Troubleshooting NMEA 2000 Systems in Marine Engines

 

What corrupted digital data looks like on a NEMA 2000 system

What corrupted digital data looks like on a NEMA 2000 system

This is what DC electricity looks like using an oscilloscope. What you are looking at in this photo above is an Evinrude E-Tec 50 HP outboard engine connected to digital gauges through a NMEA 2000 backbone connection. The photo above is what corrupted digital data looks like.

How this system works is fairly simple. The system runs off a high / low voltage system (low is 1.5 – 2.5 volts and high is 2.5 – 3.5 volts). The two voltages on the high / low mirror each other to confirm accurate data to the ECM. The resistance is 60 ohms in the NMEA 2000 backbone system. When a “T” connector, wire connection, terminator or gauge malfunctions, the data becomes corrupted and this clear high / low data can not communicate clearly. This is what causes digital gauges to not work properly, freeze, etc. Connecting the oscilloscope to the NMEA 2000 backbone allows you to see this data while you trouble shoot the system. Mirrored wavy lines is clean data. Lines that run into each other, in consistent high / low digital data (not alike on the high and low sides), and spikes in the data show that there is corrupted data. By isolating and disconnecting each “T” connector (if there are multiple backbones on board) one by one until the oscilloscope shows clean data is how you find the problem.

What clean data looks like using an oscilliscope

What clean data looks like using an oscilliscope

The data is so fast it runs on a factor of milliseconds and can not be detected using a multi-meter (only good for verifying resistance). Using an oscilloscope is the only way to confirm clean data. This system also works on CAN bus systems such as in the Mercury outboard / inboard engines.

I thought this would be helpful to anyone that may encounter this problem on their boats and what to expect and look for in the diagnosis and repair.

Capt. John Banister, AMS
Suenos Azules Marine Surveying and Consulting
4521 PGA Boulevard, Suite 461
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
SAMS® Accredited Marine Surveyor
ABYC® Standards Accredited
USPAP® Training Certificate on Appraisal Standards
ITC® Certified Level II Thermographer
USCG Licensed Master Captain
(561) 255-4139
www.SuenosAzules.com

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Posted in Florida Marine Surveyor, Insurance survey, marine engine diagnostics, marine surveyor Fort Lauderdale, Marine Surveyor Jupiter Florida, marine surveyor Miami, marine surveyor palm beach county, Marine Surveyor Palm Beach Gardens, Marine Surveyor SAMS, marine surveyor west palm beach, NEMA 2000 Troubleshooting, New York Marine Surveyor, Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, South Florida Thermal Imaging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Interview About Thermal Imaging Technology in Marine Surveying with Professional Boatbuilder Magazine

Turning the Infrared Camera On

When you see smoke filling the engineroom in the video above, you know right away that something’s wrong. But you don’t get the full picture until 49 seconds in, when the view switches to video captured by a thermal-imaging camera. First, the room goes dark. Then engine parts light up in fluorescent pinks and oranges against the black background. That’s when you see the dripping.

“There’s actually two things going on. One’s more obvious than the other,” says marine surveyor John Banister, who shot the video while inspecting a 1980 Detroit Diesel 8V92.

The first, and obvious, problem is that the manifold on the outboard side is so corroded that smoke is pouring out of it. The second, which Banister couldn’t see through the burning oil and exhaust smoke until he turned on the thermal-imaging camera was “a rip in the oil hose right at the clamp fitting. After we shut it down, there was oil all over the side of the engine.”

Banister, who is the owner of Sueños Azules Marine Surveying and Consulting in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, began inspecting boats with thermal-imaging cameras three-and-a-half years ago. He got the idea from a previous career in law enforcement and service in the U.S. Coast Guard. “Firefighters would use thermal imaging to look for the source of a fire,” he says.

He wrote a detailed explanation on his website, www.suenosazules.com, explaining how it works: “Thermal imaging (also sometimes referred to as thermography, infrared imaging or thermal scanning) is the means by which humans can see the infrared portions of the light spectrum. Every object gives off some amount of thermal radiation so thermal imaging is ideal for observing temperature anomalies that are abnormal in machinery, electrical equipment, and even in solids such as wood, fiberglass, aluminum, and steel.”

A thermographic camera operates and looks like a portable digital video camera. He owns two Flir-brand infrared cameras and has taken certification classes at the Infrared Training Center (ITC) based in Nashua, New Hampshire, an investment of about $26,000 for classes, cameras, and components. But though he says the ITC classes were helpful, they were geared toward home inspections, with no guidance for marine applications. To bridge that gap, he spent many hours going out with an infrared camera. “I would just go and play with boats,” he says.

It was time well spent. Banister estimates his business “jumped about 20 percent right off the bat” when he began using thermal imaging. On his website, he shares examples of problems he has spotted through thermal imaging, including issues with engines, electrical systems, core deterioration, and hull delamination. “I have about 12 different pictures that honestly I never would have found using conventional means.” For those who would like to learn more, Banister has also shared thermal-imaging videos like the one above on his YouTube page.

“Sometimes I find out that nothing’s wrong,” he says. “We have all this cool stuff that takes all the guesswork out. I just turn the camera on. I go, ‘There it is.’”

Melissa Wood, Associate Editor

proboat dingbat

Posted in Boat Thermal Imaging, Buying a boat in the United States, Marine Surveying, marine surveyor west palm beach | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Methods for Determining Moisture in Fiberglass Hulls

I had recently responded to a blog post on Linkedin about the effectiveness and accuracy of moisture meters on fiberglass boat hulls. My post had to be approved by the moderator which was ran by a yacht broker. Which it never was approved or posted, however other posts condemning the use of moisture meters and insinuating in some other posts that marine surveyors make hasty assumptions from moisture meter readings were quickly posted. I suspect because of my knowledge and detail on this subject was so informative it was not posted as I did not find one post that separated the good marine surveyors from the not-so-good marine surveyors. I thought the subject was so important that it needed to be discussed here so I am writing what I wrote a few days ago. Here it is: As a marine surveyor I wanted to weigh in on this. I am an independent marine surveyor. I am very honest with my Clients.

Moisture meter readings on the hull of a sailboat.

Moisture meter readings on the hull of a sailboat

I have been a full time marine surveyor now for five years with an extensive past in boats and yes, I have even worked in boatyards and have experience in laminating fiberglass. That being said, remember that moisture meters only pick up conduction. That means any water, metal, or even certain elements will make the moisture meter read something. Below the waterline there is anti-fouling paint which most contain copper or some other metal composite anti-fouling agent. The moisture meter will pick this up and read high so I do not use the moisture meter for anything below the water line. Also some topside paints will contain metal composites which will also read high on the moisture meter. If you are getting high moisture readings everywhere on topsides, lets not be naive. Start asking the owner if the topside was painted, and if so what was used. Refer to the paint label or MSDS sheet to search for the components of that paint. I have seen some surveyors, much older and have more years at it than me, just slap the moisture meter on the boat and when it reads high in a few places and say, “the boat’s hull has water in it” and without any other testing walk away. Now I can tell you meeting and working with other surveyors there are two types of marine surveyors I see. One group that are true professionals and are intuitive surveyors and the other group of surveyors that treat the profession as a hustle. It is the second group in my opinion that give the rest in this profession a bad name. I use four methods to determine moisture in the hull; 1. Visual inspection, 2. Phenolic hammering of the hull (IE percussion testing), 3. Moisture meter testing, 4. Infrared thermal imaging. With the combination of these four methods you can make a pretty good determination of the hull and if there is or is not moisture trapped in the hull.

"Picture in Picture" thermal imaging on trapped water near the chine on a fiberglass power boat.

“Picture in picture” thermal imaging on trapped water near the chine on a fiberglass power boat

I however strongly suggest that any use of the thermal camera be done by a surveyor that has at least a level one thermography certification from a reputable training center. There is a science to it and the surveyor needs to distinguish between actual anomalies consistent with water versus reflective and temperature related anomalies. You can not just point and shoot the thermal imaging camera. Each image needs to be tuned properly for analysis. I have only recommended core sampling twice in all of the vessels I have surveyed. Both were to confirm the findings of core moisture / damage from two very stubborn insurance companies that argued there was no damage to the core after testing and thermal imaging. Both times they were wrong and the core showed moisture and damage.

"Picture in Picture" Thermal Image of a Fiberglass Patch Under the Gel Coat with Residual Trapped Water Around the Patch.

“Picture in picture” thermal image of a fiberglass patch under the gel coat with residual trapped water around the patch

I do not think core sampling needs to be done on most boats with moisture / core issues. We are in the 21st century ladies and gentleman. We have all kinds of non-intrusive technology that out perform moisture meters alone and take all the suggestive work out of marine surveying (such as thermal imaging). I do not rely solely on thermal imaging, but it is just one of the tools I use out of the four methods to prove or disprove the presence of water or core damage in the hull. The main reason I believe that more surveyors are not using thermal imaging is for two reasons: 1. The older surveyors in my experience cling to their own methods and are unwilling to consider other testing methods, 2. Thermal imaging is expensive and the certification classes are not easy.

Trapped water under the fiberglass near the hull bottom (no blistering was seen yet).

Trapped water under the fiberglass near the hull bottom (no blistering was seen yet)

Currently to date, I hold a level two thermography certification through ITC and own two thermal imaging cameras (the Flir i5 and the E50 cameras). My total investment in thermal imaging since I got into it about four years ago is approximately $15,000.00 between certification courses and the purchase of the cameras. I would not survey without them, but I would not solely rely on them either. However when I use all four methods I am about 99% – 100% confident of my findings on the condition of the hull.

Until I write again, be well and fair winds!

Very Sincerely,

Capt. John Banister, SA
Suenos Azules Marine Surveying and Consulting
4521 PGA Boulevard, Suite 461
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
Member SAMS®, ABYC®, IAMI®, and NFPA®
ABYC® Standards Accredited
USPAP® Certified Appraiser
ITC® Certified Level II Thermographer
USCG Licensed Master Captain
(561) 255-4139
www.SuenosAzules.com
www.MarineSurveyorFlorida.com

Level II Thermographer Certification

Posted in Boat Moisture Meter Testing Palm Beach, Boat Thermal Imaging, calibrated moisture meter marine surveyor florida, Florida Marine Surveyor, GRP33 moisture meter marine, JR overseas GRP33 MOisture meter, marine survey broward county, Marine Surveying, marine surveyor certified thermographer, Marine Surveyor Florida Fiberglass, marine surveyor Fort Lauderdale, Marine Surveyor Jupiter Florida, marine surveyor Miami, marine surveyor palm beach county, Marine Surveyor Palm Beach Gardens, Marine Surveyor SAMS, Marine Surveyor Thermal Imaging South Florida, marine surveyor west palm beach, moisture meter testing boat hull, Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors, South Florida Thermal Imaging, Yacht Thermal Imaging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine Engine Diagnostics

What is Marine Engine Diagnostics? 

Marine engine diagnostics is the analysis of the engine’s built in computer system (sometimes referred to as the engine’s central processing unit – CPU, engine management module – EMM or the engine control unit – ECU). This is done by plugging a special processor into the ECU of the engine that connects to a small computer. The processeor communicates with the onboard ECU and tells the technician valuable information about the engine which includes: The engine’s model number, the engine’s serial number, actual engine hours, the engine’s RPM history profile, the engine’s running temperature profile, current and stored fault codes, and a data parameter summary. Engine diagnostics is essential to know and understand the engine’s history, current issues, verify hours, and helps to understand the true overall condition of the engine. Computerized marine engine diagnostics saves hours of labor time (and money) on trouble shooting the engine and lets the technician know exactly what the problems are.

Engine disgnostics15

We offer this service and use the latest in marine engine diagnostic technology. It is a simple and easy service to perform. We can come to the vessel’s location to perform the service. The vessel can be in or out of the water for this service to be performed. Better diagnostic analysis of the engine can be conducted if the engine can be started and ran with a proper cooling water source.

Currently the engines that we can perform computerized diagnostics on are:

  • Yamaha four stroke outboard engines
  • Mercury / Mariner four stroke outboard engines
  • Johnson and Evinrude four stroke FICHT and E-TEC engines
  • MerCruiser four stroke inboard gasoline engines
  • Yamaha personal watercraft engines

For a complete listing of manufacturers, years, and engine models we can perform computerized engine diagnostics on click here.

A written report with the complete engine diagnostics information and results is included with the service and would be sent to you within 24 hours after the diagnostics is performed. The report can be sent to your email address on a PDF document.

marine engine diagnosticsFeel free to contact us if you may need computer engine diagnostics for your marine engine. Special pricing is arranged based upon your needs, how many engines need diagnostic testing, and the model of the engine(s).

Captain John Banister, SA
Suenos Azules Marine Surveying and Consulting
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Member SAMS®, ABYC®, IAMI®, and NFPA®
ABYC® Standards Accredited
USPAP® Certified Appraiser
ITC® Certified Level II Thermographer
(561) 255-4139
http://www.SuenosAzules.com

 

Posted in Boat Thermal Imaging, Buying a boat in Florida, Buying a boat in the United States, Buying a yacht in Florida, Florida Marine Surveyor, Fort Lauderdale Thermal Imaging, Insurance survey, marine engine diagnostics, Marine Surveying, Overseas marine survey purchase, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Marine Surveying and Inspections for Remote Yacht and Boat Buyers

I wanted to write about a service that I provide that I do not think gets enough attention on the internet. The service I am talking about is marine surveyors inspecting boats or yachts for remote buyers. I see there is a definite need and demand for this service. Many boat buyers, yacht buyers, and investors do not have the time or the resources to travel across the country or world to inspect every boat they are interested in buying. They search for an impartial and qualified person to be their eyes and ears and to submit them a thorough report on these prospective vessels. Often times they run into surveyors or people acting in this capacity that they can not trust, or report scanty results and findings back to them. I have searched Google to see who offers this service in Florida and in the United States and found there is very little on the subject for potential buyers to research. These potential buyers also have a difficult time finding potential unbiased surveyors or technicians to conduct these type of inspections.

Marine Survey Report - Suenos Azules Marine Surveying and Consulting

Pre-purchase marine survey report

I get many requests from all over the United States and overseas in such countries as Australia, New Zealand, England, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, and in other countries around the world. These requests come from potential boat and yacht buyers looking to purchase vessels in Florida and elsewhere in the United States based solely on the marine surveyor’s report.

What I do in my reporting that is unique from many other marine surveyors is all of my reports are extremely thorough. I check everything on board the vessel which includes the exterior and interior hull, all machinery, electrical systems, rigging, and documentation. I also will conduct a sea trial and if need be pull oil samples from the engines, generator, and reduction gears to have them analyzed for foreign substances to determine if the internal engines have been damaged. Thermal imaging is also a part of every pre-purchase survey I conduct and is included in the price of the survey. Compression checks can also be conducted on the engines if the client wishes to have this service done or if I recommend this service to the client based on the results of the inspection and sea trial.

thermal imaging fiberglass hull delamination

Unseen fiberglass hull delamination discovered by thermal imaging

For those not familiar with thermal imaging, this is an amazing technology that I would not survey without. The thermal imaging camera senses thermal radiation (thermal radiation emits from all objects even in complete darkness; this is part of the light spectrum that can not be seen with the naked eye) and abnormal anomalies can be seen without disassembling the vessel or its components. I find things with the thermal imaging camera I never would have caught using conventional surveying methods. Many items on board a vessel can be inspected for problems such as hull delamination, engine problems, tank leaks, electrical shorts, and even monitor the output of refrigeration and air conditioning air temperatures.

Air Conditioning Marine Survey West Palm Beach

Thermal Image of an air conditioning vent on board a vessel blowing out cold air while the unit was being tested

All of this information is compiled into a detailed report and sent to the potential buyer by email in typically 48 hours after the inspection. Most of my surveys are between 40 – 50 pages in length, separated by system or component , includes a colored findings and recommendations section, and a fair market valuation based on the vessel’s year, make, model, condition, and geographic location (which is significant in vessel valuations).  I also offer video walk-throughs of the vessel which is not an actual pre-purchase marine survey but more of a walk-through inspection of the vessel to determine if the vessel is worthy of continued interest considering the price offered for the vessel.  These walk-throughs are photographed and digital video is taken of the walk-through. The video is typically uploaded to You Tube or via a secured file sharing website and can be securely downloaded by the client once they type in the password for the file. A list of findings are sent with the photos and the link to the video. A valuation range is also included in the email so the buyer can decide if he or she wants to further pursue the purchase of the vessel. The cost for this service is typically half the price of an actual marine survey and I also offer a significant discount if the client decides to move forward with the complete survey. In essence, for remote yacht or boat buyers, I am acting as the eyes and ears for them. I am a completely independent and unbiased marine surveyor. I do not work for yacht brokers or boat sellers. Approximately 85% of all of my business comes from the internet so I do not need referrals from yacht brokers and I am completely honest with all of my clients.

Thermal Imaging Hull, marine survey Fort Lauderdale Florida

Sample marine survey report of the hull inspection with thermal imaging

Years ago I was duped from a surveyor (before I became a marine surveyor) that was tight with the selling yacht broker on a vessel that I had purchased. The broker had refered him to me and I decided to hire the surveyor based on good faith from the broker’s referral. When I met the surveyor on the day of the survey the broker’s logo was on the surveyor’s business card when he gave it to me (this is when I should have ran). The surveyor only showed up with a phenolic hammer, a flathead screw driver, and a pair of pliers (not kidding, he did not even have a moisture meter with him). This surveyor was also a professionally affiliated surveyor with a nationally recognized marine surveyor organization. Long story short, he purposefully overlooked a leaking outdrive bellow (which I pointed out to him and he told me it was not a problem). The surveyor said I just had to replace the bellow once I bought the vessel. The outdrive ended up having emulsified gear oil (a mix of sea water and gear oil) inside the unit and the entire outdrive unit had to be rebuilt and all the bearings replaced less than two weeks after purchase (total bill for the outdrive was almost $3,500.00).

Marine Surveyor Fort Lauderdale,

A sample marine survey report with findings based on infrared imaging

As a practicing surveyor today, I know now that he knew this was a significant finding but chose to overlook it to push the sale for the broker. When I called this surveyor back to complain and question him more, he told me that he was not responsible for any damage after the date of the survey and said would not take any responsibility for it and abruptly hung the phone up on me. I never forgot how I was done wrong by that surveyor. Now that I am a marine surveyor I go into these vessels always remembering what had been done to me by that surveyor and think of myself as the client. I promised myself that I would never do that to any client, whether it would kill the sale or not. A marine surveyor worried about the broker or sale is not serving the client’s interests and is not doing his or her job as a surveyor. We have to remain impartial and unbiased. We work for the client, or we are at least supposed to. I have seen many surveyors that have forgotten that in my travels. I suppose that is for another blog pertaining to ethics (which that blog content would be much larger than this blog entry).

Valuation survey report, Marine Survey

Marine survey report condition and value summary page

If you are a remote buyer and can not inspect the vessel for yourself or do not have the time or money to travel to see a prospective vessel, please keep me in mind and know that I conduct this service (complete pre-purchase surveys or vessel walk-through inspection services) anywhere in Florida, the United States or the Caribbean for potential buyers here in the United States or around the world. I provide this service for some overseas yacht investors that will send me across the United States several times a year just because of the quality of my marine survey reports. One overseas client who was a yacht investor (who has used my services several times) once told me that he did not mind paying the extra travel fees because trust was everything with him and he was buying these yachts solely off of my marine survey reports based on my findings, recommendations, photographs, and videos. That was a very nice complement to receive and I felt good that I had earned that much trust and confidence from him.

I can provide references upon request. Sample marine survey reports are also posted on my website so you can see the quality of the type of report you would receive. You can view these sample marine survey reports by clicking here. My full list of experience, education, and qualifications are listed on my “Linked in” profile here.

Below is a sample video walk-through inspection of a Catalina sailboat I conducted for a previous client:

Feel free to contact me if you may have any questions about remote buyer marine surveys or inspections. I will be more than happy to answer any questions or discuss this service with you.

Until I write again, Fair winds!

Very Sincerely,

Capt. John Banister, SA
Suenos Azules Marine Surveying and Consulting
4521 PGA Boulevard, Suite 461
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
Member SAMS®, ABYC®, IAMI®, and NFPA®
ABYC® Standards Accredited
USPAP® Certified Appraiser
ITC® Certified Level One Thermographer
USCG Licensed Master Captain
(561) 255-4139
www.SuenosAzules.com

Posted in Boat Thermal Imaging, Buying a boat in Florida, Buying a boat in the United States, Buying a yacht in Florida, Florida Marine Surveyor, Fort Lauderdale Thermal Imaging, infrared thermal imaging, Infrared thermal imaging South Florida, Marine Surveying, marine surveying thermal imaging, Overseas marine survey purchase, Remote yacht investor, South Florida Thermal Imaging, Uncategorized, Yacht Thermal Imaging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Sea Trial on a Hallberg-Rassy Sailboat and a View of the New World Trade Center

I was recently in New York City on a survey of a 36′ Hallberg-Rassy sailboat. The sea trial was on the Hudson River. Although it was a great survey, and the sailboat sailed great, I was really captured by the view of the new World Trade Center that was being built. Some refer to the new tower as the Freedom Tower but is officially being called “World Trade Center 1” or “1 WTC.” When I looked up in the sky and saw this new tower it instantly took me back to September 11, 2001 and made me remember how much that day changed my life and the lives of so many.

World Trade Center being constructed in December, 2012 www.SuenosAzules.com 
World Trade Center being constructed. Viewed from the Hudson River while I was on a sea trial in December, 2012

I was enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard on the day of 9/11. I was serving at Station Fort Pierce, Florida. I was later transferred to Group Miami and then to MSO Port Everglades, Florida where I served as a Boarding Officer. We were boarding every vessel that came into the inlet.

I can remember President George Bush coming on television telling the world the the U.S. Coast Guard was head of Homeland Security shortly after the attacks. Trust me, that was the first time that most of us in the Coast Guard had heard that as well. It was a time that most of us in the miltary thought that more attacks were coming here in the United States. Days later we discovered that several of the 9/11 airline highjackers had been living between Broward and Indian River counties in Florida. I was living right between the two counties in Palm Beach. My unit in Fort Pierce, Florida was less than 20 miles from one of the homes the terrorists had been living in that was found to be abandoned less than two days later after the attacks. I thought at the time it was the beginning of World War III and I was ready for it. I thought it may become much worse in those few days and weeks that followed September 11, 2001, but it did not get as bad as I thought it would which I was thankful for. Some things did change. Policies in the State Department, in the Military, and in the airports all became more tightened. The Partiot Act was upheld and passed through Congress in October, 2001. Many people lost loved ones both in the towers and overseas in the coming conflict that has continued for the past 11 years in a war that seems like will never end.

Me getting ready to get underway for boardings in 2001 - www.SuenosAzules.com
Me getting ready to get underway for boardings while enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2001

Immediately after the 9/11 terrorists attacks the U.S. Coast Guard was overwhelmed with the demands from the U.S. Governement. We were boarding vessels day and night and documenting everything we did. I was not home hardly at all because we were so busy. I had a little baby daughter at the time that I did not spend much time with. This took a huge toll on me personally. Other personal changes were going on in my life that seemed almost as bad as the state of the world affiars at the time. I knew friends in other branches of the military going overseas to war. Some did not make it. Some came back changed and scarred. I was still enlisted while applying to police academy, not sure of what I was going to do with the rest of my life. After 9/11 I really wanted to do something that I felt could more directly help people. I was later accepted and went on to become a police officer for a few years after my active duty enlistment was over in August, 2002.

Since then I have become I marine surveyor, am now self employed, and am home much more than I ever was before. Life has since changed for the better. I have traveled to many places in the world surveying or delivering boats. I have met and experieinced many different cultures, people, and have established friendships in some of these countries. I have more things I want to do to build this company. Looking at that new huge tower being constructed in that sky however brought me back 11 years and I instantly remembered that day that those planes slammed into the World Trade Center towers. I thought about the thousands of people that have died in those attacks. The 343 New York City Firefighters, the 60 New York City Police and Port Authority Officers, the estimated 2,700 men and women that died in the towers (not to mention at the Pentagon and on board flights, 11, 175, 77, and 93), the 2,100 soilders that have died in combat overseas since Operation Enduring Freedom started in October, 2001, and the untold thousands of innocent women, men, and children that have died overseas as a result of the war on terror. Although I was working on a survey of this sailboat on the day I was looking at the new tower, all of this was on my mind the entire day while sailing on the Hudson River. It was something I was indirectly a part of. Something that I was proud to be a part of while enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard and something I hope will someday come to an end and the world will know at least for a little while what it is like to have peace.

9/11 Memorial at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City
9/11 Memorial at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City

This blog is really not about marine surveying as most of my articles are. I rather wanted to take this time to express my thoughts on this after seeing the World Trade Center for myself and the impact that it made and how it filled my thoughts. I hope the younger generations know a better world but do not take their lives or their freedoms for granted. For me I have more questions than answers about 9/11. I will keep all of that to myself as I feel we all will never really know all the details on the who or why this great tragedy happened. I salute all of those heros who have died since the day of the attacks and the ones that continue to fight this war.

Next time I will try to write something more nautical. Until I write again, be well and fair winds.

Very Sincerely,

Capt. John Banister
Suenos Azules Marine Surveying and Consulting
4521 PGA Boulevard, Suite 461
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
(561) 255-4139
www.SuenosAzules.com

Posted in 1 WTC, 9/11, Florida Marine Surveyor, Freedom Tower, Insurance survey, Marine Surveying, New York Marine Surveyor, Uncategorized, World Trade Center | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thermal Imaging and the Benefits to Your Boat or Yacht

What is Thermal Imaging?

Thermal imaging (also sometimes referred to as thermography, infrared imaging or thermal scanning) is the means by which humans can see the infrared portion of the light spectrum. Every object gives off some amount of thermal radiation so thermal imaging is ideal for observing temperature anomalies that are abnormal in machinery, electrical equipment, and even in solids such as wood, fiberglass, aluminum, and steel. Thermal imaging does not require light to see thermal radiation (like you would see in night vision cameras which require some amount of light) so thermal cameras can see in absolute darkness. Thermal imaging is used widely in law enforcement, security, the military, air and sea navigation, surveillance, firefighting, private industry, medicine, and science.

The tool used for thermal imaging is the thermographic camera, which is similar in appearance and operation of a portable digital video camera. We prefer using the Flir® brand infrared cameras. How an infrared camera works is by sensing electromagnetic waves within the light spectrum wavelength between approximately 0.9 and 14 micrometers (visible light that can be seen by the human eye is between .4 – .75 micrometers).

A special lens on the infrared camera focuses the infrared light emitted by all of the objects in view.

The focused light is scanned by a phased array of infrared-detector elements. The detector elements create a very detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram. It only takes about one-thirtieth of a second for the detector array to obtain the temperature information to make the thermogram.

This information is obtained from several thousand points in the field of view of the detector array. The thermogram created by the detector elements is translated into electric impulses.

The impulses are sent to a signal-processing unit, a circuit board with a dedicated chip that translates the information from the elements into data for the display.

The signal-processing unit sends the information to the color display on the camera, where it appears as various colors depending on the intensity of the infrared emission. The combination of all the impulses from all of the elements creates the infrared image. These impulses will also record surface temperatures of the image taken. Infrared cameras can be adjusted for optimum imaging by manually setting the distance to the object, humidity, and air temperature before the image is taken.

Benefits of Thermal Imaging

There are numerous benefits to thermal imaging in many industires. In the marine industry there are many advantages to thermal imaging. Some of these advantages are:

1. No contact is needed. Keeps the user out of danger.

2. It is two-dimensional. Thermographic  temperatures can be measured at one point or a hundred or more points on a single thermographic image.

3. It is real time. Allows fast scanning and recording of stationary targets. Objects can not escape their own radiation.

4. Thermal patterns can be seen. This helps significantly reduce the time and money spent on a technician or mechanic that would have to spend hours to disassemble and troubleshoot a component or go through miles of wiring on a boat or yacht to find the problem. The thermographic image can find the temperature anomaly quickly.

5. Enhances the marine survey report. If desired, thermal imaging can be included in the survey report on components such as engines, transmissions, tanks, electrical equipment, electronic devices, and hulls to look for heat anomalies that can determine if malfunctioning components, leaks, or delamination may exist within the vessel.

Thermography and How It Makes Your Vessel Safer

As you can see in the photos above, thermography can make your vessel (or prospective vessel you are planning to purchase) a safer investment. Thermography can sense heat that may prevent an electrical fire. Thermal imaging can detect leaking fuel or water from tanks that may prevent an explosion or water damage to the interior of the vessel. Thermal imaging can detect temperature anomalies in the engines or transmissions that can prevent much more costly engine or transmissions repairs later on. In the past I have found overheating electric motors stemming from branch breakers that would not stay on and temperature anomalies in several engines that would have lead to much more costly repairs had the thermal camera not been used to find them. Below are some other images I have captured on surveys that show other findings:

www.SuenosAzules.comwww.SuenosAzules.comwww.SuenosAzules.comwww.SuenosAzules.com

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Feel free to contact me about any questions you may have about thermal imaging or to discuss if you think it may be necessary for your boat, yacht or commercial vessel. I can incorporate thermal imaging into any kind of marine survey report and can adjust special pricing for this service based on your needs.

www.SuenosAzules.comCaptain John Banister, SA
Suenos Azules Marine Surveying and Consulting
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
Member SAMS®, ABYC®, IAMI®, and NFPA®
ABYC® Standards Accredited
USPAP® Certified Appraiser
ITC® Certified Level One Thermographer
USCG Licensed Master Captain
(561) 255-4139
http://www.SuenosAzules.com

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