Roles on board: Engineer

10 June 2015


The Engineer leads the engineering team and is responsible to the skipper for keeping the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems on board in full working order.

Crew that have volunteered and been selected for specific roles on board are invited to attend the pre-race preparation week in August for training on how to fulfil these roles safely and to full potential by the Clipper Race maintenance staff.

Round the world crew member, Charlie Crapper, a Precision Engineer from Oxfordshire put himself forward for the task on board the Derry~Londonderry~Doire entry.

Charlie sat down with Clipper Race HQ to talk about his role of engineer.

Clipper Race: When you heard about the engineering position on the race, what made you decide to volunteer?

Charlie: Following Crew Allocation, my skipper emailed me to ask me if I would like to take on the role as I had an engineering background. It appealed to me so I agreed and became the team engineer.

Clipper Race: Describe the training at pre-race prep week, what was it like?

Charlie: I attended a two-hour training session on engineering on board, including how to put the water maker together and how it worked. I also worked alongside my skipper.

Clipper Race: What kind of responsibilities where you given during the race?

Charlie: I had to make sure we had enough consumables on board. For example: oil, oil filters and fuel filters for the main engine and generator, plenty of water maker filters and paper towels, a spare water pump for the generator spare impeller for it and a spare electric pump for the water maker.

Each boat has an on board tool kit that you need to look after and if you need any additional tools, you will need to put in a requisition with your skipper.

Clipper Race: How did you find the responsibilities you were given, were they manageable and did you enjoy the role?

Charlie: I enjoyed the responsibility. It was all very manageable and it gave me an additional experience. My fellow crew members would come to me for advice if they needed assistance or to fix something and I learn a lot more about the workings of a round the world ocean racer and how to look after the boat so it looks after you and your team.

Clipper Race: What would you say to people who were considering volunteering for this role?

Charlie: If you are thinking about taking up this role you would need to be very hands on with an engineering background or DIY skills.

It's not an easy job and working in bad weather can make it more challenging.