Marine Failures

BME’s lab is a five minute walk from tide water, symbolizing our firm’s long association with the marine environment and its industry. Since our founding in 1971, we have investigated corrosion problems, specified materials for ice breaker service and analyzed metallurgical failures in deck gear and ground tackle.

Our largest focus has however been propulsion equipment, particularly engines. We have addressed failure problems in almost every engine sub-system and on engine type from low speed crosshead types to light weight high speed power.

BME has analyzed a wide variety of failure problems not involving engines and gearing:

  • corrosion and mechanical failure of under water gear;
  • anchor failures;
  • deck crane collapses;
  • valvetrain elements;
  • piston and rick pack scuffing
  • major studies on fuel injection difficulties on latest emission restriction class engines;
  • cooling system problems;
  • shaft seal difficulties;
  • cooling system corrosion;
  • stray current issues;

Rectifying Problems

BME not only determines the cause of a failure problem we may also devise a remedy. This has proved of great advantage to our clients in reduced out of service time and costs; for example:

  • specifying improved liner honing to reduce oil consumption;
  • better steel specs for cracking cam follower rollers;
  • improved elastomeric seal materials;
  • better fasteners and fastener tightening procedures;
  • damage removal procedure for crankshaft hot spot damage;
  • heat treatment procedure to remediate brittle anchors;
  • devising weld repair procedures for aluminum piston crowns;
  • ultrasonic crack test method for cracking counterbores;
  • boroscope inspection technique for shaft coupling internal elements;
  • devising emergency modification of drive pinions for extended temporary service.

Insurance Losses

Because of our wide marine experience and forensic competencies, insurers and legal counsel routinely use BME to investigate the causes of marine equipment failures. Much of this work is on smaller vessels, particularly pleasure craft. Within our engineering staff are people with long yachting experience, in both power and sail.


Victor Baker P.Eng.