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Marine Engineering

Hundreds of Books about Marine Engineering

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Shipbuilding is the construction of ships. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, originally called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.

Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both commercial and military, are refered to as the "naval sector". The dismantling of ships is called ship breaking. The construction of boats is a similar activity called boat building.

Marine Engineers operate and maintain the propulsion and electrical generation systems onboard ships. They also design and build these complicated systems. The merchant and military fleets of the world would not move without them. The field is closely related to mechanical engineering, although the modern engineer requires knowledge (and hands on experience) with electrical, electronic, pneumatic, hydraulic and even nuclear technology.

Marine Engineering staff also deal with the "Hotel" facilities onboard, notably the sewage, lighting, air conditioning and water systems. They deal with bulk fuel transfers, and require training in firefighting and first aid, as well as in dealing with the ship's boats and other nautical tasks- especially with cargo loading/discharging gear and safety systems.

The original term engineer on a ship meant the people who dealt with the engines ("The black hand gang"), as opposed to the Consulting Engineer concept. Marine Engineers are generally much more hands on, and often get dirty, sweaty and hot doing their jobs. Care and thought is required, however, especially with heavy machinery in a seaway, and in managing the rest of the engine-room crew.

Naval architects design safe, useful or beautiful ships and boats for their clients. 

The basic goal of a naval architect is to assure that the vessel will survive any reasonable weather when handled with reasonable prudence, and yet still perform its function efficiently. As with aircraft and automotive design any particular vessel will be the result of compromises between a number of conflicting goals or elements. The best designs are those that select best compromises for a particular application or offer satisfactory performance in multiple applications.

Dockyards and shipyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial construction. The terms are routinely used intechangeably, in part because the evolution of dockyards and shipyards has often caused them to change or merge roles.

Countries with large ship building industries include South Korea, Japan and China. The ship building industry tends to be more fragmented in Europe than in Asia. In European countries there are more smaller companies, compared to the fewer, larger companies in the ship building countries of Asia.

Most ship builders in the United States are privately owned, the largest being Northrop Grumman a multi-billion dollar defense contractor. The publicly owned shipyards in the US are Naval facilities providing basing, support and repair.

Shipyards are constructed by the sea or by tidal rivers to allow easy access for their ships. In the United Kingdom, for example, shipyards were established on the River Thames (King Henry VIII founded yards at Woolwich and Deptford in 1512 and 1513 respectively), River Mersey, River Tyne, River Wear and River Clyde - the latter growing to be the World's pre-eminent shipbuilding centre. Sir Alfred Yarrow established his yard by the Thames in London's Docklands in the late 19th century before moving it northwards to the banks of the Clyde at Scotstoun (1906-08). Other famous UK shipyards include the Harland and Wolff yard in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Titanic was launched, and the naval dockyard at Chatham, England on the Medway in north Kent.

The site of a large shipyard will contain many specialised cranes, dry docks, slipways, dust-free warehouses, painting facilities and extremely large areas for fabrication of the ships.

After a ship's useful life is over, it makes its final voyage to a shipbreaking yard, often on a beach in South Asia. Historically shipbreaking was carried on in drydock in developed countries, but high wages and environmental regulations have resulting in movement of the industry to developing regions.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.