Behind the scenes in the engine room of the Rodin
by Gabriel Grare on 14/07/2018 - posted in Behind the scenes
We have used the occasion of a crossing on board the Rodin to visit the engine room and give you a glimpse of what it is like and how it looks. To get to the engine room, we took the elevator down to the lower decks, and we have discovered literally a “ferry inside the ferry”. David and Emmanuel were our guides. Both of them are mechanics and they have taken us on a tour to show us the mechanical and technical parts of the ferry. David and Emmanuel were our guides. Both of them are mechanics and they have taken us on a tour to show us the mechanical and technical parts of the ferry.
Built in 2001 by Aker Finnyards at the Rauma Shipyard in Finland, the Rodin is propelled by four “Wartsila” diesel engines: two enormous V12 engines (producing 11 700 Kw or 15 900 hp) and two straight-eight cylinder diesel engines (7 800 Kw or 10 600 Hp).
It is fitted with two propeller shafts (at the end of which you find the propellers) on which different engine couplings are possible. The crew can either use the V12 engines (the most powerful ones) or the straight-8 engines independently or all together, depending on the power they require or in case they have a problem with one the engines. The Rodin is fitted with four 4 thrusters: 3 at the bow, 1 at the stern (which allows a greater manoeuvrability). She can navigate at a speed up to 26 knots to the maximum, but her usual speed in service is about 18 knots.
The operation of the engines is supervised by a computer system called “ROS” (Kongsberg Maritime) which, thanks to thousands of sensors, supervises the different temperatures, pressures and the fuel flow. It also manages the electrical functioning of the ferry, which is supplied by alternators driven by four straight-eight engines as well as an emergency generator which is available in case of problem to supply current to the vessel’s vital functions. The “ROS” system also manages the ballasting system.
The operation of the climate control and the ventilation in the ship is managed by another system called “KOJA”, which also manages the TV broadcasting, sound, etc. The ship is also fitted with an “ECDIS” system, a maritime map combined with a GPS which allows the crew and the passengers to follow the course/direction the ship is taking.
To ensure the ship operates without any problem, the crew in the engine room is composed of about 15 persons: engine room supervisor, officers, and trainees.
What about the Berlioz?
We have also met with the mechanics of the sister-ship of the Rodin, the Berlioz. This ferry was built in France by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyards in 2005 following the construction plans of the Rodin. Only a few differences can be noticed, for instance the funnels are different as is the design of the hull.
As for the mechanical part, it is similar to the Rodin but the system managing the mechanics is called “IAS”. (Is slightly more modern.)
The mechanics that we have met have told us their satisfaction to work on ferries which offer modern facilities and technical installations. We have noticed the excellent maintenance regime given to the engines and the mechanical part which has as a consequence a high level of reliability. Annual technical stops usually take place at the ARNO Shipyards in Dunkirk.
We would like to thank Captain Thibault Blanquart the master of the Rodin for having allowed us to visit the engines room. Emmanuel and David, the two mechanics who guided us during our tour. And on the Berlioz: Gaetan, Fabien, Dominique and the master Captain Tarabay. We also would like to thank Jean-Francois Bastard, director of technical operations and Daniel Gabriel, superintendent, for their proofreading.