FLIR First mate hand held thermal camera

Has anyone had the opportunity to use the FLIR First Mate hand held thermal camera? If so, please tell us the good and the bad. I would love to try one but the $3000.00 price tag is is more then I can spend right now.

Here’s my comment from the “Pimp My Ship” thread.
"I was on a ship that had a FLIR mounted on the mast, the monitor and pistol grip contoller with thumb operated joystick were in the bridge. The whole thing was bad-ass. I’ll take one of them again, please. When ya looked at a large ship at night you could see the outline of the engine, the exhaust lines and the funnel/stack. The rest of the ship was just barely visible. On small craft the engines were clearly visable, but if you glanced out the window you couldn’t see it at all, and seldom were the little ones on the RADAR. "
It’s wasnt the handheld version but I suspect it works as well. It semmed to me that because open sea is so vast and often sooo dark the only things you could see were heat generating objects. You could see non-hot things but only if at near range (1NM or so). If there was a brighter night it worked better at more range. Now if you were chasing pirates around your decks, it would be great for that even on very dark nights.<!-- / message -->

No but my company did just purchase the $4500 handheld LRAD. It surely won’t do much to keep the pirates away but was very effective in our tests to hail surrounding boats.

I’ve only heard one report from a trusted source on that FLIR model. They basically said they probably won’t be using it for navigation anytime soon but it might be effective if they ever need to search for a man overboard at night.

If I was going to buy a thermal imaging camera, I’d buy one for my firefighting team.

danzante, I like that thinking. How many ships have a thermal camera for their fire teams? probably only a few cruise ships maybe? I don’t know. At this point, a majority of fire departments in the US have at least one. They are a beautiful thing, not just for finding victims but for finding hidden fire during overhaul, which reduces overall damage.

The biggest issues with hand held TIC at sea that I can think of as a mate who has used them ashore as a FF is that 1) range: a hand held camera has limited zoom capability unlike a fixed mounted unit. 2) TIC’s can’t see through glass. The coatings that are put on glass usually include an IR block, so if you look at glass with a TIC, you see yourself. Thus, a user would have to step outside on the wing to use it. Not a big deal, but definitely a usefulness limiter. Better choice, if your gonna spend the money, is get one for the fire crew, and if somebody goes over the rail, have it run up to the bridge.

On the other hand, back in '03 I worked on a ship that had a USMC security detachment onboard. Getting to use modern NVG’s was nice. The marine on the bridge wing was picking up the glow of nav lights over the horizon at 16-18 miles!

I ordered one for the fire teams on our ship (I think it was a Bullard) but have not yet unpacked it with the rest of the goods. What I did unpack were the <a href=“”>Fluke Infrared Laser Thermometers</a><img src=“” width=“1” height=“1” border=“0” alt="" style=“border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” /> and I found I needed them the first day.

We had a number of contract welders onboard and wanted to make sure the areas being welded where being sufficiently cooled before knocking off the fire watch (company policy is after 30minutes). This neat (and inexpensive) device told me the exact temperature with ease.

I placed a few of these in the fire gear lockers for the boundry cooling teams to grab on their way to the fire. Hopefully, during a real fire, they will help accurately determine how quickly the heat is conducing into the surrounding spaces without the team having to actually touch the bulkheads.

What is the cost of the basic unit?

$2-5K based on a quick internet search for a TIC, your results may vary.

IR thermometer are as cheap as 45 bucks by the same quick search. Also comes in handy if you think the frozen stores have been left out too long by the chandler…