The Use of Inclinometer in the Maritime Industry

An inclinometer is the device used for pointing and measuring the angles of the earth’s surface. In the marine industry, inclinometers are used mainly on ships and oil rigs to measure how much a vessel slants while being on still water and when the water is choppy. The inclinometer is also known as a clinometer.

Oil drilling from the oceans is a very tricky process. The reservoirs that contain oil and gases in the oceanic areas have to be in the right zone and have to be dug only up to a specified depth. If the reservoirs are dug far too deeply, then it could harm the marine eco-system. By using clinometers, it can be found out what is the maximum limit of the reservoir. The digging limits of an underwater oil reservoir can be anything between a minimum of 1,000 feet to a maximum of 35,000 feet.

Measuring the tilting of a ship is of utmost importance. If the ship tilts more when the waves are high (known as rolling of the ship) then it could lead to a ship capsizing. With the help of clinometers, it becomes easier to find whether the tilting of the ship is dangerous and within the danger-free limits.

The inclinometer is a flat-bottomed device that is filled with liquid to give the device the properties of displacement. The device is covered with a glass covering that has measurements like a full geometric circle. The margin of errors in the clinometer is completely absent making the device very reliable. The device creates a virtual distance also known as ‘artificial horizon’ with the help of which it carries out its purpose. The price of a normal inclinometers is between 70 US $ to 200 $. The pricing is not very high making the device highly cost efficient; another advantage of having a clinometer.

Apart from the marine industry, inclinometers are also used in aircrafts, while climbing places of high altitude, for finding out about the inclination of building constructions and the slopes of trees. A clinometer has been used since the 1900s and over the years, its uses have increased manifold. One of the most famous inclinometers is the Well’s Inclinometer. An inclinometer is very unique device and it is this uniqueness that makes the device an essential part of the marine industry.

You may also like to read-What is a Sextant? & What is Collision of a Ship?



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  1. Hello…can we place clinometer off set on a ship..meaning placed to the stbd or port side instead of center line of the ship

  2. Can we place clinometer on the port or stbd side of a ship instead putting it on the center line

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