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post #7 of Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Thermal imaging cameras for checking decks and hulls for moisture

Originally Posted by benesailor View Post
Here's the question.
Has anyone out there ever used a infra-red/thermal imager to check there hull, rudder and deck before? I don't believe i've ever heard of a surveyor using one.

I was walking thru the engineering department the other day and they had this cool looking gun/gizmo sitting there. It looks like a radar gun a cop would use.
After an inquiry they told me it was a special thermal imager that records a digital feed. They use it to scan walls and roofs for energy leaks. They then take it back to the office and download the feed and use it for anlysis to cut down on energy consumption. I thought this would be the perfect tool to check a boat out for any water absorbtion in the deck and hull!! I had used one years ago to look for roof leaks in flat/built up roofs but it was much, much bigger and quite expensive. Not that this one was cheap; about 10k. The one i used years ago was quite handy identifying where all the moisture/cracks/delamination was under the layers of built up.
They said they would train me up and let me take it for a weekend this spring to test it on the boat; Just don't break it! I think if i use it right at sunset or soon thereafter i could get an accurate reading on all the hot/cold spots on the whole boat.

Then again, i may not want to see the video once done!

Ssshhh; maybe i'm onto something. I'll scan every boat in the marina and charge them $100

You would have to DO EVERY boat in the marina to pay for the gear ($50K and up).....hahaha

these systems, when used in the proper way by trained people, show quite a bit of information. But just like a moisture meter, improper use, calibration or cheap gear, will return poor results.

Just another tool in the box for people to assess condition of things that they can not see in to. Non-destructive evaluation (NDE) is an awesome career path, but in the case of recreational boats, You need to understand how wet stuff holds "heat" longer than dry stuff and how that parlays in to actionable information.
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