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Bilge Monitoring is Essential : Three Questions with Tristan

Sunken boat without a bilge monitor

We sat down with Tristan Rizzi, Capt. SEAL, USN (Ret) President, Tocaro Blue and asked him three questions about the Master Chief and the Bilge Sensor.

What is the bilge and why should I monitor it?

The bilge is the lowest part of the boat where water collects, and if left unchecked, it can lead to flooding, cause significant damage to the boat and could put the safety of passengers at risk. A leak in the boat’s hull or plumbing system can cause water to enter the bilge. Monitoring the bilge in a boat is crucial for preventing flooding, detecting leaks, maintaining proper drainage, and avoiding damage to all the boat’s components. It’s an essential part of boat maintenance and safety that should not be overlooked. Tocaro Blue’s Master Chief and Bilge Sensor offer a solution to the two-fold issues affecting a system wired into the bilge.

1. The Bilge Can Fail.

2. Having a Backup is Key.

If you are relying on something that’s always in saltwater and connected to all of the systems in the boat, it could fail. I went to MacDill just last week and met with their harbor security, and we were talking about remote boat monitoring. They had a boat that they had put out about a month prior, and that boat sunk while it was at the dock. They pulled it out of the water, took the bilge pump out, and the bilge pump failed.

What are the Low/High aspects of the Bilge Sensor?

The Bilge Sensor that works with the Master Chief features Low and High Water modules. Let’s say you get an alert from your Low module; you immediately go into guard mode. Is it raining? Is it a leak or a plumbing issue? If it stays on, something may be happening, and I should consider planning to investigate. If the bilge is turning on and then turning off again, then a little water was present and was pumped out. We’re good to go. If a Low alert comes through and then you get a High Alert, then you probably have a flooding issue because the water level is getting progressively worse. The Master Chief helps you identify this issue quickly so you can plan accordingly.

When a Low Water Alert changes to a High Water Alert, your plan quickly switches from I'll get there in 2 hours to calling the Dock Master and saying, "Get over to the boat now, bring some corks with you, stuff them in all of the through hulls because the boat is sinking!"

Should I put a climate sensor where the bilge is located so I can measure temperature & humidity?

The Climate Sensors were initially developed, for the most part, when you’re not on the boat, and it’s an air-conditioned boat, but you don’t care about the temperature when you’re not on the boat. You care about humidity, and if the moisture starts going up in the cabin, you might have some concerns about the possibility of mold.

Let’s say you get a Low Bilge alert on the App.   Your next step should be to check on what humidity levels are doing!  If humidity levels in the bilge start to rise (we can set humidity high/low alerts) the boat owner should have somebody go for an inspection and possibly sort it out (leak hatch/window/etc.) If your bilge is very, very humid or it’s shut up, and your humidity levels are spiking, you’ll could get mold growth, and that stuff is nasty. So keeping it clean, keeping it good is good practice.

As the tech applies to the Environmental Sensor – for the 90th percentile the main bilge is co-located with the engines. If the boat is running, you’re going to start to see the temperatures where your particular boat runs. Let’s say it’s 105 degrees. If you’re out on the water and it sends you an alert, and it’s 115 degrees, something could very well be wrong, and you’re going to want to stop and check it out. There are a lot of things that you can decipher from all of the data captured by the sensors.

Masterchief Install in Engine Room with Bilge Sensor
Engine room with a Master Chief & Bilge Sensor
Remote Boat Monitoring from Tocaro Blue Keep You and Your Boat Connected & Protected

And that’s the genius of the design of the sensor suite and the Master Chief. They all work together to give the boat owner instant information about their boat at their fingertips. If you’re an experienced boater, you can get the exact alerts you want. If you’re new to boating, you can have us help you set the alerts so you can easily understand the steps you might need to take.



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