Course Description

Covers the design, construction, and operation of steam generators (boilers). It also considers fuels and their combustion, combustion equipment, combustion control, feedwater regulators, air heaters, economizers, superheaters, reheaters, boiler water treatment, and auxiliary boilers. A lab aboard the Academy’s training ship is included, emphasizing boiler external fittings, safety valves, fuel oil systems, and main and auxiliary steam systems. [Lab time required]

This course consists of three 1-hour classes a week for a semester, six 3-hour labs with practical assessments, and a comprehensive final exam.

Entrance requirements

  • Understand, locate and trace the components composing the steam cycle
  • Utilize the steam tables

STCW Objectives

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the following STCW elements:

  • OICEW-A4.1 Basic construction and operation principles of marine boilers
  • OICEW-A4.3 Preparation, operation, fault detection and measures to prevent damage for steam boiler and associated auxiliaries
  • OICEW-A4.3 Preparation, operation, fault detection and measures to prevent damage for steam systems
  • OICEW-B1.2 Steam boiler automatic controls
  • RFPEW-A2.1 Safe operation of boilers

Demonstrate proficiency in the following skills:


  1. Introduction to course
  2. Basic concepts:
    1. energy,
    2. pressure,
    3. temperature, etc.
  3. Properties of steam:
    1. saturated
    2. superheater
  4. Combustion, heat transfer, circulation
  5. Boiler capacity limitations
  6. Boiler classification
  7. Design and construction of boilers
  8. Boiler refractories
  9. Boiler fittings
    1. Internal
    2. External
  10. Heat recovery devices
  11. Feedwater regulators
  12. Combustion
    1. fuel oil
    2. atomizers, registers
    3. fuel oil systems
    4. chemistry of combustion
    5. stack gas analysis
  13. Auxiliary boilers
  14. Boiler water chemistry and treatment
  15. Boiler operation
  16. Carry-over - causes and response

Other objectives

  • Locate and identify all components relating to the training ship’s boilers
  • Light off the fire tube boiler in the boiler lab.
  • Conduct boiler tests

For more information, see