As technology advances, boat inspections with underwater drones became very popular. Since boat inspections are very important, it is not always easy. This is the reason you can see lots of boat owners are using ROVs for this task. By the way, in case you didn’t know, ROV stands for a Remotely operated vehicle. Using ROVs, or in other words, underwater drones, it makes very convenient and pretty easy to conduct the bottom area of your boat.
Nowadays, boat owners and even yacht clubs are using underwater drones to inspect their docks and structures at their place. This is the reason it is no surprise to see a huge increase in companies who makes underwater drones.
Advantages of Boat Inspections with Underwater Drones
No need for a diver
The first obvious reason for doing boat inspections with underwater drones is the fact that no divers are needed. For you, as a yacht owner, hiring divers for this task is your first go-to solution. Well, divers are not doing it for free. They cost money and they are not available at any time that you need or want.
In addition, some inspections take a lot of time. This is, of course, dependent on how professional and experienced the diver is.
Having an underwater drone can easily save you from all of this headache. Sit back in your yacht, and send the underwater drone to every spot that you want. Using your phone or computer, you can watch wherever you decide to take the underwater drone. And by doing so, you can have your friend watch it with you, helping you to find the problem faster.
No need to take your yacht out of the water
In some situations, the diver, which you hire, won’t find the problem you have with your boat, and you will have no other option but taking your yacht out of the water. Moving it to a dry dock. The cost to haul your yacht out of the water depends on your yacht length. Prices are starting at 300$ and goes up to 1,200$. Keep in mind that a good underwater drone can cost you 1,500$, and an underwater drone will serve you for years.
Does Every Underwater Drone is good enough?
No. There are lots of underwater drones out there. And some I can say are not good at all and won’t help you. I reviewed the best underwater drones so you are welcome to read there and have more information about them.
Important features to look for in an Underwater Drone
Despite the fact that there are lots of different underwater drones. Some of them can’t be used for boat inspections. Some of them can cover most of the inspection. And only a few can fully inspect your yacht.
So, what features do you need to look for?
Saltwater and Freshwater
As much as it might sound obvious, some underwater drones have issues when it comes to saltwater. Since the water in the sea has salt, that salt causes the underwater drone to have a few difficulties to dive easily into the water.
For this difficulty, some underwater drones have attachments that you will need to install on the drone before using it in the sea or in the lake. Some underwater drones still have these difficulties. And some others can do that with no issues and without requiring you to do anything about this.
So, in case you need to do boat inspections with underwater drones, make sure the drone has no problem to operate in the sea.
Well, let’s begin with maneuvering. Boat inspections, in general, requires to look at specific areas in several views. In order to do so, you need an underwater drone that can tilt. The tilting capability is available in just a few underwater drones.
Underwater drones like the Gladius Min and Navatics Mito can tilt.
But, even though some underwater drones can tilt, still not all of them can tilt completely. The Gladius Mini and the Mito can tilt 45 degrees only. Of course, it is better than nothing, however, to do proper inspections you will need an underwater drone that will be able to tilt completely, which means 90 degrees.
The only underwater drone that has 360 degrees of maneuvering is the FIFISH V6 by QYSEA.
The FIFISH V6 underwater drone was chosen as the best underwater drone of 2019, and this year, of 2020 we wait for its improved version, which is the FIFISH V6 Plus. This improved version ~was recently introduced in CES 2020.
Another important feature that you need to make sure is the camera quality. You see, when doing boat inspections with underwater drones, the drone is operating as your “eyes” under the water. Hence, it is extremely important that the camera quality will be as good as possible. In this aspect, you can find several underwater drones that have a 4K camera installed. Having that said, A 4K camera does not say everything about the quality, but I can say that it will suffice for your task. The underwater drone with the best camera quality is the FIFISH P3. However, this drone cannot tilt.
The Gladius Mini and the FIFISH V6 has both great cameras, however, the one by FIFISH V6 is better. You can read the comparison between these 2 underwater drones for more information.
Sometimes we need to check something at night. For that, in case we use the underwater drone for it, we need the drone to have a strong LED light which will allow us to see exactly the spot we are after. Each underwater drone has different LED lights and strengths. Gladius Mini, for example, has 2400 lumens. And the FIFISH V6 has 4000 lumens. And the new FIFISH V6 Plus, which is about to be released soon, has strong 6000 lumens.
Another important feature you need to look for is how long can the underwater drone operates before you need to recharge it. The reason this is important in case you are having lots of tasks to complete and there is no power source available for you.
In this aspect, the differences are quite unexpected. Some underwater drones can operate 1 hour only. The Gladius Mini can operate for 2 hours in a row. Other underwater drones, like the Power Ray and the CCROV operate for 4 hours in a row. The FIFISH V6 operates for 4.5 hours.
The last feature you should look at is the ability of the underwater drone to accept attachments to be installed on. You see, the ability to install attachments on the drone simply elevates the drone’s capabilities. Not always you will only need to look at the hull. Sometimes you will need to do some other actions like grabbing objects, collect samples or even push objects to another spot. All of these actions, without the drone being able to do that, will require you to hire a diver for that.
Boat inspections with underwater drones – Comfort
Boat inspections with underwater drones allow us to do inspections in the most comfortable way. Sit back, hold the remote controller in your hand, and drive the underwater drone to any spot you would like. And relax, you are far from worrying about the battery to run out on you.
You will be watching the video in a great quality of 4K, having a clear sight of anything. In addition, you will have all the footage on a disc, meaning, if you need to consult with someone else, he won’t need to understand it from your own words. He could watch it, the same as you did.
All of that will be done in a few minutes only. No need to wear your diving suit, especially not during the winter when it is freezing outside.
By the way, some underwater drones allow you to control the drone while wearing the VR Goggles, which makes it a lot easier and bright.
Boat inspections with underwater drones – Anything else?
Well, another great thing about having the underwater drone, is the fact that it is not useable for boat inspections only. YouTube, Facebook, and other social media channels are loaded with a lot of videos that were taken with underwater drones. Having an underwater drone is basically having a great camera in your possession that allows you to have wonderful memories and epic footage every time you go sailing, fishing diving, or even during the holiday with your family.
Boat inspections with underwater drones are the easiest ways to complete these tasks. If you are a yacht owner or a boat owner, and you still don’t have an underwater drone in your possession, I highly recommend you purchasing one. Nowadays, it is offered at a very affordable price. And the competition in the market will serve you and your budget as well.
Of course, you will need to check several features in each drone before getting a final decision. In case of doubt, feel free to drop us a message and we will help you do the right decision.
Our recommendation is the FIFISH V6 by QYSEA. The FIFISH V6 is the only underwater drone that can do everything a boat inspection requires. And in addition to the great features, it has a great and attractive price.
Till the next time, tight lines and fly safely.