The Triton


Triton networks with AME

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Date(s) - Jun 3, 2015
06:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Advanced Mechanical Enterprises


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It is good vibrations with AME and Triton networking in Ft. Lauderdale

Yacht captains, crew and industry professionals are invited to join Triton networking with Advanced Mechanical Enterprises/AME and Advanced Maintenance Engineering/AME for our regular first Wednesday of the month event in Ft. Lauderdale on June 3. (There will be no regular networking on the third Wednesday in June or July.)

Until then, learn a little more about AME from company administrator Christine Battles-Merhige.

Q. What is the difference between Advanced Mechanical Enterprises and Advanced Maintenance Engineering?

Advanced Mechanical Enterprises is the name that’s known in the marine industry, but is actually only one of our companies. We diagnose issues on all vessels and fix them to ensure their propulsion systems are functioning at their best. Our sister company, Advanced Maintenance Engineering, does diagnostics and repairs on rotating machinery.

The difference? Advanced Mechanical works on everything on the water, Advanced Maintenance, everything on land, hence the blue and green logos. To establish a cohesive identity, we recently trademarked a co-branding of both companies with We had to do that, because for so long, we focused our marketing on the marine side of the business. With our land-based customer base growing, we had to start giving Advanced Maintenance part of the spotlight.

Q. Your business has many parts. What came first?

Rich’s (Merhige, president of AME) experience with diagnostics goes back more than 30 years to when he was a test engineer on naval ships. He founded Advanced Maintenance Engineering in 1992, where his focus was primarily on diagnostics. He saw the value in vibration analysis, which was just gaining in popularity, and focused on that niche. Ten years later, he started Advanced Mechanical Enterprises where he was then able to provide field and shop services to address the issues being diagnosed in his vibration surveys.

Q. What is your background in the industry?

My background is events and marketing; I had my own company for many years. When I met Rich, I began assisting his companies with marketing and fell in love with the marine industry. As Rich and I dated,and later married, I became more involved with the business. I now oversee operations and marketing.

Q. Predictive and preventative maintenance are two important concepts. Tell us more.

Predictive and preventative maintenance are extremely important in terms of saving money and preventing serious mechanical issues. Unfortunately, many people don’t plan for problems, so when problems come, we have to take reactive measures to fix them. It’s important for captains and chief engineers to know the condition of their equipment, particularly of their propulsion systems. Because of this, we recommend annual vibration surveys, even if no obvious issues are present, to catch anything before it becomes a major problem.

Q. As to vibration, what can happen when a yacht is not maintained?

The most obvious issue with vibration is cosmetic, it being an annoyance. However, there is a push to ensure vibration is addressed to maintain crew comfort levels and safety. Most importantly, vibration left untreated can cause major issues with machinery, such as premature wear on bearings, seals or engine mounts, which can cause damage to the shafts.

Q. What needs to be balanced on a yacht?

On yachts, propellers, impellers and fans are usually balanced. The majority of our balancing is done for our land-based clients. Our team is expertly trained to balance fans, blowers, chillers and machinery for warehouses, factories, high-rises, residential complexes, you name it. Balancing can be dangerous when done in the field, but we have the training and capabilities to do it, as well as in our shop.

Q. Do yachts have regular check-ups or only call when there are problems?

Smart captains and chief engineers are proactive with their maintenance and come to us for regularly scheduled vibration surveys. We have a loyal following of these customers, who often come to us even after they move to another yacht. If a boat has been under our care for a long time, new captains or chiefs will often come back to us, picking up where their predecessors left off.

Q. How does your team stay current on technical advances?

We have an extensive in-house library of technical publications, our service team researches the newest technologies and methods and we attend as many trade shows and seminars as possible. Coupled with our service needs we’re able to create our annual education plan, which is designed to build our service team to ensure we have adequate coverage for our most demanded services while addressing the need to take on new capabilities and offerings.

Q. There is so much to know on a yacht. How should captains and engineers prioritize?

Scheduling and planning are the most important thing when it comes to maintenance. Vibration analysis is the most cost effective and time-efficient way to stay ahead. The reports provide a detailed picture of the condition of machinery, and provides recommendations of where a plan should be focused. Annual and, even better, bi-annual surveys can point out exactly what needs to be fixed, or monitored, so captains and engineers can plan and budget.

Q. Who will crew work with when they call?

Crew will either speak with my office manager, myself or our service manager to communicate the customer and vessel’s specifics, and gather information to setup the project and compile an estimate. After that, a field service technician, engineer or analyst will be assigned to the project, who will oversee it from start to finish.

Q. What will we expect at the networking event?

I love participating in events like these, because it allows me to go back to my roots in event planning and always do something fun and out-of-the-box. We are doing the event with our neighbor on 28th street, Yachty Rentals, which is a fun company to work with. It’s a Cinco de Mayo theme, even though it’s June. But you can never have enough Cinco de Mayo celebrations in a year. (That’s coming from a San Diego girl, of course.)

Triton networking will be June 3 at Advanced Mechanical Enterprises and Advanced Maintenance Engineering at 217 S.W. 28th St., Ft. Lauderdale (33315). For more information contact +1 954-764-2678, 866-377-0770; or visit

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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