Excerpt from Shipbuilding and Shipping Record, Vol. 6: A Journal of Shipbuilding, Marine Engineering, Docks, Harbours and Shipping; November 11, 1915
These rules for oil-carrying barges - miniature oil tankers must not be confused with the draft regulations for barges propelled with internal-combustion engines which the Port Authority issued about two years ago and which have so far not come to anything unless it be grief. The proposals now under discussion relate to self-propelled barges not exceeding 500 tons capacity, and it is not clear whether this would not embrace a number of oil carriers em ployed on coastal service and which enter the Thames from time to time. The main objection taken to these regulations, however, is the demand that the barges, if self-propelled at all, must be propelled by an internal-combustion engine of the Diesel type in which ignition is effected otherwise than by any form of Spark, ﬂame or hot bulb. The oil used must have a flash point not below 150 Fahr. (pensky-martens close test).
It will be seen, therefore, that the proposal definitely rules out such forms of low-power internal-combustion engines as already exist, and whatever the future may bring forward in regard to small Diesel engines - some interesting developments had been fore: shadowed before the war - the present is not the time when the Port Authority can expect barge owners to obtain delivery. One might also ask what experience the Authority has had to determine the prohibition of hot bulb and other types which they so definitely condemn. For example, there are the two British Petroleum Com pany's boats the Royal Standard and Whi'e M which have kerosene engines starting on petrol, with electric ignition. They have been running on the Thames for years. Then again there is a large number of this type running in the East, some of them, as is the case at Shanghai, being of tons capacity. All or nearly all of these have hot bulb engines. There are also the coasting boats to which reference has already been made. Some have hot bulb engines and others have steam engines. Is it proposed to prohibit the one and allow the other '2 Makers of internal-combustion engines naturally feel that the subject should hardly have been rushed through when so many of them are, under pressure of war work, unable to divert their attention to the question. We fear the Port Authority will be hard pressed to explain satisfactorily their action on the grounds of immediate or pressing danger. Moreover owners of barges and small coasting oil vessels would like some reassurance that the heavier expense of installing Diesel engines in preference to other types is justified in the light of experience gained on the Thames and at other ports, and not at the behest of petroleum experts whose knowledge of shipping requirements is limited.
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