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Thermal Imaging FRP Hulls

Video clip showing water leak into a balsa cored hull by way of a fairlead fitting

Like any other diagnostic tool in the experienced surveyor's tool bag, an IR camera can prove an invaluable asset when searching for hidden hull defects.

However IR technology requires not only a comprehensive knowledge of thermography and how and why it works but also a thorough acquaintance and understanding of FRP yacht construction in order to properly understand and decipher the resultant images.

Recognized as a building industry standard we use the FLIR ThermaCAM B20 HSV thermal imaging camera.  It offers superb resolution and better thermal sensitivity, resulting in exceptional image quality and detail that might be missed by a camera with lower resolution and thermal sensitivity.

The heat signature of different composite FRP materials is measured by its infrared radiation transfer, a non-visible form of light.  The sensitivity required to perform accurate measurements for moisture detection or delamination is based on the ability of our camera to record and measure temperature differences as low as 0.05 degrees centigrade.  We carry out our IR surveys when the sun is just rising or at night; sometimes using heat lamps or hot air blowers as an aid to discover these subtle temperature differences.

Besides scanning for hull defects the sensitive infrared detector and advanced electronics of the FLIR B20HSV camera can be used to scan for electrical, exhaust, engine, fuel systems, decks, water leaks and other onboard hard to detect problems.

With over forty years experience, Roy Shorter is a qualified level 3 thermographer, marine engineer, yacht builder and Accredited Marine Surveyor #395.


Surveying with Integrity

TEL: 954.561.7011   Fax: 954.561.7012

E-Mail A1X Marine Surveyors
A1XMarine Surveyors, Inc.

2149 Northeast 19th Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33305