A tight squeeze for HMCS Oriole

Oriole's new Engine is lowered into the engine room

Superintendant Colin Spivey (left) from Intercon Marine, and Ray Goyette from Finning Canada, work to lower HMCS Oriole’s newly refurbished engine into the ship’s engine room.

At the end of a crane in HMC Dockyard, HMCS Oriole’s newly refurbished diesel engine hung like a 1.5 tonne piñata as it waited to be lowered into the berthed sailboat.

It was a delicate job with only half an inch of clearance on either side of the hatch as it made its way into engine room.

“The ship is moving in the water and the crane is static on the jetty, so it can be finicky work,” said Colin Spivey, a superintendent at Inercon Marine, who headed up the job. “If anything moves too much while we’re lowering the engine it could go very poorly.”

Thanks to the cool heads and steady hands of his crew everything went as expected.

The engine was removed a month ago and sent to Finning Canada in Saanich for an overhaul.

“The engineers at Finning are comfortable working on our engine,” says LCdr Jeff Kibble, Oriole’s commanding officer. “They come down every once in a while to do maintenance work, so they’re the best people for the job.”

This time last year Oriole experienced an extensive and complete refit. The engine was removed for general maintenance but LCdr Kibble says a refurbishment wasn’t on the books until now.

“We kept running the engine for the next year and it was fine,” he says. “We started noticing a few issues here and there so we decided it was time.”
The engine, a Detroit Diesel 671, received new cylinder linings, bearing, valves, vale springs, and a new crank.

“They’re very reliable engines as long as you take good care of them,” says LCdr Kibble. “With the work that’s been done to it, we’ll be running this engine for years to come.”

During the ship’s time without an engine the crew of Oriole has been preparing for their upcoming sailing season. LCdr Kibble is excited to get the sailboat back on the water.

“We’ll be running some tests with the engine, but we hope to be back out within the week,” he says.

– Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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