Anyone know why FLIR is not mandatory on all ships and OSV’s?

Why don’t you start with explaining why you think it should be?

My initial thought is simple, but gCaptain probably wants me to respond with more than “$$$.”

FLIR is amazing, would be quite useful, but it would take persuading many people from many countries of concrete benefits to offset the costs related to equipment, maintenance, standards of use, and training. And to persuade them that a particular type incident that occurs with high frequency and has severe consequences can be avoided by using FLIR alone instead of what is currently mandated or available. Then, after years of prolonged discussion at the IMO level you might get things going so that member states would begin to implement things. It certainly would not get to the level of OSV’s first, that’s for sure.

I like the use of infrared tools currently available for firefighting. Those tools certainly help the on scene commander.

Don’t worry, all the autonomous ships will have multiple units fitted for 360 degree viewing.


I have seen FLIR on many fishing boats, a few yachts, and I think only two tugboats. It’s cheap, readily available proven technology, and it’s a very useful device that significantly enhances navigation and safety. The only reason not to have it is to save a few pennies. It should be mandatory.

[quote=“tugsailor, post:5, topic:45497”]
It’s cheap
[/quote]Nothing is cheap once you get an IMO wheelmark on it. Nothing is cheap until you persuade the ones with the money it’s worth the investment.

[quote=“tugsailor, post:5, topic:45497”]
proven technology
[/quote]Sure, it’s been around for decades.

[quote=“tugsailor, post:5, topic:45497”]
significantly enhances navigation and safety
[/quote]How? I’m not bashing FLIR, I’m just saying that those five words are not enough without facts and examples to back them up.

[quote=“tugsailor, post:5, topic:45497”]
It should be mandatory
[/quote]It will take a lot of people saying the same thing before it is.

1 Like

All of the new HOS vessels are equipped with FLIR cameras. They are attached to the spotlights to piggy back on the pan and tilt functions. I feel they should absolutely be mandatory on all new vessels being built regardless of trade and route.


The first time I saw a proper thermal camera was on an icebreaker few years ago. I found it quite useful when navigating in ice at night - the pic below clearly shows the ice channel broken into continuous ice cover - and I would imagine it could come handy in a search and rescue mission.


I worked on an HSV that had a FLIR pod mounted in front of the bridge. It could be slaved to the Mate’s radar display to pan onto the bearing of the current active radar target, which was a very useful feature. It was pretty easy to determine the aspect of ships and was very useful for spotting small boats at night.

We had to replace the entire unit at some point, I think I remember the invoice saying it cost around ~15k for the pod.


It’s good for checking the guys on deck. If their heads are the darkest spot, you know they’ve been working. If their asses are the dark spot, you know they’ve been sitting around doing nothing.