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Swedish Club issues guide on preventing marine engine damage

29 Jun 2018

Marine insurance firm The Swedish Club has released a guide entitled Main Engine Damage that offers advice on preventing damage to a vessel’s main engine.

A summary of the advice is below:

  • Implement robust onboard bunker fuel and lubrication oil management systems.
  • Carry out drip sampling when bunkering. Avoid consuming the bunker fuel until analysis results are available.
  • In addition to onboard testing of lubrication oil, submit samples for laboratory analysis at regular intervals, at least every third month.
  • At regular intervals, carry out system checks of purifiers and filters for both bunker fuel and lubrication oil systems.
  • Ensure that maintenance manuals are at hand and that proper tools are available and calibrated. Crew members must have the necessary training and experience to carry out maintenance.
  • It is highly recommended that engine maintenance is carried out as part of a computer based PMS (Planned Maintenance System), linked with the onshore organisation.
  • During major overhauls it is recommended that an expert from the manufacturer is in attendance – consider a formal service agreement.
  • Always take engine alarms seriously, for example oil mist detection, and investigate thoroughly. A fully functional alarm system is essential for the safe operation of the main engine.

According to the club, main engine claims account for 28% of all machinery claims and 34% of the costs, with an average claims cost close to USD $650,000.

The claims frequency has for the last ten years been steady at between 0.020 and 0.025 claims per vessel and year, with passenger vessels/ferries having the highest frequency with 0.066 claims per vessel and year.

Vessels propelled by medium/high speed engines, meanwhile, have a claims frequency 2.5 times higher compared with slow speed engines; lubrication oil related failure is the most common cause of damage.

The most expensive type of damage is on crank shaft/bearings with an average cost of USD 1.2 million per claim.

The full report can be found here.

Photo credit: The Swedish Club / Main Engine Damage
Published: 29 June, 2018


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