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Marine engineering is the discipline concerned with the design of marine propulsion systems. While paddles and sails are still used on some smaller boats. A step forward in the domain of propulsion system. an impeller. in jet drives. Diesel-Electric Propulsion: In simple terms. or less frequently. The technology has been in use since the early 1900s. azimuth thrusters are speedily replacing conventional forms of propulsion mechanism. submarines and merchant ships incorporate the diesel-electric propulsion system to propel themselves. most modern ships are propelled by mechanical systems consisting of a motor or engine turning a propeller. 2 . In today’s times. diesel-electric ship propulsion systems use a combination of a generator operated by electricity attached to a diesel motor.Methods of Propulsion Marine propulsion: Is the mechanism or system used to generate thrust to move a ship or boat across water.

Maneuverability of any type of ship is a product of impeccable propulsion system and efficient technology. This eradicates the use of a rudder. The stem of the thruster accommodates shafts that are connected to a motor located inside the ship. Construction and Working: Azimuth Thrusters are such a fine piece of mechanism that it has totally eradicated the use of conventional form of propulsion systems. 3 . The Azimuth thrusters are divided into two types based on the position of the motor. but also assists in conserving money and energy to a larger extent. Confined waters and narrow channels have always been difficult to navigate. trying to avoid any kind of accident during maneuvering. Azimuth Thruster is an arrangement in which the the propeller is placed in pods that can be rotated in any horizontal direction. It’s enough for a ship just azimuth thrusters. no need of a rudder or a controlled pitch propeller. They give better maneuverability than any of the conventional systems.Azimuth Thrusters: Ship Propulsion system is changing rapidly and so is the propulsion mechanism system. Fixed pitch are generally used for small sized boats such as tugs and ferries. but for specialized ships can be used different systems called bow or stern thrusters. Retractable thrusters are used for heavy structures such as offshore drilling or DP structures and even military vessels. Azimuth Thrusters are fixed or re-tractable type and are available as controlled or fixed pitch propellers.Azimuth thrusters couples purposes of all these mechanisms to produce a single structure that not only performs more efficiently than all of the mechanisms taken together. Azimuth thrusters are advanced propulsion engines (mechanisms) that have outshone all the conventional forms of mechanisms. We have seen bow and stern thrusters working with propellers and controlled pitch propellers to provide as smooth maneuvering as possible.

The motor can be diesel or electric. i. On the basis of the shafting arrangement. wind and tide is always a tricky affair. All these thrusters can move 360 degrees . A ship’s pilot has to keep 4 .Mechanical Transmission Thrusters This type of thrusters consists of a system in which the pods are connected to the motor inside the ship by means of a mechanical system.ediesel engine or gas turbine. All these three factors can laterally shift the vessel from its course. The L-drive consists of a vertical input shaft and a horizontaloutput shaft. Handling a ship in currents. Thus the power transmission system involves just two shafts. The Electrical Motor is located in the pod itself which is connected to the shaft without using gears. A horizontal input shaft which is connected to a vertical intermediate shaft which isthen connected to a horizontal output shaft with the help of two right angled gears and thus making a Z shape. While a Z. which are attached with the help of a right angle's power transmission system consists of three shafts. i. thus making the process of docking and maneuvering through channels. the thrusters are divided into Z drive and L drive.e gearing. a smooth one. The power required by the electric motor can be derived from the main power system.diesel operated. Electrical Transmission Thrusters An electrical transmission thruster doesn't consist of a mechanical gear system.

They dampen the impact of the vessel when it falls on the pier or berth. i. jolly boat or motor boat from the bow. Bow or stern thrusters. are effective only when the speed is on the lower side.e. Bow thruster Berthing in heavy wind and tide situations is generally assisted by tags – be it a towing tug or a checking tug or a tug that imparts athwartship force to counter lateral drift. When the bow is falling heavily on the jetty. Now at any given time.e. For a vessel with a right handed propeller. the ship’s stern goes either to port or to starboard. These are additional to the already existing ship’s engines. for a propeller that rotates clockwise while the vessel goes ahead. When a ship is taken astern. as the case may be so that the fall is restricted and lines are passed safely with the heaving lines. the stern cants (swings) to port and the bow 5 . This effect is called eye to these effects and constantly take remedial measures for safe navigation of the ship. the bow thruster is run to port or starboard. Consequently the bow goes in the reverse direction i. starboard or port. which a ship’s pilot normally does when he approaches the jetty. It is best to keep it less than two knots under most circumstances. the berthing speed is always on the lower side. rudder and thrusters (if installed). which impart lateral or athwartship forces.

It reduces the operating cost of the the starboard. Now bow thrusters are driven by motors. Ship using bow thruster One might ask why the bow and the stern swings while the ship comes astern? This is because of the transverse thrust and screw race effects which will be dealt with in another chapter. But in some ports. The bow in the first case is given to port so that its swing to starboard is restricted while in the second case it is given starboard. In that case. the bow thrusters work as additional help to the ship’s pilots. 6 . so as while turning. The reverse happens for a left handed propeller. hiring a tug is mandatory. a more powerful bow thruster (BT) is required. An 800 to 1000 HP Bow Thruster (BT) is effective enough to be fitted into a vessel having a LOA of 150-160 m and beam of 22-25 m with a GRT of about 10000-12000. The power of the bow thruster generally depends upon the power of the motor. While anchoring. Bow thrusters (BT) are generally installed to replace the use of tugs. While anchoring. the bow is kept at a distance from the anchor chain using bow thruster. It can counter easily offshore winds of 3-4 Beaufort (11 knots) while berthing. At this stage the bow thruster comes to play. which are hired by the vessels coming to port. the bow thrusters also play an important role. In areas of higher wind speed and ships having higher LOA and GRT.

pivoting the stern. while the engine is run astern. So it is always advisable to turn on the starboard wheel as while coming astern also. In restricted space like in a congested dock. 7 . it is however advisable to take a towing tug at the stern and use the bow-thruster as and when needed. the vessel has to literally spin on its axis. In such case the vessel is stopped and with the help of bow thruster the bow is swung to port or starboard. The tug straightens the stern as it pulls and any effects of transverse thrust are thus neutralized. the vessel will keep turning in the desired direction. bow thrusters plays an important part. the stern is also rotated with the rudder and engines. But how and when it should be used depends on the experience which has to be acquired on the field.Bow thruster of ships While turning a vessel. If the vessel has a right handed propeller. Bow thruster thus plays an important role in maneuvering of ships. While backing down. the vessel’s bow will swing to starboard. But what is generally considered in this case is the vessel’s natural tendency to cant while coming astern. Sometimes.