Ships Engine Rooms - Ships Main Engines & Central Machinery Placement On Ships - The Bottom Platform Explored

Ships Engine Rooms - Ships Main Engines & Central Machinery Placement On Ships - The Bottom Platform Explored
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We have been reading a lot about the engine room of the ship and layout of components on various platform. We have also learnt about the engine control room. In this article we will take a look at the engine room platforms in a serial order starting from the bottom most platform. The various platforms are central to the arrangement of various kinds of machinery and equipment.

A juinor engineer should know thoroughly about the placement of various machines even before going on board and this is taught during pre-sea training and other academic courses. Here is an aid to gain more of this knowledge and the next few articles will provide a bird’s eye view of the various platforms which form a central part of the machinery arrangement in a ship’s engine room

A sketch of the bottom platform given below will also help you go get a quick understanding of what is being talked about in this article so take a thorough look at that sketch along with reading this article.

Bottom platform of the engine room contains the following:

Various pumps including :

  1. Main sea water pumps
  2. Auxiliary sea water pumps
  3. Main ballast pump
  4. Heavy oil transfer pump
  5. Diesel oil transfer pump
  6. Lube oil transfer pump
  7. Main engine lube oil pump
  8. Bilge pump
  9. Sludge pump
  10. Air conditioner condensor pumps
  11. Fridge pump
  12. Fire and gendral service pump
  13. Fresh water generator ejector pumps
  14. Piston cooling water pump
  15. Jacket cooling water pump


There are lots of fluids that need storage space on a ship, and hence there are different kinds of tanks meant for such storage. Given below is a list of tanks that you would normally find on the bottom platform of a ship

  1. Fuel oil drain tank
  2. Sludge drain tank
  3. Lube oil drain tank
  4. Lube oil renovating tank
  5. Scavenger drain tank
  6. Stuffing oil drain tank.
  7. Piston cooling water tank.
  8. Bilge holding tank.
  9. Bilge holding tank

Bottom Platform Layout Sketch

Bilge Wells

We have studied about bilges and the bilge pump in detail at this site. Basically all leakage oil and sludges along with engine room wash water get collected in the spaces known as bilge wells

There are normally 5 bilge wells inside the engine room as follow

  1. Aft bilge well
  2. Port side bilge well
  3. Starboard bilge well
  4. Central bilge well
  5. Cargo bilge well

Auxiliary Machinery

Auxiliary machinery does not directly help in ship propulsion but is very important to carry out related tasks without which it would be literally impossible to run a ship smoothly. Here are some of the auxiliary machineries found on the bottom platform of a vessel

  • Lube oil purifier
  • Diesel oil purifier
  • Oil water seperator

Cofferdam and Drain Tanks

What do you mean by cofferdam?

To avoid the mixing of two different liquids a void space/empty space is provided between two tanks. This prevents any accidental intermixing of two different liquids due to leaking.

What is stuffing drain tank?

Stuffing box oil can be re-used because the oil is not contaminated. Whatever oil from crank case is scrapped by the stuffing box from piston rod; it is drained to the stuffing drain tank.

What is scavenge drain tank/dirty tank?

Whatever waste oil produced in the scavenge spaces or present in the scavenge spaces is drained to scavenge drain tank.

The oil present in the scavenge space is mainly from the cylinder lubrication drained along with the unburned carbon particles which are present due to the blow past of the piston rings. This oil cannot be re-used so it is called dirty oil.

The scavenge drain oil is mainly burned in the incinerator which is present in the ship to burn the wast sludge and oils which cannot be used.

In next article we can see the MIDDLE PLATFORM of the engine room .

This post is part of the series: Engine Room Platforms

This series will give you the clear picture on the ships engine room layout of different platforms.

  1. Layout Of Middle Level Of Engine Room
  2. Engine Room Bottom Platform Explored
  3. Ship’s Engine Room Top Platform Explored