Last night, we invited two members of Webb’s freshmen class, Tyler and Taylor, onboard the Manoa for a tour of the ship. Tyler and Taylor are currently working at Bay Ship and Yacht in Alameda, right across the waterway from our berth in Oakland.Thanks to Taylor for the awesome photo of the Manoa shown above.
The Manoa is 860 feet long and 105 feet wide, with a service speed of 23 knots. She was built at Avondale Shipyards in Louisiana in 1982.
We began in the ship’s forward deckhouse, containing all accommodation spaces and the navigation bridge. The deckhouse is comprised of seven decks, complete with staterooms, a large galley, two dining rooms, two lounges, laundry facilities, a fully equipped gym, and a number of offices. The navigation bridge is the top level. This is where the ship is controlled from, and has a number of radar devices, a chart room, and of course, the ship’s wheel. Beneath the deckhouse is the ship’s swimming pool, or at least what remains of it. The old swimming pool was converted into a molasses tank, which is no longer used.
We then made the long trek back to the ship’s massive engine room, where we spend most of our time. We started in the engine control room (ECR for short). The ECR has buttons, switches, gauges, and dials that control nearly everything in the engine room automatically. Computer screens show camera footage of locations throughout the engine room and the ship. The Manoa is equipped with a Kongsberg 600 automation system that allows the engine room to be almost fully automated. Data about machinery, such as pressures and temperatures, can be accessed from a display in the engine room and monitored over time. This system allows the engine room to be unmanned at night, alerting engineers of any unexpected problems through alarm panels in there rooms.
The most impressive part of the engine room is the engine itself. As shown in the photo below, the engine is absolutely massive. It’s over three stories tall and around one hundred feet long. Each of it’s twelve cylinders has a bore of nearly three feet. As previously mentioned, it is the largest ever built in the United States. The engine is equipped with 4 giant turbochargers, as can be seen in the photo. These devices use the hot exhaust gas from the engine to spin a turbine, which in turn rotates a compressor on the same shaft, compressing inlet air to the engine and therefore increasing engine efficiency. At full speed, these turbochargers spin at around 8600 revolutions per minute.
We then continued on to the lower levels of the engine room, which are filled with the other systems necessary to propel the ship and provide it with heat, air conditioning, fresh water, and electricity. In order to provide electricity for the ship, the Manoa is equipped with 4 generators: three enormous diesel generators and a steam-powered turbogenerator. In port, the ship produces steam in a large auxiliary boiler. At sea, the heat of the exhaust gas is used to generate steam in a waste heat boiler. This steam is then used to heat the ship’s fuel, generate electricity, and heat the accommodation block.
In order to keep the ship’s machinery cool, a vitally important task, cold water has to be constantly circulated throughout the engine room. In order to do this, massive pumps bring in cold seawater, pumping it through heat exchangers to cool fresh water, which is in turn distributed throughout the engine room to cool the engine and auxiliary machinery. Using freshwater as the ship’s main cooling water reduces the need for the use of corrosion-resistant piping in most systems.
The engine room also has a large purifier room, which contains all the necessary equipment for purifying, heating, and filtering fuel before it is admitted to the main engine. This is very important, because admitting contaminated fuel or fuel at too low a temperature to the engine can cause catastrophic damage. The fuel system on the Manoa is especially complicated because it handles three types of fuel: heavy fuel oil, low sulfur fuel oil, and diesel. This is necessary to comply with environmental regulations, as low sulfur fuel must be burned within 200 nautical miles of the US coast, and diesel must be burned within 24 nautical miles of the California coast. These areas are known as Environmental Control Areas, or ECAs.
We finished up the tour in the steering gear room, where massive hydraulic rams are used to move the ship’s rudder and maneuver the ship, before heading back to the bow to depart the ship.
Tyler and Taylor then gave us a lift to Alameda, where we met an old friend of Hannah’s for dinner at a delicious Burmese restaurant.