Category Archives: Design

Sailing boat propeller fouled

Outline: The following report reflects a perennial problem for coastal yachting. What the reporter told us: Whilst coastal sailing in wind force 4-5 at 6-7 knots an odd noise was heard, similar to a wave slapping the side of the boat. Nothing else unusual was apparent. Approximately two hours later, and after about an hour’s […]

Engine fails to start upon sailing

Outline: A report highlighting a main engine failure and demonstrating the reason that pre-departure checks are carried out. What the reporter told us: The main engine failed to start on departure from the berth. The ship’s electrician had somehow disabled the main engine after repairing the bow thruster which had failed on arrival. Further dialogue: […]

Pilots Corner – Why do we get so many pilot ladder reports?

Most seafarers will join and leave different ships two or three times a year and on most occasions via a gangway whilst the vessel is tied up alongside in port. Spare a thought for the marine pilots who guide your ship safely in and out of ports, who regularly embark or disembark from 2 or […]

Pilots Corner – Changes can be made

The following information was passed to CHIRP by a pilotage authority to illustrate the extent of the problem and the success that can be achieved. Regarding trap door pilot boarding arrangements and combination arrangements, over the past few months we have had some success in non-compliant unsafe arrangements being adapted to comply with the regulations […]

Mooring incident on an LPG tanker

Outline: This reporter sent details of an incident that occurred on his ship, a medium sized LPG tanker only 2 years old, which raises some questions about mooring arrangements. What the reporter told us: The ship was moored alongside engaged in loading operations, with the deck watchman standing by the manifolds monitoring the ships position. […]

Incorrect valve alignment

Outline: A fresh pair of eyes identified an incident waiting to happen on a chemical / oil product tanker. What the reporter told us: The vessel had orders for several loading ports, and in each port different parcels of cargo were to be loaded. The cargo loading plan was made out and sent to various […]

Pilots corner – a lucky escape, consequences, and design issues

Three reports illustrating different aspects of an ongoing problem. Outline (1): A report received detailing a lucky escape What the reporter told us: While boarding the vessel at the pilot exchange station, one of the side ropes snapped. No other pilot ladders were available. Further dialogue: Luckily, the pilot had only climbed two steps when […]

Correspondence Received – Incorrect windlass brake band adjustment

On many vessels I have sailed on we have the same situation – the bosun tightens the bolts and chief officers and masters do not pay any attention to this problem. But the consequences of this wrong adjustment are slow speed of winch, damage to the brake liner, slackening of ropes and anchor and possibly […]

Correspondence received – Overweight rescue boats

Several years ago, I was reading an article about a rescue boat that parted the fall wire and fell into the dock during a practice drill because it was overweight due to water entering the buoyancy spaces – one person was killed and two others badly injured. The next day I checked our own rescue […]

Echo sounder display and under keel clearance

Outline: This report from a captain reinforces the need to be thoroughly familiar with the equipment on board your ship. What the reporter told us: During the handover prior to taking command, I noted the echo sounder manufacturer and the type of installation. This ship had two transducers, one forward and one aft. There was […]