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Cameras and CCTV

No matter where we are in the world, it seems as though we are always under some form of video surveillance these days. Cameras are monitoring homes, streets, offices, parks, airports, and nearly any other place imaginable. While many are wary of being under a watchful eye, Closed Circuit Television or CCTV can provide peace of mind.

Today, Closed Circuit Television has a commonplace among the marine industry. Many people believe that CCTV is simply to monitor unwanted activity. Sure, video monitoring does play a role in security, but it also holds many benefits far beyond intruders. Medium to large vessels are composed of many decks, an engine room, swim platform, entranceways, and more. With today's technology, all of these places are capable of being observed on one screen.

The benefits of onboard Closed Circuit Television can be broken down into three categories. The three types are marina maneuvering, underway during daylight or nighttime hours, and dockside or at anchor. In each of these scenarios, CCTV can play a vital role.

As we know, both departing the dock or returning to slip often requires extensive maneuvering in tight quarters. Couple this with limited crew available to call distances, and handle lines can make arrivals and departures unnerving. Fortunately, new advancements in technology allow the captain a stellar view from the helm. The Axis P1224-e camera provides a 140-degree viewing angle with a 720p resolution. At 140 degrees, the Axis P1224-e camera does the work of two standard cameras. Additionally, when aft-facing Axis P1224-e camera is mounted and combined with Garmen Chart Plotters, you have a full stern display on the screen before. With technology like this, it's easy to look like a pro.

Once the vessel is clear of close proximity maneuvering, CCTV takes on a whole new level of vessel management. As seasoned captains and crew know, deliveries can be long and require detailed monitoring for safe passages. Needless to say, while underway, a yacht involves many moving parts, and all of these moving parts require frequent attention. While physical inspections are a necessity, we can list areas to place cameras for constant monitoring between checks.

  • Engine Room.
  • Deck Monitoring While Crew Perform Maintenance in the Event of a Man Overboard.
  • Fore Facing With Zoom Capabilities to Monitor Ground Tackle and Water Debris.
  • Aft-Facing to Observe a Towline and Tender.

With all of these cameras onboard, how do we monitor them? The Axis P1224-e camera is capable of integration with many Garmin Chart Plotters. Additionally, up to four camera feeds can display on a single screen. The multi-feed display eliminates the need to toggle views frequently.

For those who offer charter services, the keen eye of exterior CCTV cameras can come in handy. Charter guests expect top of the line service and rightly so. Top-notch service coincides with a crew that is attentive to their needs. On the other hand, the stewards should avoid both being overbearing and regularly within sight. The installation of additional monitoring screens, such as in the crew lounge, provides the opportunity to continue laundry services or other daily tasks while monitoring guest safety and needs.

One of the most significant benefits of onboard camera systems is the ability to see at night. Infrared technology, when applied to vessels, can literally be a lifesaver. Thermal cameras are heat-sensing; the heat-sensing ability allows the camera to see what the human eye cannot. The heat emitted from a body or an object is easily detected. Not all cameras feature infrared detection; one of the most notable is Flir Systems who offers a wide range of options.

For most crews, it is impossible to avoid overnight transit. The most concerning situation is a man overboard and in particular during the nighttime hours. The head of a human body radiates a tremendous amount of heat. A thermal camera can quickly spot a person in the water. Time is of the essence, especially in cold seas, when a fast recovery is a must. The camera can also help avoid crew from having to set foot on deck. Take into account tow lines. It's an easy task to closely monitor your tow during the bright of the day, but much more complex as dusk falls. An infrared camera, when positioned on the towline and tender, allows the operators to remain seated at the helm by monitoring the screen with a live camera feed. When utilizing this technology, you can avoid the increased risk of physically sending a person for visual inspection. A second key benefit is monitoring a fore facing infrared camera. Sure we have many vital instruments onboard for collision avoidance, but a thermal camera is simply an extra layer of protection. Maintain a forward-focusing setting through the night and quickly glance between your radar and helm camera screen. Another factor when transiting through the night is physically maintaining a sharp lookout. While most of the crew are asleep, the vessel's continued operation is often left to two people. A camera positioned in the engine room will avoid one person from having to leave the helm. Two sets of eyes are better than one, especially in the dark.

When the voyage has come to an end, CCTV remains hard at work while the captain and crew rest ashore. Theft has found a commonplace in the marine industry. Marine related equipment such as electronics, fishing gear, and furniture is costly, and measures must be taken to protect them. Although the camera cannot react and immediately deter the perpetrator, its memory can. When cameras are combined with a data recorder such as specialized DVR or Digital Video Recorder, video footage can be stored in memory for up to three months. The ability to save video data will prove as a valuable tool in capturing the suspects.

A vessel camera system is an excellent addition to the series of electronics already onboard. CCTV proves highly valuable because of the benefits it provides 24/7 at sea or dockside. One may consider some systems a nice to have rather than a need to have. Closed Circuit Television can most importantly save lives but also protect your most valuable assets.

The experts at Yacht Gurus will guide you in selecting the appropriate system that suits both your needs and the vessel best. Additionally, our team has extensive experience in the installation of Closed Circuit Television systems. Give us a call at (954-348-4894); we will handle all of your CCTV needs.

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