Before the arrival of the pilot is expected, the control tests, the steering gear tests, communications tests, and the main engine is tried out in ahead and after directions on fuel.The same is written down in the engine movement records book and signed.
When the pilot arrives on board, the order of "Stand By" is given. This order literally means stand by as the engine control room and the main engine controls have to be attended by an engineer at all times during maneuvering. This is because engine movement can be expected at any moment. Even though the engine is on bridge control, for failsafe operations the engineer must be present. At any misfire or problem, the engineer will take control in the engine room and give the movement.
At the stand by time the following readings are recorded in the bell book to enable the Chief Engineer to calculate the ROB's of fuel and lubes.
- Main engine revolution counter
- Flowmeters for Main Engine, Generators, and Boilers
- Flow meter for cylinder oil
In modern ships the HFO purifier is always running as all systems are on heavy oil; if not then the HFO and Diesel Oil purifier (on older ships) has to be started.
During maneuvering the movements are recorded by the data logger in the bridge and movements are only to be written in the engine bell book if main engine is in engine room control.
Maneuvering is a very critical operation, and strict control and team work is required by all crew to carry it out successfully. As engine room people are not aware of what is happening above the water level, good and sufficient communication by the bridge team is always appreciated.