Noise And Vibration When Operating Boat

How Do Noise and Vibration Affect You When Operating a Boat?

Noise and vibration are the byproducts of a motorized boat and can be quite distracting, cloud your judgment, slow down your reaction times, and hinder your ability to properly control your boat.

They can affect your body and result in you feeling tired. But what causes the noise and vibration?

Here are the main causes of noise and vibration on a boat:

Engine noise. Engines produce sound which impacts you. Even modern engines still affect you. More so, if your boat is diesel-powered, the noise and vibration levels will be more because diesel-powered engines tend to produce acceleration by producing power through their cylinders, thus releasing more vibration because of the crankshaft’s movement.

Wind noise. When sailing on open helms, the wind noise becomes a significant source of noise and vibrations.

Water hitting the hull. The resistance leads to vibrations.

Although it is possible to get used to the noise and vibrations, you still have to be careful because it dramatically reduces your ability to properly control the water vessel and therefore, might pose a risk.

How can You Keep Yourself Safe from Noise and Vibrations?

The best way to keep safe from noise and vibrations and maintain your optimum concentration is to limit your boat ride to a maximum of 4 hours.

Reason? If you stay for longer than that, it results in fatigue which in turn creates a risk.

Once you do that, you will realize that you will be more alert, relaxed, and in control of your boat.

Noise And Vibration Effect When Operating A Boat
Driving a motorboat can be noisy and generate vibrations. To maintain your health, it is recommended to limit the duration to a maximum of 4 hours.

What is the Ideal Limit for Noise and Vibrations?

Manufacturers of boats and water vessels usually perform numerous tests when designing new boats to determine the number of decibels that can be produced by the machinery when operating on the water.

When sailing a boat, you will have exposure to both low and high-frequency sound produced by the boat’s engine as well as when it hits the water.

There are established guidelines by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) regarding the ideal limits on how people are exposed to continuous sound.

The ideal recommendation of noise level is 90 decibels.

The reason why the 90-decibel level was created is that exceeding this limit results in concerning effects. Beyond that level, boaters can experience:

  • Tension in their muscles
  • Reduced levels of concentration
  • Insomnia
  • Sickness and nausea
  • Increased levels of blood pressure

You can purchase decibel checkers and use them to determine the sound levels of your boat.

The best way to use them is by noting the level at the boat’s idle running speed then comparing it with the level when the boat is powering through speed.

If the oat exceeds these noise and vibration levels, you and the passengers are potentially exposed to risk.

Noise And Vibration Effect You When Operating A Boat – Summary

Noise and vibration are inevitable when operating a boat because they’re produced by the motors and engines when in operation.

Although they may seem harmless, they tend to cause a lot of trouble to the boater.

Fortunately, there are several ways of controlling them. they can be kept to the minimum by soundproofing the boat or properly maintaining the engine and lubrication of the boat.


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igor desperatesailors

Hi, I’m Igor, Skipper of S/Y "The Hooker". A decade ago, I conquered my childhood dream: to be a sailing skipper, own a sailing yacht. Yes, it knocked dullness out of my urban life — Read more →

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