Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861
Queens Regulations & Admiralty Instructions 1861

Royal NavyPersonnelQR&AI 1861Previous section ◄► Next section

The Queens Regulations and the Admiralty Instructions - 1861



I. Inspector of Machinery Afloat.
II. Chief Engineer.
III. Engineer and Assistant Engineer.



Under the direction of the Commander-in-chief or senior Officer, he is to superintend generally all matters connected with Steam Ships attached to the Squadron, and he is to visit any Ship having machinery on board, whether steam or other, when ordered.


In the event of defects arising to the engines and boilers of any Ship, it will be his duty, on such casualties being reported, to inspect the machinery or boilers, etc., to ascertain the cause, if possible, and to point out the steps necessary to be taken under the circumstances, and the readiest mode of effecting the repair, reporting to the Commander-in-chief, or senior Officer, the nature and extent of the derangement, and stating whether any or what assistance may be required for the repairs: and he is, by personal inspection, to satisfy himself of the actual state of the machinery and boilers, before in any case he report to the Commander-in chief or senior Officer, that repairs cannot be effected by the means at the disposal of the Squadron, and that it is necessary for the ship to return to port.


He is from time to time to submit to the Commander in-chief or senior Officer, to call for reports from the commanding Officer, and chief Engineer of each Steam Ship, as to the nature and description of fuel used on board their Ship; and he is to ascertain, and report for the information of the Controller of the Navy, the results, as exemplified by actual trial, of the relative value of the different descriptions of coal or artificial fuel, as to economy, stowage, and power of generating steam.


He is to submit from time to time to the Commander-in-chief or senior Officer, to call for indicator diagrams, and any information which may be necessary, in order that he may satisfy himself as to the working condition of the engines of each Steam Ship.


He is to inspect once in each quarter, or oftener if necessary, the engines, boilers, and machinery of the Steam Ships under his superintendence, and he is to transmit, through the Commander in-chief, to the Secretary of the Admiralty, for the information of the Controller of the Navy, a return in the Form given in the Appendix, showing the full particulars relative to the state of the engines and boilers of each Ship, accompanied with such observations as he may have to offer. On these inspections he is very carefully to examine the engine-room registers, and Engineers' expense-books, and to report to the Commander-in-chief, or senior Officer, any neglect he may discover in properly recording all the information required to be inserted in the register, and any undue or excessive expenditure of stores. The dates of his inspections are to be noted on the first page of the register, and signed by him.


When the Commander-in-chief or senior Officer shall think fit to forward for his perusal the periodical or other reports from Steam Ships, - such for example as the quarterly return of the state of the hull and machinery, logs, list of defects, or demands for stores, - he is to return them as soon as possible to such Commander-in chief or senior Officer, with any remarks or suggestions he may have to offer thereon.


He is to take every opportunity of ascertaining the capabilities of the Chief and other Engineers, to enable him to point out, when called upon, those who may be best qualified for any particular service or for advancement.


He is to propose to the Commander-in-chief, or senior Officer, for his consideration, or for transmission to the Admiralty, as the case may require, any measure which, in his opinion, may conduce to economy, efficiency, and improvement of the Steam Marine.



A Chief Engineer, when first appointed to a Steam Ship, is very carefully to examine every part of the machinery and boilers, and if he discover any defects in them he is to report the same to his commanding Officer. In the event of circumstances rendering it impracticable to make the examination at the time charge is assumed, a report is to be made to that effect, but the regulation is to be complied with as soon as the exigencies of the service will admit. He is to use all possible diligence in making himself acquainted with the construction and age of the engines and boilers, with the nature and extent of the repairs (if any) which they have undergone, and the date of the most recent, - and with such other facts as may be necessary to afford him a thorough knowledge of their history and capabilities.


He is, through his commanding Officer, to furnish the Inspector of Machinery afloat, or the Engineer Officers of Her Majesty's Dock-yards, with such written reports or returns as they may require relative to the state of the machinery, boilers, &c., in his charge; and on those Officers visiting the Ship, he is to afford them every facility, and all the information in his power, to enable them effectually to carry out the duties entrusted to them.


When making out lists of defects that cannot be made good on board, he is to take care not to exaggerate their importance, and to satisfy himself that their nature is such that they cannot be made good by himself and the persons under his immediate control.


He is to take care that every article of the establishment, and all the spare gear belonging to his department, be received on board before the Ship proceeds to sea; and that the stores and gear be so arranged that no delay or inconvenience may arise whenever they may be required.


He is to take charge of all Engineers' stores and tools, to keep the accounts of the receipt, expenditure, and remains of stores, to be responsible for the due care of them, and to render the accounts at the proper time.


He is to attend to the expenditure of coal, oil, and tallow, and to practise the greatest economy in the consumption of these and other articles, consistent with the efficient working and due preservation of the engines, taking care that they are only used for the purposes for which they have been issued.


He is to keep the engine-room register, and is carefully to fill up the columns therein at the intervals stated in the several headings. In the column of Remarks, he is to insert the particulars of all stores supplied to other Ships, or for other purposes than those connected with the machinery, - the quantity of coals, oil, tallow, and oakum taken on board, - the Ship's draught of water, and the immersion of the paddle-wheels or screw, immediately before proceeding to sea, - the time of leaving, and arriving in, port, - together with every other occurrence relating to the working of the boilers and machinery, and the easing and stopping of the engines. The Engineer in charge of the watch is to certify, by the initials of his name, the correctness of the entries made in the register for the period of his watch; and each day's proceedings are to be verified by the signature of the Chief Engineer. The register (having previously been given to the Master for that Officer to copy from it, the particulars required for the Ship's log-book), is to be laid before the Captain every day soon after noon. The book, when complete, is to be delivered to the Captain, for transmission to the Admiralty.


He is to cause the boiler tubes, and all other parts of the boilers exposed to the action of the fire, to be swept and thoroughly cleansed as soon as possible after the fires are drawn: and he is to report to his commanding Officer the necessity of easing the engines for the purpose of brushing out the tubes at sea, when a falling off in power is attributable to an undue deposit of soot. He is to be particularly careful to inspect the boilers after steaming, and to employ every judicious measure for removing incrustation and sedimentary matters without loss of time.


When the steam is up, and the Ship under way, he is to take care that the operation of blowing off from the surface cocks be continuous. During every watch, and even more frequently if necessary, he is to examine the water in each of the boilers, to ascertain its saltness. He will be guided in his judgment by the indications of the thermometers and hydrometers supplied by the establishment for that purpose: observing that if the thermometer when immersed in the brine drawn from the boilers, should indicate a higher boiling point than 215°, in the atmosphere, or should be at a higher degree than from two to three times that of sea water, by the hydrometer, there is danger of undue incrustation. In such a case, in addition to the surface blow off, he is to use the bottom blow of at intervals, so as to prevent the possibility of permanent injury to the boilers.


When the Ship is in harbour, or cruising with the boilers empty, he is to cause them to be kept dry and warm, - the mudhole doors being taken off for that purpose, - either by the use of a stove brought to the respective boilers, or by lighting a gentle fire in the ash-pits. All accessible parts of the boilers are to be frequently inspected and always kept clean; the lower parts are to be coated with red and white lead or other protecting substance, as well as the bottoms of the ash pits.


Water is not to be allowed to pass down upon the boilers from the deck, and wet swabs or other wet substances are not to be placed on them. Care is also to be taken that water-tanks, coals, or other heavy articles be on no account permanently placed on the part of the deck immediately over them.


He is to take care that the spaces at the back and sides of the boilers are, at all times, kept quite clear, in order that no inconvenience may be experienced in cleaning the boilers: and on no account is he to allow anything combustible to be placed on the top of the boilers, or in contact with them. Every possible precaution is to be taken to prevent the clothing of the boilers being set on fire.


More than ordinary attention is necessary on the part of Engineers employed in Ships fitted with high pressure tubular boilers, both in maintaining the proper height of water, and, by adequate blowing off, in keeping the degree of saltness below that which, in low-pressure boilers, would do no serious injury. Even when full speed is required, these matters must be regarded as of paramount importance, for any neglect may cause an amount of permanent injury to the boilers which would far outweigh the temporary advantage of a slight additional speed. The most careful and frequent attention is required to ascertain with accuracy the degrees of saltness which the water has acquired, and which, at its utmost limit, should not exceed twice that of sea water. When, however, the Ship is stopped, or is working at reduced speed, the opportunity should not be neglected to change the water in the boilers, by increased blowing off, and by an ample supply of feed water, thereby reducing its saltness as much as possible. Such precautions as these, as well as never opening the safety valves suddenly to their full extent, or, at starting, admitting the full quantity of steam to the engines, will always be necessary to keep a high-pressure tubular boiler in a proper state of preservation, and in effective working order.


He is not to allow high-pressure boilers to be emptied by blowing them out, as such a practice causes them to become leaky, owing to the unequal contraction occasioned by cold air passing through the tubes; and even with low-pressure boilers, whenever the service will admit thereof, the water is to be allowed to remain until it becomes cool before the boilers are emptied.


He is to take care not to continue the use of water to the bearings up to the time of stopping the engines; but, for a short time previously thereto, oil is to be exclusively used.


When the Ship arrives in harbour, he is to cause such portions of the iron rims and arms of the paddle-wheels as have become bare to be coated afresh with coal tar or red lead paint, and if the ship should remain at anchor any length of time, the engines are to be turned partly round every day, and a notation to this effect is to be inserted in the engine-room register.


To avoid accidents, paddle-wheels are never to be turned while men are in them, and men are on no account to be permitted to go into or remain in them when disconnected, except when they are effectually secured by a bar being passed through them, or by a secure lashing, or by some other simple mode, the efficiency of which can be judged of by any seaman. The winch handles of the turning gear are always to be un-shipped directly after moving the wheels.

On moving the engines by the turning gear, care is to be taken that the link motion be set at the dead point, so that the slide valves shall not be put in motion by the eccentrics; and, in order that the valves may be easily moved by the ordinary starting gear, daily, they should be examined, and cleaned at the end of every voyage.


He is respectfully to represent to his commanding Officer, or to the Officer of the watch, anything which may be done, or ordered to be done, tending to injure the machinery or boilers, but he is on no account to disobey any order he may receive from his commanding Officer.


The Leading and other Stokers are to be under the immediate directions of the Engineers of the respective watches, and the Chief Engineer is to be responsible for the general decorum, good order, and cleanliness of the engine-room. He is to see that the junior Engineers and the other persons employed under his control perform their duties with promptitude and to the best of their abilities.


The senior Engineer on duty is not to be absent from the engine-room at any time during his watch; but when there is more than one Engineer on duty, the necessary reports to the Officer of the watch are to be made through the junior, or, - if there be good reason for his not leaving the engine-room, - through one of the Stokers or other proper and trustworthy messenger. When going into, or out of, harbour, or through any intricate channel, or when performing any evolution, where special care is requisite in executing with promptitude the orders given from the deck, the Chief Engineer is to attend himself in the engine-room, and he will be responsible for the due fulfilment of the duties there. He is, moreover, to visit the engine-room repeatedly, at all other times during the day, and at any time either by day or night, when his presence and services may be rendered necessary by any accident or other cause.


He is to cause the temperature in the coal boxes to be ascertained once at least during each watch, whether at sea or in harbour, and the result to be reported to the Officer of the watch.


The Chief Engineer of a Ship in which an inexperienced Assistant Engineer, or more than one, may form part of the complement, is to make arrangements that all important matters of engine-room duty shall be superintended by himself, or by one of his Assistants in whom he can place confidence, and not left to the care of persons who, for want of experience, cannot be relied on with safety. He is to take every opportunity of instructing the inexperienced Assistants in the duties of the engine-room, and of giving them, on suitable occasions, the requisite practice to enable them to acquire manual dexterity, and to become efficient Engineers.


Whenever a distilling apparatus is fitted on board a Steam Ship, he is to take charge of it; and he will be held responsible for its being taken proper care of and kept in good repair.


He is to supply coals to the Ship for culinary purposes, taking a receipt for the same from the Paymaster at the end of each quarter, or, in the case of the removal of the Paymaster, to the date of such removal.


The Chief Engineer will, under the directions of the Captain, consider it an important part of his duty to instruct in the use of the several parts of the engines and boilers, and the practical working of the machinery, the Commission and subordinate Officers of the Military branch, should the former desire to avail them selves of his instruction; but, with regard to the latter, the acquisition of such knowledge is imperative.



The Senior Engineer Officer on board, in the absence of the Chief Engineer, or in Ships where no Chief Engineer is borne, is to observe and follow the instructions for that Officer, and to consider himself responsible for the care and proper working of the engines and all parts connected with them.


The Engineers and Assistant Engineers are, at all times, faithfully and zealously to carry into execution the orders and directions they may receive from the Senior Engineer Officer on board, or other their superior Officers, for Her Majesty's Service; and they are, whether on board or on shore, so to conduct themselves as to command that respect and consideration to which they are entitled by their position in the service, and by the important duties devolving upon them.


The Senior Engineer in charge of the watch is not to fail to acquaint the Chief Engineer the moment he discovers anything going wrong with the machinery or boilers; he is to attend very particularly to the expenditure of coals, oil, tallow, and other stores, and to see that they are not wasted; - to record at proper intervals all the information required relative to the working of the engines, &c.; and he is, in the absence of his superiors, to be responsible for the good order of the engine-room, and for all the duties connected therewith.


Engineers and Assistant Engineers when employed in making good the defects of Ships other than those to which they belong, will be allowed extra pay, at the rates specified in Article 1, at page 218, of these Instructions.

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