Commercial Vessel Engineer

 Home / MG2I-C0308
Commercial Vessel Engineer

The course is of 78 Hours spread over 20 days

In this course students will become familiar with the following:

Applied Mathematics and Physics (including calculations):


  • Application of areas and volumes to problems such as the weight of engine parts
  • Force as vector, triangle of forces
  • Coefficient of friction, friction losses in simple slides
  • Velocity ratio, mechanical advantage and efficiency of simple machines, levers, blocks, screw and hydraulic jacks
  • Direct stress, shear stress, elasticity, working stress, factor of safety
  • Circumferential and longitudinal stress in thin cylinders and spherical shells
  • Equilibrium of floating bodies
  • Linear expansion
  • Heat units, specific heat capacity
  • Engine power and torque
  • Heat value of fuel, fuel consumption and engine power
  • Relationship between vessel speed and fuel consumption

Engineering Knowledge:

1. Machine Operations and Records:


  • Awareness of the records maintained on board vessels to verify operational efficiency, including the use of the engine log book, oil record book, pumping of bilges, safety inspection check lists, permit to work forms
  • Knowledge of the contents of the Code of Practice for the Safety of Commercial Vessels
  • Role of surveyors, classification societies, surveys and certification
  • Planned maintenance procedures for machinery and equipment on board commercial vessels, relating particularly to maintaining operating efficiency by filter changes and cleaning; the significance or pressure drop in systems and the potential danger of damage to rotating machinery
  • Ability to monitor machinery condition by comparing log records; the use of correct procedures when starting engines and ancillary equipment; the need for routine surveillance of the engine room, including knowledge of the correct operating pressures and temperatures under normal working conditions; instrumentation commonly installed to indicate condition of machinery and systems; procedure for reporting defects
  • Type of machinery to be found on board the vessel concerned; operating cycle of main engine, lubrication, safety devices fitted to engines or equipment subject to high pressures; fuel injection arrangements and methods of speed control; combustion air supply to the engine, routine maintenance required to ensure the efficiency and power is maintained
  • Types of propulsion systems commonly found on vessels and main differences between the types; steering arrangements and systems; back up systems, emergency operation arrangements and change over procedures
  • Fuel supply tank contents in relation to consumption
  • Stopping and shutting down machinery, procedure for isolating cooling water systems
  • Common causes of performance variation in diesel engines, causes of emergency shut down of machinery, communication and recording of events and defects; how to rectify defects including safety considerations

2. Maintenance of Engines and Machinery


  • Knowledge of the maintenance schedule on board vessels
  • Understand precautions to be taken when repairing machinery; dangers of ignition and explosion; work permit procedures
  • Working knowledge of machinery assemblies, air compressors, hydraulic pumps, fuel injectors, filters, valves, coolers;  use of correct tools, understanding torque, jointing and good fitting practice

3. Electrical Knowledge


  • Understanding precautions to be taken when maintaining or repairing electrical plant
  • Basic knowledge of electrical distribution systems onboard vessels including meaning of units Amperes, Volts, Ohms, Hertz and Kilowatts. Electrical circuits and Ohms Law. Calculation of electrical power given a network and applied voltage. Reverse current protection, earth monitoring system
  • Knowledge of switch board operations and information given
  • Electrical safety
  • Knowledge of safety devices found in electrical systems ie. Use of breakers, fuses, isolating switches; awareness of dangers of automatic start up systems, reverse current protection
  • Power supply, starting generators, synchronisation and load sharing arrangements; battery charging and emergency 24 volt supply arrangements; ability to describe what systems receive a supply from the 24 volt circuit, what occurs in the event of a blackout, testing of batteries, and typical ‘death ship’ first start arrangements

Emergency Response


  • Methods of isolating fuel supply to the engines, quick closing valves
  • Emergency stops for machinery and closing down of machinery spaces to stop the spread of fire; fixed firefighting installations
  • Firefighting equipment available onboard vessels including activation and use of equipment
  • Actions to be taken to minimise flooding in the event of damage to the hull in way of engine room

Routine Operations

1. Compliance with Pollution Prevention Requirements;


  • Restrictions on pumping bilges. Operational and legislative requirements
  • Requirements relating to the oil record book, oily water separators
  • Fuel bunkering procedures including requirements to prevent oil spills. Layout of fuel tanks and transfer arrangements
  • Sewage treatment and disposal

2. Seaworthiness;


  • Knowledge of the general arrangement of vessels, tank arrangement, machinery spaces, propulsion systems and steering arrangements on board the vessel concerned
  • Watertight integrity; maintenance of deck openings, bulkheads and doors
  • Tank venting arrangements, vent pipes and closing mechanisms
    • Knowledge of the effect of pressure caused by a head of liquid or a vacuum on tanks, valves and pipes
    • Knowledge of the effect of free surface on the stability of the vessel


3. Personnel Safety


  • Emergency signals and muster alarms; communications with the engine room and wheelhouse
  • Identification of hazards and areas of risk in machinery spaces on board vessels; causes of fires in engine room, precautions to minimise fire risk
  • Safety and survival equipment carried on board vessels; location, maintenance and proper use
  • Operating manuals, instructions and manuals commonly used on board. Code of Practice for the Safety of Commercial Vessels; safe working practices
  • Accident reporting procedures. Corrective and preventive action to be taken
  • Permit to work procedures; procedure for entering enclosed and associated dangers including oxygen depletion, nauseous gases and explosive mixtures
  • Working knowledge of lifting plant and equipment; understanding of safe working loads, certification of equipment and records of proof testing
  • Outline knowledge of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code

Applicant must be 20 years of age, have at least 24 months appropriate sea service on vessels of not less than 400KW and be in possession of a General Purpose Hand Certificate. Applicant may only apply for this course after being in possession of a Transport Malta Notice of Eligibility to attend the course and final examination

To be issued with the Engineer licence from Transport Malta, applicants should have completed the following courses:


  • STCW Medical First Aid Certificate
  • STCW Advanced Fire Fighting Certificate
  • STCW Personal Safety and Social Responsibility Certificate

Subject to the completion of the additional requirements, licence will be issued by Transport Malta

Oral and Practical Assessment at the end of the course

Course notes are included in course fee

On completion of the course qualified candidates can serve as Chief Engineer on a commercial vessel with propulsion of 1500KW and over, operating within ports, internal and territorial waters of Malta

js files