1992 - Located at Hinckley Yachts, formerly Ted Hood's Little Harbor, Portsmouth RI, Ocean Instrumentation was created by Donn Watson and a partner to serve the growing engraving and fabrication requirements of local yacht builders, service yards and marine related trades. This engraving and panel manufacturing was first accomplished using manual engraving pantograph machines with removable brass type.
1993 - Ocean Instrumentation was subcontracted by Blackwatch, a division of Ted Hood Yacht Builders, to supply all engraved products and panels found on eighteen 56-foot remote controlled target drones for the US Navy. This extensive project required the purchase of two CNC engraving machines, workstations and CAD software. The engraving included laminated plastic, aluminum and stainless steel used for signage and control panel applications.
1994 95 - Commissioned to build a custom electrical panel for Shamrock V, the 1930 America's Cup challenger. Included in this panel was an engraved profile drawing used to depict navigational lighting status. This successful project led to the foundation of the graphics machining process that we use today. Many panel projects for yachts were completed these years, including 80' Swan MELINKA and custom Blackwatch motoryacht GRENADIER.
1996 - Contracted by a marine construction management firm to design and manufacture an electrical distribution panel for the 90' Pedrick designed sailing yacht SAVANNAH, Ocean Instrumentation was also selected to design and build the ballast control system and electrical distribution panel for the 77' Sparkman & Stephens sloop SLEIGHRIDE. Due to the demand for graphic machining, Ocean Instrumentation acquired a CO2 laser to augment the capabilities of the CNC machines. This allowed much further exploration into the computer graphics world.
1997 - The laser opened a door to new avenues including wood and solid surface inlay. Once confident with inlay techniques, samples were made available to customers. After seeing such a sample a marine construction management firm contracted with Ocean Instrumentation to inlay Bob Wisner's SHAMAN artwork twice in a veneered table of .010 mahogany. Without trepidation, but with foresight, the job was accepted. "..the result is a fascinating marriage of art and technology, with incredibly minute detail." This quote, from Boat International USA's premier issue, perfectly describes the inlay work perfomed by Rob Sutherland.
1997 - The most impressive project of the year was a series of pieces for Gladding and Hearn shipbuilding included on Hy-Line Harbor Tour's high speed ferry. This vessel, GREY LADY, now servicing Hyannis and Nantucket, was graced with two fourteen-panel acrylic murals engraved with artwork designed by interior decorator Nancy Pratt. Each panel on the first deck displayed images of various species of whales indigenous to Nantucket waters. The second deck layout consisted of an engraved chart accompanied by text displaying the ferry's island destination, Nantucket.
1998-99 - This
major two year project included a multitude of work assigned to Ocean
Instrumentation by John Doig, project manager for ANTONISA. This 124'
Bruce King designed sloop built by Hodgdon Yachts has provided the opportunity
to use the strengths of both laser and CNC machines. Work completed on
Antonisa includes fine furniture inlay, cabin sole and passeral teak inlay,
numerous instrumentation and status panels, cockpit control panels, PCB
circuit milling, cockpit instrumentation panels and a status panel featuring
a laser engraved, hand drawn blueprint.
2003 - Ocean Instrumentation began fulfilling requests for automotive emblems and soon found a market for designing and manufacturing switch panels designed for specific automotive applications.
2005 - Dave Bourque, talented machinist and fabricator, joined ranks and opened more avenues of expertise. A combination of Dave's soft spoken voice, his wisdom and many years of fine tuned skills were well received at the shop. Dave was willing to offer a high degree of moral and ethical fabric as well, a corner stone of Ocean Instrumentation's foundation.
2007 - Due to increased demand, an additional laser, lathe and numerous metal working machines were added to the backline allowing Ocean Instrumentation to more efficiently tackle the manufacture of new products and specialized fabrication.
2008 - Two cnc routers with more than sixteen square feet engraving capability and six foot linear capacity were added to the tool line-up allowing a much larger capacity for wood carving in addition to aluminum, phenolic and carbon fiber panel milling.