Winter 2016

  • Engine Alignment
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Optical alignment for ships, yachts
  • Optical alignment fixtures


optical alignment fixture for a marine gear output flange
Tools for optical engine alignment

The picture shows an alignment fixture fitted to the output flange of a marine gear. The fixture holds an optically precise mirror and the white reference marks allow me to compare the position of the vertical/horizontal center of the output flange to the shaft line I have established, generally by the bearing targets. The shaft line can also be established by the mirror by setting the scope to the vertical/horizontal center and the angular position of the mirror. This is one of the key concepts of this procedure.

optical engine alignment looking through a bearing target
Optical engine alignment

If the vertical/horizontal center is on the shaft line, and the angular position is both perpendicular and laterally centered then the output flange is aligned. The mirror reflects light back to the operator through the telescope, showing a representation of the angular position. This picture shows a target in a bearing and you can make out the paired wires that form the line of sight, and you can see that the mirror appears to be off the shaft line.

Looking through a stern tube to a marine gear output flange with an optical alignment fixture mounted.
Marine gear fixture

I have fixtures for all common sizes of output flanges, and have a magnetic fixture that can be adapted to any size. It's a little more work as instead of fitting and clamping, the output flange must be rotatated to adjust the fixture to the flange. Both methods provide perfect accuracy while I'm working with the yard or builder. After all these years it's rare to run into a size that I have to fabricate for.

Engine and shaft optical alignment solutions

Optical shaft and engine alignment for yachts, boats, commercial vessels, and military vessels remains the most accurate, quickest, and most efficient alignment procedure.
Optical alignment equipment operated with knowledge and experience provides shipyards, boatyards, and builders with efficient and accurate engine, bearing, and stern tube alignment. Michael H. Bartlett, in the marine industry in Fort Lauderale for thirty years and with over 15 years of optical alignment experience and over 1500 successful boat alignment procedures, owns and operates Marine Alignment, Inc.