Recently people have been joining me on my Sunday Walks in Downtown Albany. Typically, I walk in Albany when I'm scheduled as a tour guide on the USS Slater. A slide show and a map are detailed at this blog entry. I plan on walking on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27. You can contact me at:

More on the USS SLATER (

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Tour 9/4/2007: Desa, Engine Room

The Tuesday the Slater was host to the national convention of the Destroyer Escort Sailor Association (DESA). Instead of giving tours, my primary duty on this occasion was to show videos concerning Slater Restoration and Educational Efforts. I also escorted Desa members to areas of the ship which are not routinely open to the public. The USS Slater web site offers a virtual tour of these areas, including: the Flying Bridge; the Aft Motor Room (B-4); and the Aft Engine Room (B-3).

I enjoyed the tour of the Engine Room and the Motor room. In Navy slang sailors who work topside are referred to deck apes or (in my case) cannon cockers. Sailors who work in engine rooms are referred to as snipes. While on active duty it was only on rare occasions that a cannon cocker would venture into the work of snipes. Furthermore, the ships that I served on were driven by geared steam turbines, instead of the diesel-electric combination used on the USS Slater. So, I welcomed the rare opportunity to learn about a the Slater's Engine/Motor Rooms.

An often asked question is if the USS Slater's engines work? The short answer is that two have been restored to working order. The Slater has eight diesel engines: four used for main propulsion and four used to generate electric power. Currently two of the diesels which generate electric power have been restored. Ultimately, the main propulsion diesels may be restored for cosmetic purposes only. It's very doubtful that they can be restored to operational usage because of cost and environmental concerns. If the USS Slater is going to move under it's own power some of the engineering spaces will probably have to be retrofited with a modern power plant.

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