how do noise and vibration affect you when operating a boat
Imagine this. You go on a boat ride looking for peace and serenity but come back feeling even more tired.
The reason behind your fatigue is the noise and vibration coming from your boat. If you own a motorized boat, you will have to deal with both these things.
The question ‘How do noise and vibration affect you when operating a boat?’ is also often asked in marine education tests.
The correct answer to this question is –
The noise and vibration of the engine can have a significant impact on your body. These are natural stressors that can make you feel tired when on the water, regardless of your age or fitness levels. The noise and vibration of the boat can also be distracting.
They can slow down your reaction time, cloud your judgment, and thus reduce your ability to control your boat.
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What causes boat vibration and noise?
Some of the primary sources of noise and vibration on a boat include –
1. The boat’s engine – Boatbuilders invest a lot in minimizing and eliminating sound coming from the boat’s engine. However, even the quietest engines produce sound and vibration, which can affect you.
2. Wind – The wind noise can also affect you when boating, especially on open helms.
3. Water hitting the hull – The resistance created when the water hits the boat’s hull can cause vibrations.
The noise and vibrations produced by the boat due to these three sources can weaken your body and mind enough to increase the risk of an accident.
What is the recommended noise and vibration limit on boats?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) do not have any legislative reach on how loud boats can be. They, however, have set legal limits on how loud workers can be exposed to continuous sound.
According to OSHA, workers can be exposed to 90 decibels of noise during a working day. If the noise level increases even by 5 decibels, the recommended time for daily exposure is halved.
It is crucial to maintain a noise level of fewer than 90 decibels because several studies show that this level of sound can lead to health issues.
People exposed to this level of noise and vibration can experience –
- Lower concentration levels
- Increased heart rate
- High blood pressure levels
- Tension in muscles
It would be best if you bought a decibel checker to measure the level of sound on your boat. Check the noise levels at idle running speed and high speed.
Keep in mind that the noise levels should not exceed 90 decibels. If the noise level on your boat exceeds this level, you may be putting yourself and your passengers at risk.
How can you protect yourself from high levels of noise and vibrations on your boat?
The best way to protect yourself from high noise levels and vibrations on the boat is by limiting your time at the helm.
The US Coast Guard limits watches to four-hour shifts, as they have found that longer shifts can lead to fatigue and lower concentration, which can be dangerous.
You should limit your time at the helm to 2.5 hours at a stretch. Keeping the time short will help you stay more alert and in control.
Final thoughts on how do noise and vibration affect you when operating a boat
I hope you have learned all you need to about how noise and vibration can affect you when operating a boat.
These are natural stressors that can have a significant impact on your body. Owning a boat is a big responsibility.
Follow all the safety rules and regulations to enjoy your boating experience. I hope this information helps you when you take your marine education test.
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