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May,2008 CMA CGM L’Astrolabe





First of all I would like to welcome you onboard the CMA CGM L’Astrolabe.Our current run is between the Far East and South America.


Your muster station is on Upper deck , in the SCC.

You are in the starboard side life boat and your duties are to disconnect the charging cable , rig embarkation emergency lights and assist the C/E with the life boat engine.

Other informations regarding safety will be given to you once you arrive.

Main Responsibilities

As a 3rd Engineer your main responsibilities are 4 DG,2 HFO,2DG LO and 1 ME LO separators, 3 Starting Air Compressors and 1 Service air Compressor,E/R Pumps ,Sewage Treatment Plant and the Auxiliary Boiler/Economizer.

Diesel Generators General

There are 4 DG onboard , build by Hyundai-MAN.In this moment all of them are running fine.As general information is that you have to keep a steady sump on them.About ½ on the deep stick when you’re using a high sulpfur fuel and between ¼- ½ when you have low sulphur fuel.

In Santos we are bunkering low sulphur fuel(0.8-0.9 ) wich means that is very dry and it can cause a lot of problems meaning stucking of the exhaust valves and sometimes injectors as well.Also keep the lub oil pressure at about 3.7-3.8 bar.During my trip I had to change 9 cylinder heads because of this fuel plus a turbocharger and the fact that the sumps were at ¾ and pressure at 4.5-4.6 bar for sure didn’t help .After I took those measures things came back to normal.

Also you must keep an eye on the water regulating valves.Sometimes this regulating shaft gets stucked ,or the thermostatic element might be damaged.Ihad no problems with the thermostatic elements so far but I had problems on no 1 and no 3 with stucking of this shaft.If this problem occurs again what you need to do is use some WD 40 and spray a little bit.If there is no effect,change to manual and move by hand a few times,then switch again to auto and let it modulate by it self.Anyhow wat the moment there is no problem but I sugest to talk with the electrician and when the new spares arrive ,change this thermostatic elements on this to generators.

Carry out wet cleaning of the compressor side on the turbochargers every day and a wet cleaning of the turbine side every 100-150 hrs.

In order to clean the turbine side you need to change the generators to manual from the ECR(all generators).The procedure is: Press ‘Program’ / Introduce password,wich is ‘0000’ / Introduce parameter ’51’ / Then press ‘Acknowledge’ and switch to ‘Manual’ position.You need to do this on all generators so that you’ll be able to adjust the load manually .In order to carry out a wet cleaning of turbine side you to keep the load between 10 – 15 % .Also before you start wash make sure that you have a free passage on the drain pipe and also on the inlet of the water,if not clean them.Water pressure must be at 2 bar.

DG No 1

On this machine 2 cylinder heads were changed.No 3 and no 5.

An 8000 hrs service was carried out wich implies retightenings of the main bearings , connecting rods , counterweights , foundation bolts , checking of the conical elements , camshaft clearance.Also all fuel pumps were changed as well as the injectors.

I had some problems with the regulating valve meaning that on start up it was opening to much on cooling side but now is ok.Also on no 6 unit , when the load was exceeding 1000 kw there was a small exhaust leak.We opened up and rearranged the sealing ring .Now is ok but due to no spares on board regarding this sealing I could not replaced this.Anyhow we put this on order and you will receive this.

DG No2

Also no 1 and no 2 cylinder heads were changed as well due to stucking of exhaust valves.Another problem I had on this machine was that the emergency pin on top on the of the governer was getting stucked and I could not be able to start the generator.It happened a couple of times.If this problem will occure you need to take out the cover and move by hand and then put back and start again.I will show you this during our hand over.

This machine is coming closer to a 16000 hrs service.At the moment it has 14500 hrs so I sugest you keep it only for stand-by’s until spares are coming.

Also all injectors were changed about 200 hrs ago.

DG No 3

Again I had to change cylinder heads no 3 & 5 due to the same problem I stated above.

Another problem we encountered was that a screw on the guide shaft for the synchronizing motor was lose and generator was not taking on load or taking off load as it was supposed to.Apart from this I didn’t had any other problems with this machine.

Also about 700 hrs ago all injectors were replaced.

DG No 4

Serious problems I had with this machine.First of all as a matter of fact all cylinder heads I changed in my first 2-3 weeks onboard.This was the worst because the first day I joined 3 cylinder heads didn’t fired (no 1 ,3 & 5)and on the 3rd start up the turbocharger air side insert collapsed and in the process it bend the shaft too.For 3 months this machine was stopped until we received a new carthridge and a new insert piece.We replaced the bad cylinders and installed the new carthridge.After testing everything was running fine without problems.On a second start up though the generator was not taking on load equally and taking off was only able by manual procedure.On the investigation that followed we find that the APM Motor Control Unit was damaged.We took the one from no 1 generator and put it on no 4.Machine was tested and it is working properly ever since.

Two new pieces came in Buenos Aires this coast so we placed one on the no 1 as it was missing and the other one is kept as a spare.

Separators General

As I said all together you have 5 separators all of them made by Westfalia .Jobs that needs to be carried on the separators on regular basis are the water filters witch need to be cleaned up every week to avoid scaling and greasing the lockrings on the 2 HFO every month!When it comes to maintenance on these machines as well as the others for witch you are responsible you will follow the program that we have onboard and that would be the DANAOS.

These are very good machines and I had no problems with them throughout my trip except for the drive belt on the HFO ones witch happens to be a little sensitive and it may collapse after several start-up’s.Therefore I advise you to stop the separators only when it comes to maintenance or when switching over from no 1 to no 2.Also ,very important is to make sure that you close the sludge discharge valve on all the separators after you stop them to avoid having vapors from the Sludge tank coming in the drive chamber and after a long term shutdown make sure that the drive surface is dry and if necessary clean it before you start the machine.

HFO no 1

I had no problems with this machine the whole trip !I recently carried out a bowl cleaning on this machine and an inspection as well.This HFO separators are type OSD 60 only this machine has a sliding piston type OSC.The diference is the o-ring that goes in.On the OSD the type is 0007-2841-009

HFO no 2

A few problems with this machine regarding the drive belt witch I had to replace twice.Also recently we carried out an 8000hrs service by the book.Everything was renewed.All o-rings and all vertical shaft bearings!Water valve block was inspected as well as the clutch.This machine is running ever since without any problems.As an information on this machine is that it has a different backpressure setting.On all other separators the backpressure settind is between 1.5-2.5 bar and it is kept at 2 bar,but on this machine is between 2.5 – 3.5 bar and it is kept at 3bar.Also this machine has a line for DO.In order to separate DO you need to make some changes regarding backpressure,temperature and sludge discharge timing.Temperature between 25-60 degrees C , sludge discharge timing up to 6 hrs and make sure you keep a 4 bar backpressure.

DG/LO no 1& no 2

8000 hrs service was carried out on both of them in the same time as the HFO no 2.They are running fine and without problems.This purifiers are OSD 6 01/91 and what makes them different is the regulating ring that they have.In the moment the size used for the regulating ring is 66 and it doesn’t need changing giving the density of the oil used on the generators.

The pre-heaters on these machines must be cleaned every 2 weeks to avoid the decrease in temperature.

Compressors General

All the compressors Starting Air and Service air are made by Sauer & Sohn and as I said before there are 3 SAC and 1 Service Air.

Starting Air Compressors

All 3 are running ok with no problems therefore is not much to be said about them.

Keep the sumps filed with oil at about ¾ on the deep stick and change priorities every day because there is already a difference in hours between them.

The oil required for them is Energol RC 100.

Service Air Compressor

Same story as above.I had no problems with this machine and I advise to follow the same as for the starting air ones.

Engine Room Pumps

They are all made by Taiko Kikai and at this moment they are all ok and we managed to fix any leaks that occurred so far.Aparently the only soft spot on this pumps is the mechanical seal and especially the o- rings on the seal.Also the shaft sleeves are pretty corroded on all the pumps we overhauled so far meaning AE Booster No 1 & 2 ,ME Booster No 1& 2 and the Supply ones,therefore I put on order sleeves since we didn’t had any on spares plus oil seals because we ran out of them.

Auxiliary Boiler

The soft spot is the single liquid distribuitor inside the burner and because of this we had problems since we were not able to start the boiler last coast in Rio due to heavy clogging of this piece.After we dismantled we found out that this distribuitor had a copper pipe welded on it and not the original one wich was probably removed due to the same problem.Also this problem can be related to the Santos fuel and therefore we took some measures in order to avoid this problem meaning that the boiler must be started and stopped on DO.When starting the ,leave it running on DO about 10 minutes and 20 minutes before FAOP.Also before and after every coast clean the distribuitor as well as the igniter.


We are doing bunkers once every coast.

On the Far East we are bunkering in Port Kelang and on the South American coast in Santos.

Your responsibilities are to prepare the line , to make sure there is a good conection at the manifold and to supervise the filling of the tanks from the control room as directed by the C/E.

All togheter there are 6 FO tanks.No 3 , 4 & 5 Port Side and 3 , 4 & 5 Starboard Side.All the manual valves are situated on the FWD bulkhead on the bottom plate as for the hydraulic ones they are operated from the control room.

As a procedure ,before bunkering you have to isolate the system including the pump.After you close all the valves that lead to pump you have to open also the fillings for Starboard and for the Port.This 2 valves are also situated on the bottom plate , near the Port Side FO bunker valves.

The system is easy to handle an I will show you this too during h/o.


We discharge sludge on the Far East coast and in South America!Last time we did it in Santos,first call.You are responsible for the operation i.e conection ,valve alinigment ,testing of the emergency stop before commencing disposal and to assist the C/E as required.

Boiler Water Tests

The chemichals used are BWT 3 and BWT 4.At the moment I add them mixed together by means of a metering pump wich is situated in the E/R on C deck level , just above the boiler control panel. Normalwise BWT 4 must also be added by means of a dosing pump downstream of the recirculation to the hot well.This system does not have a recirculation line so the best point to dose it is at the discharge of the pump,before the overheating recirculation line to the hot well.All the results for all the tests are recorded in ‘K Jobs ‘ folder/Engine/Water Analisys .

Hydrate Alkalinity Test

You perform this test on the boiler water!

Pour 10 ml of sample in a testing device and then add 2ml Barium Chloride and 2 drops of Phenophtalein Indicator!Swirl the mixture and then counting the drops add Sulfuric Acid N10 untill the sample turns clear again!

Each drop of Sulfuric Acid stands for 5 ppm!

The required parameters are 40 to 60 ppm.

Jacket Water Tests

The chemichal used is Liquidewt and the tests that you perform for this is the CWT test.Parameters are ok!CWT are 1.6 and the Chlorides are 20!again you can find this in the same folder as the one for the boiler water.As I said before you are testing for Cooling Water Titrets (CWT).The procedure for this I will show it to you during our h/o.

The dosing point for the Liquidewt is the HT and LT expansion tanks.As for the sampling points , for HT system is the ME ,on water outlet and for LT you can take it from the coolers.

Stand By’s

Up to this moment I am the one that is doing Arrivals and the second is doing Departures.I don’t think this will change because it is already a habit and everyone got used to it.

This captain is giving ½ hrs notice so when you receive the call go to the E/R and call the motor man.There are to motor men on board,but the one that is doing the Arrivals with you is Jun.His cabin is ‘Oiler B’ and the phone to his cabin is ‘71’.After you call him he will come down and prepare with you the stand-by.

Normalwise after you get the call you have to start a second generator,start the boiler,stop the FWG (if running).The motor man will take care to switch over the sea-chests.When they start reduce you’ll have to put the heat on the jackets and you will be able to go down to one LT cooler as well.

At stand-by/EOSP you’ll be required to take some figures for the C/E and also at FEW.The motor will take care of that.

At FEW after the motor man shuts things up you must stop the Crosshead Lub Oil Pp and place a safety sign on the panel.

Nevertheless sometimes you will go to anchor and in this case you will also be the one that is doing the departure from anchor.In this case after you get the call first you’ll have to test in accordance with the bridge the E/R telegraph and the S/G.It is best to do this first because the main air start valve is closed.If you will attempt to test the telegraph after the main air start valve is open ,you will start the main engine to.In the mean time the motor man will turn the engine and after he will report to you.After you finish testing put a second generator on the board and prepare to test the engine on air.Send the motor man to open the main start valve and phone call the bridge and ask them if it’s safe to test the engine on air.After you get the approval press ‘Ahead’ for about 3 seconds.If everything is ok the motor man will close the indicator valves and the engine is ready.

Depending on how many reefers you have onboard you will either 3 or 4 generators on the board in order to put the bow thruster on.The bridge will call you when they need it and only after that you start a third generator or a fourth one if required.After you have available power close the braker on the bow thruster panel.

Again all of this I will show you during our h/o

Daily Basis

Apart from the normal checks that you have to do also you must ensure that you add the chemichals required meaning 1 ltr of Ameroyal in the FWG drum.Fil up the drum and add the chemichal only when it is empty.One drum must be consumed in a 24 hrs period therefore you must keep the dosage set at about 70 and regularly check it.Also you must add Chlorine to the Sewage Treatment Plant in the dosing drum and make sure it does not go empty ,otherwise the metering pump will run dry.Apart from this you have to add the BWT 3 & 4 and Liquidewt to the HT and LT expansion tanks,but this you will do according to the tests that you will perform.

There is a folder in the computer called ‘Main filter schedule’.Monitor this every day and give the jobs to clean the filters to the motor men.

Other Stuff

Also every week end you ‘ll have to do safety checks togheter with the electrician.The checklists are in the ‘Safety’folder.

Every end of the month you have to check and complete the ‘Chemichal Stock List’ and the ‘Lub Oil Stock List’.Chemichals as well as Lub oil are in the S/G room.

The maintenance program used onboard is DANAOS.In this program all the jobs are recorded so all you have to do is to follow it.All jobs are scheduled by DANAOS so all you have to do is to follow it.Once per month you will have to take figures for Stern Tube Airguard Seal.Also this job comes in DANAOS.During our h/o I will show you how to use it.

Have a nice trip!!!


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