Noise and Vibration When Powerboating: The Not So Silent Killer
NewsThursday 04 September 2014
On board a powerboat, you’re often exposed to the constant sound and vibrations from your engines and the wind.
Although this may not seem like a problem once you get used to it, your body can be worn down physically by the low-frequency waves that your boat’s engine emits. It is a problem that should in no way deter you from powerboating, but one to be aware of so you can enjoy your time on the water more safely.
Fatigue has been proven as a side effect to exposure to vibration for long periods of time, and frequencies below 10Hz have been shown to cause major internal organ damage, even at surprisingly low amplitudes.
In addition to vibration, the noise from your engine and the wind forces you to use far more energy to focus on a task. This supports studies that suggest long term exposure to sounds over 90 dB-A can raise your heartbeat, increase your heartbeat and most certainly cause fatigue. Europe wide, in the workplace, training and have hearing protection made available over 80dB-A. The average noise in a power boat’s center console moving at 3500 rpm is around 87 dB-A and 90 dB-A at 4500 rpm.
The thrill of power boating far outweighs the inconvenience of noise and vibration, but they are factors to consider. There are many ways to combat fatigue caused by noise and vibration such as limiting your time at the helm to under three hours, taking it in shifts at the helm, taking breaks and wearing earplugs.
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Image Credit: Flickr User: Kingstongal
Article by Jack Bartrop