Are You Prepared for At-Sea Repairs?On October 24, 2020 by Brent Bates
When your business is out on the water, you need to be able to count on all your equipment. That includes the gear you rely on to keep your crew safe and do the work, but also the supplies needed to deal with systemic issues if they pop up. Be ready to deal with common issues in the engine room by having the tools on hand to do the work and the replacement parts to back up your most vital engine components.
While there are some things you just can’t carry backups for, every part with a known lifespan that can be efficiently changed out at sea should be considered for your loadout. Depending on how long since each of them has been replaced and what condition they are in, you might not stock every part every time, but it’s worth checking the entire engine room and noting the results of a full inspection.
Choosing Cost-Effective Part Sourcing
Once you have procedures in place for monitoring your engine room supplies and ordering new ones, the next step is making this piece of your risk management plan cost-effective, so you can maximize profits while protecting your company’s core assets. Finding a good source for marine engine room parts is all about considering the full costs of each supply order. Look for a mix of good catalog prices, inexpensive or free shipping, and an order processing turnaround that makes it easy for you to inspect your engine room at the end of a trip and receive your new parts and supplies before the next outing.
Of course, it’s not just parts and supplies that you need to prepare. If you’re going to be ready to stand up to common engine mishaps on your own so you can finish the job without heading back to port, you need to know your people are up to the task. You can’t just rely on a single engineer to run the room, even on a small crew, and even with a captain who could also do the job.
Plan for cross-training to put as many crew members as possible in a position to help with any of the ship’s duties if they’re called on to do it. This does take time, and there will always be some people who just haven’t trained on a particular skill set. However, the more pervasive your cross-training efforts, the more skill redundancy you have, which is essential preparation for operations that take multiple sets of hands.