Volunteer as an Engineer
Massey Shaw has three engines: one Russell Newbery, the auxiliary engine primarily powering the compressor for the air start system that gets the two main engines going – they were built by Gleniffer in Glasgow in the early 30’s. Straight eights, with 16 litre capacity and loads of torque, these engines produce 165bhp at around 900 revs. Incredibly economical for such large capacity, they use around 9 gallons per hour between them. But they do love care and attention!
THE FIRE PUMPS
The main fire pumps were built by Merryweather, a Kent-based company still producing fire equipment today. The pumps are 8 inch 4 stage centrifugal design, driven by power take offs at the front of the main engines through a simple clutch mechanism. They are capable of pumping up to 3000 gallons (13000 litres) of water per minute through the main deck monitor and eight further deck outlets. The water comes from the river through large intakes on the hull sides and strum boxes in the engine room.
CAN YOU HELP?
That’s the technology, but do you fancy helping to maintain and run it? Obviously, equipment of this age (and something of a tough history) needs lots of work. We have an annual service from the specialists who re-built the engines and mechanicals at the time of the restoration, but pretty much everything else we do ourselves. Maintenance takes place most Wednesdays and Saturdays. Get in touch if you’d like to drop by and see what the challenge looks like. We have a job description for this post. When we’re manoeuvring out on the river, and during pumping demonstrations, we always have two engineers in the engine room who run the engines and pumps in response to the skipper’s instructions through the engine (and pump) telegraphs. We’d be happy if you could join us for a trip.