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1965 built, US flagged steamship Pacific Tracker lays at the ready in Portland Oregon, picture by Martin Leduc

Last week I couldnt spell engineer!The Officer's Lounge
...did you hear about

Marine Engineers have a reputation of being direct, methodical, dry - even boorish. After all, spending four hours clearing the 265 pounds of mussels from the strums boxes does, sometimes, give that appearance. The Officer's Lounge on is a little place online for ship's crew to relax and laugh, as we explore marine and engineering lore. 
Sailors are simple, light hearted souls,
whose load of yesterday is airy as thistle-down today.

- Arthur Mason

I would like to submit to the rest of the world that, yes being methodical, careful, even maybe - anal, isn't the best of reputation for a profession. But it's the attention to details that makes great engineers. Really, it is !

This area is here to

...and we do that by...



An engineer, lawyer and accountant go together on a camping trip one summer. After a night of drinking around the campfire, the accountant stood up and said "Watch This!" he took out a pistol, threw his bottle of bourbon in the air and shot it.
The lawyer, not to be out done said, "that's nothing." He threw his bottle of scotch in the air and shot it blind-folded.
The engineer stood up and said "That's better, but it's still not worth a damn." He grabbed the pistol, shot the accountant and lawyer, and sat back down to finish his beer!


Q: How do you drive an engineer completely insane?
A: Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him, and fold up a road map the wrong way.


Here a some common machinist terms explained


Q: When does a person decide to become an engineer?
A: When he realizes he doesn't have the charisma to be an undertaker.



A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.
Engineer: What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!
Doctor: I don't know but I've never seen such ineptitude!
Priest: Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him.
Priest: Say George, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow aren't they?
George: Oh yes. That's a group of blind fire fighters. They lost their sight while saving our club house last year, So we let them play here
anytime free of charge! (silence)
Priest: That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.
Doctor: Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them.
Engineer: Why can't these guys play at night?

What do you say to a deck officer working ashore?
One Big Mac and fries please....."

Submitted by Dave G., Trainee Engineering Officer

P&O Portsmouth, UK

Lifeboats not available


Here to Serve

An engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, "Ah, you're an engineer -- you're in the wrong place." So the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in.

Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of comfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy.

One day God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, "So, how's it going down there in hell?"
Satan replies, "Hey, things are going great. We've got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there's no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next."
God replies, "What??? You've got an engineer? That's a mistake-- he should never have gotten down there; send him up here."
Satan says, "No way. I like having an engineer on the staff, and I'm keeping him."
God says, "Send him back up here or I'll sue."
Satan laughs uproariously and answers, "Yeah, right. And just where are YOU going to get a lawyer?"


The professional and the sailor

An old retired sailor puts on his old uniform and goes down to the docks once more for old times sake. He hires a prostitute named Sally and takes her up to a room. He's going at it as best as he can for a guy his age.

He asks, "How am I doing?"
The prostitute named Sally replies, "Well sailor, you're doing about three knots."
"Three knots?" he replies, "What's that supposed to mean?"
Sally says, "You're knot hard, you're knot in, and you're knot getting your money back."


Engineers at the pearly gates

3 marine engineers die and go to heaven (of course) where they are greeted by St Peter at the pearly gates.
"What type of engines have you spent the most time working on?" he asks.
"Sulzers" replies one of the engineers to which a hole appears in the clouds and he falls straight to hell!
"Pielsticks" replies the other who promptly suffers the same fate.
"Rustons" says the last, to which the pearly gates swing open and St Peter announces
"You, my child, may enter heaven, as you have already experienced hell!"

serious er

Top Ten Reasons to Date An Engineer

10) They are used to all niters
9) They get to learn what all those buttons on your calculator are for
8) They are always willing to experiment
7) They know how to decrease and increase friction
6) They know all about heat transfer
5) They do it with more torque
4) Engineering couples have better moments
4b) They know how to deal with stress and strain
3) They know how to test their rigid cantilevers
2) "Lubrication, Friction, and Wear" is really a class
And the number one reason to date an engineer....
1) They design and build larger erections


Are you a professional?

The following small quiz consists of 4 questions. It tells whether you are qualified to be a professional. Scroll down for the answers. The questions are not that difficult.

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is : open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe and close the door. (Simple enough ?)
This question tests whether you are doing simple things in a complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator ?

Wrong Answer: Open the refrigerator, put in the elephant and close the refrigerator.
Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out of the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your prudence.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference, all the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant
The Elephant is in the refrigerator! This tests whether you have comprehensive thinking.
OK, if you did not answer correctly the last three questions, this one may be your last chance to test your qualification to be a professional.

4. There is a crocodile infested river with no bridges. How do you manage to get across it ?

Correct Answer: Simply swim across it. All the Crocodiles are attending the Animal Meeting!
I hope you got this one correct. Don't be frustrated, according to the statistics of Andersen Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals failed the exam.
But most preschoolers got it correct which disproves the theory that most "professionals" have the brains of a four year old.


The engineer and the frog

An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and
said "If you kiss me I'll turn into a beautiful princess".

He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up
again and said: "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess,
I'll stay with you."

The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to
the pocket.

The frog then cried out: "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess,
I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the engineer took the
frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally the frog asked: "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful
princess, that I'll stay with you and do anything you want. Why won't you
kiss me?"

The engineer said: "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend,
but a talking frog, now that's cool."


Your call...

This is the transcript of an actual radio conversation between a U.S. naval vessel and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.

Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

Americans: This is the captain of a U.S. Navy ship. I say again divert your course.

Canadians: No. I say again you divert your course.


Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call...
Here is a dramatic video re-enacting of the above story...


Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.


A prayer for the stressed

Lord. Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I cannot accept, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill today because they pissed me off.

Help me to be careful of the toes I step on as they may be connected to the ass I may have to kiss tomorrow.

Help me to always give 100% at work; 12% on Monday, 23% on Tuesday, 40% on Wednesday, 20% on Thursday and 5% on Friday.

Help me to remember ... when I'm having a really bad day, and it seems that people are really trying to piss me off, that it takes 42 muscles to frown but only 4 to extend my middle finger and tell them to bite me!



Gear which falls from aloft is usually harder than the head it falls upon.
- John Irving


A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. This new element has been tentatively named "Administratium"

Administratium has

These 312 particles are held together by a force called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Administatium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected as it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Administratium causes one reaction to take over 4 days to complete when it would normally take less that a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of 3 years; it does not decay but instead undergoes a reorganization, in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Administratium mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization causes some morons to become neutrons forming isotopes.

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to speculate that Administratium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass".

You will know it when you see it..

Engineering dept complaints process 


Missing the life at sea?

Try these helpful suggestions to bring back the memories.

Remind yourself every day: "it's not just a job, it's an adventure !"


*** Thanks Andy Madge for submitting many of the following jokes

(or how to keep an unsafe watch)




Notice Of Return

Issued in solemn warning this ...... day of ...........
To the neighbors, friends and relations of ..........

  1. Very soon the above named sailor will be in your midst once more, dehydrated, radio-active, and demoralized. Eager to regain his place in society as a human being, entitles to liberty and justice, whilst engaged in the somewhat delayed pursuit of happiness.
  2. In making your preparations to welcome him back to civilization, you must make some allowance for the crude environment which has been his unfortunate lot for the last ... months. In brief he may be suffering from 'tankeritus', 'sweatitius', 'rashitus' or even the shakes, a common local complaint brought on by the consumption of too much Tiger, Green Chicken, or C.S.B., and he may have become a little Eastern in his outlook to life.
  3. His diet, to which he has grown accustomed, should, for the first few weeks at least, consist of tinned milk, watered down considerably, dehydrated potatoes or other canned vegetables. fresh or rich foods, especially milk, should be avoided for the first few weeks and then only introduced gradually. His only meat should be corned beef or spam. if he should prefer to eat his food with his fingers instead of the normal eating utensils please smile nonchalantly in an understanding manner.
  4. Show no alarm if he prefers to sit on the floor instead of a chair, always kicks his boots off before entering the house, wears only a towel and flip-flops when visiting the neighbors, or has a tendency to avoid anyone important. Sidetrack him from partially filled coaches for he will almost certainly regard them as organized parties to the local brewery.
  5. Do not allow him on the roads un-accompanied for it may prove his undoing. traffic he has forgotten and would rather walk, he will sit on the pavement for hours muttering things about 'Fast Black' or waiting for some motorist to take pity on him and offer him a lift.
  6. Do all his shopping for him, and by continual repetition, help him to understand that all kind of bartering, haggling, cajoling or even physically threatening shopkeeper is taboo in your land of civilization.
  7. His wife must be kind, considerate and thoughtful at all time, particularly when he takes a sum of money from his pocket to give her each morning. Always check his socks before washing as you'll usually find a few 'hidden' pound notes, Guilders, Yen etc. he has put there for emergencies.
  8. His language may be rather embarrassing at times, but in a short time he can be taught to speak modern English again instead of his course Anglo-Saxon. Never tell him the chap down the road working with Shell Tankers has got promotion again and never make flattering remarks about the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in his company.
  9. For the first few months, until he has become house trained, be particularly watchful when he is in the company of women, especially young and beautiful specimens, for he is likely to enter discussions on prices, services rendered and money matters in general. His intentions are sincere but entirely dishonourable.

Treat this man with kindness, tolerance and the occasional quart of good whiskey and you will be able to rehabilitate that which is but a hollow shell of the happy person you once knew.


Q. What do engineers and computers have in common?
A. You have to punch information into both of them!



snappy qm

You must be a...

"Oh, my," said the bunny, "I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I've been blind since birth, so, I can't see where I'm going. In fact, since I'm also an orphan, I don't even know what I am."
"It's quite OK," replied the snake. "Actually, my story is much the same as yours. I, too, have been blind since birth, and also never knew my mother.
Tell you what, maybe I could slither all over you, and work out what you are, so at least you'll have that going for you.."
"Oh, that would be wonderful" replied the bunny.
So the snake slithered all over the bunny, and said, "Well, you're covered with soft fur; you have really long ears; your nose twitches; and you have a soft cottony tail. I'd say that you must be a bunny rabbit."
"Oh, thank you! Thank you," cried the bunny, in obvious excitement. The bunny suggested to the snake, "Maybe I could feel you all over with my paw, and help you the same way that you've helped me."
So the bunny felt the snake all over, and remarked, "Well, you're smooth and slippery, and you have a forked tongue, no backbone and no balls. I'd say you must be a superintendent."


Q. What is the difference between a deckie and a shopping trolley?
A. You can get more food in a deckie, but a shopping trolley has a mind of its own!



This machine is subject to breakdowns during periods of critical need.

A special circuit in the machine called a "critical detector" senses the operator's emotional state in terms of how desperate he or she is to use the machine. The "critical detector" then creates a malfunction proportional to the desperation of the operator. Threatening the machine with violence only aggravated the situation. Likewise, attempts to use another machine may cause it to also malfunction. They belong to the same union. Keep cool and say nice things to the machine. Nothing else seems to work.

Never let anything mechanical know that you are in a hurry


So you want to be a drill ship captain?

knot er

Tough go

An old drillship Captain and an old Rig Manager were sitting at a bar in Houston, arguing about who'd had the tougher career.
"I did 6 years in India and 4 years in Nigeria" said the Rig Manager.
"I brought the ship through 3 hurricanes and made 2 North Atlantic crossings in the dead of winter" said the Captain.
"I escaped a hostile takeover of Indonesia and was shot in the arm!" said the manager.
"You woos, I was taken over by pirates in the Malacca straight and tortured 3 hours for the combination to the ship's safe!" the old man replied.
"That's nothing while in nigera I caught the plague and spent 3 months in the worst rat hole hospital you've ever seen, I still have scars from the bed sours all down my back and now have to carry around this colostomy bag!" said the rig manager.
"Ah," said the Captain with a dismissive wave of his hand, "lucky bastard, all shore duty, huh?"


Diesel Fitter

Sven and Ole worked together. They were both laid off, so off they went to the unemployment office. When asked his occupation, Sven looked the lady in the eye and said "Panty stitcher. I sew the elastic on to cotton panties." The clerk looked up panty stitcher. Finding it classed as unskilled labour, she gave him $300 a week unemployment pay.

Ole goes in and sits down with the lady. She asked Ole his occupation. "Diesel fitter" he replied. Since diesel fitters was a skilled job the clerk gave the Ole $600 a week.

When Sven found out he was furious. He stormed back in to find out why his friend and co-worker, Ole, was collecting double his unemployment pay. The clerk explained, "When I looked it up, panty stitchers were unskilled labourers and diesel fitters were skilled labourers." "What skill?" yelled Sven. "I sew the elastic on. He pulls on it and says, "Yep, diesel fitter."

cute baby

What if...

A drillship is called into anchor to perform a UWILD and the captain decided to quiz a mates & dpos.

"What would you do if a sudden storm sprang up on the starboard?"
"Throw out an anchor, sir," the mate replied.
"What would you do if another storm sprang up aft?"
"Throw out another anchor, sir."
"And if another terrific storm sprang up forward, what would you do then?" asked the captain.
"Throw out another anchor, sir."
"Hold on," said the captain. "Where are you getting all those anchors from?"
"From the same place you're getting your storms old man."


"She's so ugly, the tide won't even take her out !"
Heard after returning to the ship, after some time ashore.


The 5 most dangerous things you'll hear on a Drillship



In keeping with the Company's Safety, Health, Welfare and Quality Manual, you will need to fill out this form, before proceeding on any "boys night out".


Who's really in charge...

All the organs of the body were having a meeting, trying to decide who was the one in charge

"I should be in charge," said the brain , "Because I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen."
"I should be in charge," said the blood , "Because I circulate oxygen all over so without me you'd all waste away.""I should be in charge," said the stomach," Because I process food and give all of you energy."
"I should be in charge," said the legs , "because I carry the body wherever it needs to go."
"I should be in charge," said the eyes, "Because I allow the body to see where it goes."
"I should be in charge," said the rectum , "Because I'm responsible for waste removal."

All the other body parts laughed at the rectum and insulted him, so in a huff, he shut down tight.

Within a few days, the brain had a terrible headache, the stomach was bloated, the legs got wobbly, the eyes got watery, and the blood was toxic. They all decided that the rectum should be the boss.

The Moral of the story? Even though the others do all the work...
The 'asshole' is usually in charge!

shit show

A marine engineer retires to the countryside

One day he's passing the blacksmiths shop and he sees the Smith making horseshoes. "I can do that, " he told the Smith. When he got home, the engineer made four horseshoes in his little workshop. The blacksmith is impressed. Each edge is milled , each hole is perfectly drilled, the finish is immaculate and all four shoes are identical. He tells the engineer to fit shoes to a horse while he goes home for lunch.

When the smith returns, the shoes are fitted, each one set dead centre, each nail trimmed and polished. "That's a great job you've done there, couldn't do better myself, only , why is the horse upside down?" "Dunno", said the engineer, "he's been like that since I took him out of the vise"
Submitted by Graeme Park, 06.2008


Im an engineerACHTUNG !

alles lookenspeepers
Das machina ist nicht fur
gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. lst
easy schnappender springenwerk,
blowenfusen mit spitzensparken. 1st
nicht fur gewerken bg das dummkopfen.
Das rubberneeken sightseeren keepen
hands in das pockets, relaxen und
watch das blinkenlights.


Bill H. sent this joke in by email; it pretty much encapsulate what it is to be a marine engineer.

A doctor, a lawyer, and an engineer are sentenced to death on the guillotine.

They put the doctor's head on the block, pull the release, and nothing happens. Then, because the law allows no further punishment, the doctor is set free.

Then they bring up the lawyer. Same thing happens, and the lawyer goes free.

Then they bring up the engineer. Just before they put his head on the block, he looks up at the blade mechanism and shouts "Wait! I think I see the problem."


Q - How can you spot an extroverted engineer?
A - He looks at your shoes when he talks to you.


The Frayed Knot

One day, a loose string went into a bar and asked for a drink. The bartender said:
"We don't serve loose strings in here. Get the hell out right now."

So, then the string went into the men's room and proceeded to tie himself into a knot. Then he messed up his hair really good and went back into the bar.

He bellied up to the bar and asked the bartender for a drink. The the bartender says:,
"Hey, aren't you the same loose string I just threw out of here?"

And the string replied:
"No, I'm a frayed knot."

Decky saves woman

A young blonde Portsmouth girl, down on her luck, decided to end it all one night by casting herself into the cold, dark waters off Gunwharf Quay.

As she stood on the edge, pondering the infinite, a young sailor noticed her as he strolled by.
'You're not thinking of jumping, are you babes?' he asked.
'Yes, I am.' replied the sobbing girl.

Putting his arm around her, the kind sailor coaxed her back from the edge.
'Look, nothing's worth that. I'll tell you what; I'm sailing off for Australia tomorrow. Why don't you stow away on board and start a new life over there.

I'll set you up in one of the lifeboats on the deck, bring you food and water every night and I'll look after you, if you look after me - if you know what I mean. You just have to keep very quiet so that you won't be found'.

The girl, having no better prospects, agreed, and the sailor sneaked her on board that very night.

For the next 3 weeks the sailor came to her lifeboat every night, bringing food and water, and making love to her until dawn. Then, during the fourth week, the captain was performing a routine inspection of the ship and its lifeboats. He peeled back the cover to find the startled blonde, and demanded an explanation.

The girl came clean, 'I've stowed away to get to Australia . One of the sailors has been helping me out. He set me up in here and brings me food and water every night . . . and he's screwing me.'

The captain stared at her for a moment before he replied, 'He certainly is love. This is the Isle of Wight Ferry.'


" That guys been around longer then the dead sea's been sick. "
- Unknown

Ability to bullshit and be brilliance only come with age and experience

One day an old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old German Shepherd thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!"

Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees.

"Whew!," says the panther, "That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So, off he goes.

The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther.

The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?," but instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says...

"Where's that squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!"

Moral of this story...

Don't mess with the old dogs... Age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery!


Arguing with an Engineer is allot like wrestling in the mud with a pig,
After a couple of hours, you realize the pig likes it.
- Submitted by Rick B. 08/2013

RivTow was a large tugboat company in British Columbia, they put out calendars for their customers featuring some nautical themes, by famed local illustrators. Click on image for larger size.

Other Areas of the Officer's Lounge Other areas of
- Play practical jokes on unsuspecting mates - Top of page
- Telling jokes - Officer's Lounge
- Learning about seafaring lore and culture - The Common Rail - our forum
- Telling funny stories about seafaring - The Monitor - our blog

- Learn about "nerdy" stuff

- @dieselduckster on Twitter
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