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Notes for Engineers: While the charthouse has the vitals, the engine room contains the guts. It is too technical and large a subject to be covered here, yet some suggestions are in order.
1. The puncturing of your gas tanks is not usually the cause for explosion. Rather it is the gas fumes that erupt from around the hole in your tank which are dangerous. Gas vapor is what you have to fear most. You don’t need much to make the proper mixture for an explosion.
2. Everyone should know where the important switches are, such as for the radio, galley, refrigerator, main feed, etc.
3. Knowing how to start the engines and generator is another all around job for everyone. The generator is a luxury as well as a necessity. Without a “Jennie” you can’t cook or use the refrigerator. Also your most important chartroom equipment needs the steady and reliable sources of current it puts out.
4. The operation of self bailers is very simple. They function at medium high speed when the valve is opened. The valve should be closed when not under way. There is usually one self bailer on every watertight bulkhead. It is essential to keep the entire room dry for the batteries must not be permitted to ground out.
5. Have on hand some wooden plugs for stopping up bullet and shrapnel holes. Rubber plugs are also very helpful for jagged holes in the stacks, exhaust manifolds, and other lines carrying water, oil, and gasoline.
6. Don’t stuff clothes or rags in the vents. The engines as well as the engineer need plenty of air.
7. Keep the sound phones in good shape. You never know when your enunciators will go haywire.
8. Engineers should use the small portable Romec electric pump for draining bilges, transferring oil from barrel to tanks, cleaning out gas tanks, and flushing down generally when in port. A good length of hose is also invaluable.
9. Don’t lean or rest your foot on the shifting lever. You are burning out the clutch throw out collar. Don’t slam the shifting lever in and out. A steady push or pull will lengthen the life of the reverse gear and save you work.
10. Remember maintenance is much easier than overhaul and repair. Do little things first when you are losing RPM such as checking plugs or loose wires instead of tearing down reverse gears, etc. There is a schedule of inspection set up which if followed will save trouble. These checks cannot be made from the engine room hatch.