled engines.

You can either post them here, and get the collective wisdom, or PM the questions and I will try and explain as best I can.

Good luck.

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby JK » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:00 pm

Jeeze, four times.Yeck. The thought of doing it once was enough to make me sick to my stomach :(

If you can post here, we might be able to give some help, but my 2nds are years behind me and steam to boot.

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More Questions...

Postby ChEng2009 » Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:47 pm

I appreciate the offers of assistance and am going to post the questions that seem to be tripping me up.
You are hired on the Second Class Engineer for a Tramp Freighter sailing out of Vancouver. It uses a slow speed diesel and heavy distillate. Describe your actions from you’re arrival on the dock to actually having the ship sail.
1. I have no problem spouting off the articles of agreement and signing onboard, however is there any difference signing onboard a ship if it is not of Canadian Registry?
2. As a 2nd class engineer what engineering documentation and equipment inspection and certifications should I be looking at?
3. I am told by the ChEng that I am to make the ship ready to go to sea for a trip X days long, what preparations am I expected to do?
A tally of all the consumable items needs to be done: filters, strainers, lube oil, fuel, spare parts makes sense to me. Talk to the ChEng and get an idea how much is consumed for each trip and make sure the consumables are ordered and delivered. Also find out about any corrective or planned maintenance that needs to be completed prior to sailing. Finally, depending on how long the ship was alongside, conduct a pre-sailing machinery trial to ensure all machinery is operating correctly.
Is there a standard way to conduct a Steering system check?
Also how is a slow speed diesel normally checked for correct operation prior to sailing?
If propulsion is direct drive and the props are not CPP, can the engine be flashed up while stilled tied up alongside for a machinery trial?
What is the normal procedure for bring a slow speed diesel from a cold start to be flashed up?
With a direct drive, would control of the diesel be left at the engine room or be given to the bridge when starting the diesel?
On a tramp freighter what would be the composition of the engineering department?

My last question concerns thoughts on whether it would be worthwhile to try taking the 2nd class with the Nanaimo examiner vice going for round 5 or 6 with the Victoria gent. I am thinking that perhaps I have poisoned the well and perhaps it’s time to take the oral exam with someone who has no history with me. Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any help that you give me.


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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby Madzng » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:12 am

The question seems a bit vague, how long has the ship been sat there? Have you just joined with all the crew or are you relieving the previous 2nd engineer?

These factors will decide how the question is answered, and just how much work is involved.

Essentially you need to look at everything that could give you grief, or that could get you detained at a future port. Think of it as doing your own port state or USCG inspection. In reality you would judge what is necessary by the state of the ship when joining.

But working towards a worst case scenario

If you have access to the internet before you join you can check the vessel for any history of detention etc... check for previous names and check detention history of these as well - vessel could have recently changed owners and/or names.

You should satisfy yourself that all the emergency equipment is working as required;
Main and emergency fire pumps - ready to run and a hose test to check pressure and power from each pump. Suggest one hose at the furthest hydrant from the pump and one from the highest point simultaineously.
Emergency bilge suction - valve is free and that bilges are clear of anything that could block the valve or the pump.
Machinery space bilge alarms are working
Emergency D/alt starts and can take the expected load.
Emergency batteries are fully charged and will start/run what is required.
Emergency air compressor arrangement is capable of filling the bottle.
Fire alarm system is working and that nothing is inhibited.
Fixed firefighting system is operational and ready for use.
All portable fire fighting equipment is in place and ready for use.
Lifeboats and engines are in good working order.
Sound powered phones at each locations to every other location.

You should satisfy yourself that all the machinery is in good working order;
LO analysis tests of Main Engine (including camshaft system if B&W) steering gear, stern tube, auxiliary engines and may be a few more depending upon the ship in question. If this is not possible there should be equipment onboard to do a water in oil test, samples should at least be drawn to visually check oil condition.
Is the main engine scavenge space clean?
Any white metal lying at the bottom of the main engine sump?
If the fuel has been onboard for a while fuel analysis may also be a sensible test to have carried out.
Auxiliary engines will autostart and that they can take the load expected.
Bilges are oil free and that there are no machinery leaks (oil or water).
Spare parts on board for essential equipment, main engine, auxiliary engines, fire pumps etc...
Essential tools for overhaul or removal of main engine cylinder unit.
OWS is operational and that the bilge and sludge tanks are at acceptable levels.
Fuel and LO purifiers are working correctly and not producing too much sludge.
Alarm system is working and alarms have not be inhibited.
Does the engine room operate UMS? Test the ER dead man alarm and cabin alarms.
"Engineers call" does this work.

Talk to the people you would be working with in the engine room department, ask them about their experience either on the present vessel or previous - you can soon judge their competence levels - and ability to speak the working language.

Familiarise yourself with the emergency controls for the main engine, steering gear, lifeboats, lifeboat engines, and various means of starting the emergency d/alt. Change over proceedures for engine control - bridge to engine control room, engine control room to local and back again. Check the emergency escapes and where they come out, making sure doors are not locked or blocked. Make sure the rest of the engine room staff know this too.

For my own satisfaction I would take a walk along the jetty looking for any large indents, and oil leaks from stern tube and, if fitted, thrusters or stabilisers. Walk along the main deck checking the condition of any cranes or cargo gear and the hatches and covers. Also check funnel for smoke quantity and colour.

You can start the engine and test it ahead and astern whilst alongside, you will need to stop cargo and raise the gangway. It may be necessary to place additional mooring lines out. But a start test of the engine takes roughly 30 - 40 seconds and as soon as it can be seen that the governor is controlling the rpm the engine can be stopped. If the engine is tested in the reverse direction for a similar period the ship should end up where it started :) You should test from all control stations, bridge, engine control room and local control position.

If the vessel is fitted with Bridge control and it is proved ok at the start ahead and astern tests then there should be no trouble to give them control. If there is any doubt leave on engine control room control and change over once in clear waters.

You could check discharge books and certificates of the other engineers onboard if the Master will let you.
I would ask to see the latest class status report and check for any conditions of class and any overdue survey work.
You could ask to sight all the statutory certificates;
Load Line
Safety Construction
Safety Equipment
Dangerous Goods (if applicable)
Vessels maintainence history, defects list and outstanding work list.
Main engine parts running hours
Last main engine bearing clearances and crankshaft deflections.
Outstanding orders for machinery parts.
Read through the engine room log book, and check that all parameters are what you would consider normal.
If possible read through past Chief, third and fourth engineers handover notes.
Who is the designated person ashore, who is the emergency contact?
Any parts of the ISPS plan that you are allowed to see, and your role/responsibility onboard.
Muster list and your duties in an emergency

I'm sure I will think of more as the day goes on, and that the others in the forum will also add some relevent points or comments to the above.

Steering gear and main engine points I will reply with separately, when the boss is not around!
Last edited by Madzng on Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby Madzng » Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:42 am

Taken from one of my assignments as a cadet, so some of this may be a bit basic, but I think that this covers most things for a older two stroke engine.

Preparing a Diesel to Start After Long Periods of Inactivity.

Before a diesel is started after a period of inactivity i.e. a drydock, it must be very gently be coaxed up to a operational standard to reduce mechanical and thermal stresses which would be present, not only in the engine but in the systems involved in running the engine. A rough guide is given below.
1. Check the liquid level, and condition, of all tanks belonging to the engine, i.e. jacket cooling tank, the piston cooling water tank, the L.O. sump, and governor L.O. level, and refill if necessary.
2. Line up and start cooling water pumps, vent the systems, and check for, any leaks, correct operating pressures and flow rates.
3. Line up and start the S.W. cooling pumps, vent the system, check for any leaks, correct operating pressure and flow rates.
4.The cylinders and pistons must be warmed up gradually over a period of at least eight hours. To a final temperature between 65 and 75oC. This is done by passing steam through the heating coils, either in the tank or in the line. Steam must never be injected into the water system as this can lead to corrosion problems.
5. Make one last inspection of the crankcase to ensure nothing has been left inside, and that everything appears normal. Line up and start the L.O. pump, vent the system, and check for, any leaks, correct pressure, flow and that the oil is flowing uniformly from all the bearings and guides, i.e. there are no blocked lubricating points. Close up the crankcase.
6. With the indicator cocks open the engine should be turned over (by means of the turning gear). To check that there is no hindrance to the turning, or water leaking out of the indicator cocks. Whilst turning the cylinder lubricators should be turned to ensure correct lubrication of the liners.
7. Start to heat up, to their correct temperatures, the wing tanks, the F.O. settling and service tanks. When up to the correct temperature drain all tanks of any water that has collected. Line up and start both the F.O. purifier and clarifier. Leaving the F.O. to recirc between the tanks.
8. Line up and start F.O. booster pump, vent the system and check for, any leaks, correct pressure and flow. Crank the fuel pumps over to ensure that there is diesel right up to the injectors.
9. Start the air compressors, and fill up the air reservoirs to their correct pressure (30 Kg/cm2). Drain off any water that has collected. Line up the rest of the air system, check for any leaks, water that may of collected in the lines, correct pressures at all points, and that the starting interlocks are working, i.e. the turning gear interlock.
10. Check the reversing servomotor, regulating linkage, running direction safety device, the emergency fuel lever, engine telegraph, telephone link to the bridge, and emergency telephone link with the bridge for proper functioning.
11. Drain off the air side of the air cooler, charge air receiver and piston skirt space for any water that may have collected.
12. Disengage the turning gear, inform the bridge, and turn the engine over on air, from both the control room and the engine side controls. To ensure that everything is free and operating correctly.
13. Inform the bridge and turn the engine over on fuel, both ahead and astern, from both the control room and the engine side control, to ensure that there is diesel right up to the injectors and no air in the lines and that everything is free and working correctly.

The engine is now ready to be run. The above description is only a brief outline of the procedures needed to get a diesel engine to a state of readiness after an overhaul. I have made several assumptions above and these include:
1. That the engine has been reassembled correctly and that any faults have been already found and corrected.
2. That the F.O. system has been lined up and started with diesel in the lines.
3. That if any leaks or mistakes have been found, whilst checking the engine, they have been corrected before continuing

Running a Diesel for the First Time After a Long Period of Inactivity.

Before a diesel can be run as `normal', after a period of inactivity, it has to be run up slowly so that everything can be checked for correct operation, i.e. the coolers, the governor, the trips, etc... A rough guide is given below.
1. The first run should be limited to a low speed, low power run. The engine should only be run for a period of about 30 minutes, with a constant watch kept, for any abnormalities, on all pressures and temperatures. After The first 30 minutes the engine should be stopped and all external surfaces checked for overheating. If there is no sign of overheating the crankcase should be opened up and a check made on internal bearings and running gear to ensure that all temperatures are normal.
2. If all is satisfactory it may be restarted and run for a little longer, again at low speed and power. This time all the trips and safety devices should be checked for correct operation, i.e. the low L.O. pressure trip, overspeed trip, automatic pump starts, etc...
3. Once everything has been checked and is found to be satisfactory, the engine can be brought up to full speed in small steps taking about 6 hours to reach full speed. Whilst running the engine up to full speed, the fuel oil system can be changed over from diesel to heavy.
4. When the engine has reached full speed and all pressures and temperatures are satisfactory, when compared to the original trial data, a set of indicator cards should be taken to check the timing and condition of each unit.

The engine is now ready for normal use. The above description is only brief and several assumptions have been made, these include :
1. That any defects found when preparing the engine, were corrected.
2. That any defects found whilst running up were corrected.

Running a Diesel Engine on Heavy Fuel Oil.

Changing from Diesel to Heavy.
Before changing from diesel to heavy fuel operation, it is necessary to heat the diesel oil in the mixing column, fuel pumps, lines and pre-heater up to about 50C.
The system must be heated through slowly as abrupt changes in temperature may cause the fuel pump plunger to stick. It is advisable to heat only the fuel lines, the mixing column, and the filters, to begin with and if the diesel has not reached 50C to use the pre-heater.
If the fuel oil temperature is normally controlled by a viscotherm this must be by-passed, when preheating the diesel, and the temperature regulated by hand.
The engine must be kept running on preheated diesel oil until the fuel oil pump blocks feel warm to the hand. If this is the case, change over from diesel to heavy can be effected by way of the three way cock.
After change over the fuel temperature is brought up to the `required preheating temperature' for the heavy oil. If the temperature is regulated by a viscotherm, the latter can be put back on line.
During change over from diesel to heavy and until the `required preheating temperature' has been reached, it is advisable to not exceed 75% of the nominal power.

Changing from Heavy to Diesel.
To change over from heavy fuel oil to diesel oil, the three way cock is firstly to be changed over. The heavy oil and diesel oil will then mix in the mixing column. The viscosity of the circulating mixture for a given temperature will correspondingly drop as the proportion of diesel oil increases. The temperature in of the fuel circuit can gradually be reduced and the heating may be completely shut off after a while.

Manoeuvring on Heavy Fuel Oil.
When manoeuvring on heavy fuel care must be taken that the `required preheating temperature' is maintained at all times. The high-pressure fuel pipes must be kept heated and the fuel valve cooling kept at its required temperature.

Stopping on Heavy Fuel Oil.
The fuel oil booster pump should be left running such that the fuel circulates through all the fuel pumps and back to the mixing column. The high-pressure fuel pipes must be continuously heated, the fuel valve cooling water heated to its normal operating temperature, and the fuel oil kept at its `required preheating temperature'.

Starting on Heavy Fuel oil.
Because the fuel oil has been kept at the required temperature no special conditions have to be met when restarting the engine.

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby Madzng » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:35 am

Steering gear must be tested within 12 hours prior to leaving port. This is a SOLAS requirement. If the ship is on short voyages (dont ask me what that is defined as) then the tests can be done weekly.

The following items need to be checked, if fitted:
Main steering gear
Emergency steering gear
Remote steering gear system
Emergency power supply
Rudder angle indicators compared to rudder angle
Steering gear power failure alarms
Steering gear control system power failure alarms
Automatic isolating valves and system
Oil level in the emergency storage tank

The full movement of the rudder should be checked, a visual inspection of all linkages, and the operation of the emergency communications with the bridge should be tested. If a gyro repeater is fitted in the steering gear compartment the heading shown should be compared with that on the bridge.

At deepest draught, running ahead, the rudder should move from 35 degrees to 30 degrees (both port to starboard and starboard to port) within 28 seconds.
Using emergency steering system the rudder should be capable of moving 15 degrees to 15 degrees within 60 seconds when running ahead at one half normal service speed or seven knots which ever is the greatest. Whilst you can not simulate that in port, the rudder must be able to complete these movements within the times redquired. Ifthe rudder is almost at the maximum time whilst operating in port it could be considered a good posibility that it wont acheive the required times on voyage.

Generally the steering gear tests used to go like this;
Duty engineer phones the bridge from the steering gear this proves the emergency communication line.
Bridge starts one steering gear, and moves rudder from hard over to hard over whilst timing and back to midships.
Once rudder back at midships, take out breaker for running unit. Power fail alarm will sound and second unit wil start.
Replace first breaker
Bridge will repeat movement of the rudder, stopping at a 10 and 20 degrees (port and starboard) to verify actual rudder position versus reported position.
Take out second breaker to verify power fail alarm and autostart of first motor
Replace second breaker
Ensure that both systems are running and check full movement of rudder again.
Confirm gyro repeater heading
Leave bridge to test follow up, non follow up and remote steering positions and return to ER.

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby The Dieselduck » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:18 pm

Awesome replies Madzng. Thank for your time.
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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby ChEng2009 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:27 pm

You are obviously an excellent instructor of new engineers. Thanks for your indepth answer.

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby Big Pete » Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:56 am

I think all the previous posts have covered everything except Fuel.
UK Regulations used to be that you should have sufficient fuel on board for the estimated consumption to the next Port plus a safety margin of 3 days or 3% whichever was less.

You can always be cought out by the unexpected. I was told about a passenger cruise liner that had been sold, and a full Deck and Engine room crew joined to sail the ship the same day.
When they tried to start the main engines ( 4 Pielstick V12s) none of them would start from the control room, if they started them locally, the WABCO control system did not recognise that they were running, so it was impossible to clutch them in remotely. If they were clutched in locally, the WABCO system still did not recognise that they were running or clutched in, so it was impossible to control pitch or RPM remotely!

Eventually they found that the there was a start interlock on all the main engines linked to the ventilation fans!!
All the machinery space supply and exhaust fans had to be running before you could start the main engines.
The ship was French designed and built.
Good luck.
It is always better to ask a stupid question than to do a stupid thing.

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby Drylander » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:37 am

When transitioning between HFO and MGO it is assumed that the diesel and HFO mix in the mixing tower or tank.

But is this the case?

During trials of a new digital viscometer, significantly more accurate and much faster responding than the conventional twin capillary, and logging the data, some anomalies were noticed.

Normally, at full load, the fuel flow to the engine is at about twice the maximum consumption rate. This gives a good heat flow from the engine back to the mixing tank and a 50/50 mix of hot fuel (eg 140C) from the engine and cooler make up HFO (98degC?) will result in fuel arriving at the heaters not far below the target temperature (120degC) and the heaters can work efficiently and under relatively stable control.

Usually the transition between MGO and HFO, during shutdown or start sequences, takes place with the engine under very low load conditions with very lttle fuel consumed.
Hence at low load the proportion of fuel returned from the engine is much higher and the MGO is only a small proportion leading to a progressive step sequence of small viscosity and temperature changes easily managed by the heater.
This is seen as small drops in viscosity and temperature and the heater gradually ramps down (shutting down sequence).
Ideally at the start of the sequence the 90% (say) return flow of neat HFO mixes with 10% MGO resulting in a small drop in viscosity and temperature. This interface between the neat HFO and the mix of HFO and MGO will circulate to the heater when the small step change is easily managed. When the interface between the neat HFO and 90/10 HFO/MGO reaches the mixing tank a new interface is created between 90/10 and 80/20 and another incremental step change in heater control is effected. (the step increment and interval also depends on the capacity of the high pressure circuit).

However, it was found that cold MGO introduced into the mixing tank instead of mixing with the HFO from the engine, remained in the mixing tank while the higher density HFO was tunnelling through the MGO and flowing to the engine neat and hot. After a while the mixing tank was flooded with MGO which then flowed as a slug of cold low viscosity fuel. This wasn't a clean transition and the cycle repeated a few times with alternate slugs of hot and cold fuel.

This prompted the engine manufacturer to re-assess the mixing tank design.

Apart from the undesirability of neat cold diesel reaching the engine (seen as a step change in viscosity and temperature at the viscometer) it meant that the heater control was unsettled. The low viscosity MGO (which was heated to the HFO temperature before the heater could respond - the viscometer is in the outlet) and then caused the heater to be ramped down so that when the next interface with hot HFO arrived the heater was unable to respond fast enough to prevent the HFO going to the engine at too high a viscosity. This aggravated the problem at the mixing tank when hot MGO was even lower density than the fresh MGO.

Always interesting to monitor the data and see what is happening and why. And it is surprising what insights even the two usual measurements of temperature and viscosity will yield.

Of course, when complying with MARPOL sulphur directives transitioning takes place under full load which requires a different management strategy but which still depends on an efficient and effective mixing tower or tank.

Be interesting to see how many have noticed these odd effects and who may still have ineffective mixer designs.
I wonder, by the way, why mixing tanks are used rather than inline static mixers which would deliver a nice homogeneous mixture. Headloss isn't a problem since this is the high pressure circuit with a decent PD pump.

PS I understand that samples are often collected from the mixing tank.
I suggest that this layering/tunnelling effect may make such samples rather less useful during shutdown and start sequences and especially when making a full load transition between low sulphur and high sulphur fuels - even when switching between LSHFO and HSHFO rather than LSMGO and HSHFO?

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby The Dieselduck » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:15 am

Excellent insight. Thank you.
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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby Atlantic » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:03 pm

I don't see how you would have time to check all this things when you sign on. I always demand a handover/overlap time on a new ship so i can make my opinion if to stay or not. I believe any serious company should give a weeks handover at least. And stopping cargo operation for testing the engine, were i work it would be unheard of and the chief engineer would get phone call from the office fast!

As a help for calculating LSHFO - HSHFO i use this FOBAS calculator. It is pretty accurate we have taken samples at diffident times and been close in sulphur content. Its good to play around with the numbers and see the different changeover times you get, with different fuel consumption and sulphur content.
FOBAS Change-over calculator V3_1 Oct 2010_tcm15.xls
(1.33 MiB) Downloaded 365 times

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Re: Help! Just can't get pass the 2nd Class motor Orals

Postby jimmys » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:17 am

I just read through this question and note you are on ships that use diesel oil, I thought that diesel oil is distillate.
The larger ships with medium speeds and slow speeds use heavy oils, residual oils with maybe some cutter stock but not much of it, its expensive. They do not change on to diesel in port they stay on the heavy, its muck. Circulate all the time and heat the fuel.
I was Examiner of Engineers at Glasgow for ten years then Principal engineer for the district, the Examiners boss but I still did some Examining.
If you are saying these things to the Examinerwhich indicates you are not familiar with fuel types you will not pass.
The engineers here have given you more than reasonable answers to the questions and I will say, you test the engine and steering gear on the Masters/Bridge instructions and not before.


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