Guido Pfister No Comments

One of our most-seasoned engineers recently had the rare opportunity to carry out an inspection and condition assessment on two 70-year old main engines installed on an inland cargo vessel in Switzerland. During its long history, the ship changed ownership two or three times and now belongs to one of Switzerland’s prime construction companies and is used to transport construction gravel to a cement plant, where the gravel gets recycled.

The vessel was originally built in 1948/49 in a shipyard in The Netherlands as an inland cargo vessel. She is a twin-screw design.

When she was built, she had a displacement of 1’246 metric tons, an overall length of 83 meters, a beam of 9 meters and a draught of 2.6 meters. In 1969/1970, she was converted to a self-unloading gravel carrier. Her length was extended by 8 meters, resulting in a new tonnage of 1’447 metric tons.

The two main engines were build by Sulzer Brothers in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 1948 and are connected to the propeller shafts through reversible gearboxes. The engines are of the two-stroke, trunk-piston type and have the following specification:

  • Engine Type: Sulzer 6TW24
  • Bore: 240 mm
  • Rated Speed: 400 rpm
  • Rated Output: 450 hp each

As can be seen in the cross-sectional view on the right, the engines are equipped with piston-type scavenge pumps, which explains the for the time considerable power output of 450 horse power per engine, or 900 horse power (671 kW) in total.

Our engineer spent a few days on board, compiled an extensive report and after the visit continued to support the customer, for example to identify spare parts.

Because we have a soft spot for antique marine installations, we carried out this assignment and the subsequent customer support activities pro-bono.



An early picture of the vessel on the Rhine river.

An early picture of the vessel on the Rhine river

One of the two main engines

One of the two main engines, photo taken in 2020

Top view of the engine room

Top view of the engine room, photo taken in 2020

Photo credits:

  • QuantiServ own

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