The Engine Room

The brawn of the operation




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The engine room is the largest space in a tugboat.

It is, as the name implies, the room where the engines are mounted and operated.  These would be the main engines that propel the tug and the generator engines that supply the tug with all of the electrical power needed.

Typically, one person runs the engine room.  Since most tugboats require a person whose chief duty it is to take care of the engines and machinery, the job title is Chief Engineer.  The crew will usually call him "Chief".

The Chief may be a licensed engineer, or on smaller boats he can be unlicensed.  Unlicensed engineers are usually deckhands with a lot of engine experience and a good knowledge of the particular tug they work on.  This position is the preparation for an engine license.

He may have assistants depending on the size of the tugboat he works on.  Larger ocean-going tugs usually carry an assistant engineer.  Again, they may be licensed or they may carry a QMED endorsement on their Z-card.  Sometimes they are unlicensed and may be a very experienced deck hand chosen by the managers to assist and work towards a license.

Every engine room in a tugboat is the place to find tools and, quite often, good ideas for getting a job done. In this engine room you'll find links to great gadgets and tools to make the life of a boatman simpler. Also, there is a list of tips and tricks to be shared around the fleet.