The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
The Vessel Toiler's Oil Engines
The Railway and Marine World (Toronto, ON), July 1911, pp. 689, 691

Full Text

A great deal has been written of late

about vessels, both large and small,

driven by oil engines. As a matter of

fact, the number of oil engine propelled

seagoing vessels probably does not as yet number more than two or three, and by

far the largest of these is the Toiler

built in England for the Canadian lake

trade, which has already been described

in these columns, and which has recently

completed a voyage from the Tyne to

Calais, France, and back. She is fitted

with two sets of oil engines, as the speed

on the canals, being limited, engines of

[p. 691]

meet the requirements.

The Toiler is a twin screw vessel, 248

ft. p.p. by 42 1/2 ft. beam by 19 ft. depth

moulded, propelled by two sets of two-cycle

reversible Diesel engines of a combined

b.h.p. of 360, equal to about 400

i.h.p.. working at about 260 revs.

On her voyage to Calais the Toiler

was loaded with 2,650 tons deadweight

of coal cargo, besides about 40 tons of

oil fuel, fresh water and stores, a total

deadweight of nearly 2,700 tons on a

mean draft of 14 ft. She left the Tyne

in very rough weather, notwithstanding

which the engines are reported to have

worked perfectly satisfactorily, and she

completed her voyage to Calais at an

average speed of 5.9 knots (or 6 3/4

miles). On her return voyage, light in

ballast, the average speed was 8.2 knots

(or 9 1/2 miles). The consumption of oil

fuel for the round voyage, including

auxiliary compressor, was 6 1/2 tons, say

1.65 to 1.75 tons per day.

It is claimed that in many ways the

Toiler is more economical than a steam

driven boat. She has a greater deadweight

capacity, owing to the fact that

the oil engines are much lighter than

steam engines and boilers, the amount

in this vessel being about 60 tons; the

cubic capacity for cargo is also greater,

as the boiler space is saved, and besides

the oil fuel can be carried in the

double bottom in place of water ballast,

thus saving bunker space.

The consumption of oil is much less

in weight than the consumption of coal

for steam engines. In the Toiler the

consumption at full speed does not exceed

1.75 tons per day of fuel oil of 18,000 b.t.u. calorific value, whereas with

steam engines of equal power the consumption

of coal would not be less than

eight tons per day. The actual difference

in cost depends, of course, upon

the relative prices of coal and oil in the

district where the vessel may be trading.

Not only is the economy of this vessel

shown in the increased deadweight

of cargo carried, the increased cubic capacity,

and the low fuel consumption,

but the staff on board to attend to the

oil engines is less than the staff required

for steam engines and boilers, the

engine room staff being about the same,

whilst firemen are not required.

The deck machinery and engine room

accessories of the Toiler are driven by

compressed air, being furnished by a

compressor driven by a small oil engine.

The electric light, with which the vessel

is fitted, obtains its power from a

small paraffin engine. The accommodation

is heated by hot water, and the

heat is obtained either from the exhaust

gases of the main engine or by means

of a coal fire. There is thus no steam

on board the boat.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
July 1911
Language of Item:
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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The Vessel Toiler's Oil Engines