By Elizabeth Kerr

While the Office of Boating Safety, Transport Canada surprisingly does not list binoculars as part of its mandatory safety equipment, we would suggest that having a good pair on board just makes good sense.

Binoculars designed specifically for marine use are traditionally stronger in structure and are, of course, waterproof – or should be. In fact, some models even float. Today, we are going to highlight the key criteria for selecting a pair of binoculars as well as share a few neat features and accessories.

Most chandleries carry marine-friendly models. Of course, you can always buy online. But we suggest you try before you buy. Like eyeglasses, fit and comfort do a play a role.

Whether a bright sunny day with flat waters or a stormy day with three-foot waves, your binoculars will have to sustain a few knocks. Durability is key. Although experts say that there is no such thing as a 100% shockproof set of binoculars, some are definitely more rugged that others. Look for armours made of rubber that provide a variety of grips and textures. A well-treaded armour makes your binoculars easier to hold in rough waters and wet weather.

It's assumed that all marine-grade binoculars are waterproof. Make sure, however, that the model you choose carries a waterproof seal. Like with watches, weather-resistant does not necessarily mean waterproof. Leak-free and fog-free features are a must!

Whether manoeuvering around a harbour or navigating our lakes and oceans - where your target is not rapidly changing its proximity - many seafarers favour individual focus models. If you expect to use your binocular more or less constantly or for extended periods, you'll want a model that allows the focus to be customized for your eyes. Sore eyes and headaches are neither fun nor necessary and adjusting the focus for your own eyes will prevent them. If your heart is set on an auto focus instrument, we recommend that you find one that allows for adjustment for both eyes. There are many auto-focus models with individually adjusted eyepieces.

Magnification is also critical. Don't be fooled by 'more is better." This is not always the case. The magnification of your binoculars should reflect the task for which they have been purchased. With higher magnification, brightness decreases because the available light is spread over a greater area. Objects are harder to find and keep centred because the field of view is reduced. In some cases, motion becomes more pronounced losing obvious effectiveness.

During World War II, the 7x50 earned the name "night glass" for its ability to offer as bright an image as could be obtained in a reasonably sized binocular. It is no wonder then that the most common marine binocular in production today is the 7x50.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Floatable
There are floating models so if you do happen to drop them in the water, you can easily pick them up without worrying your investment has sunk.

Built-in Compass
There is no doubt that when looking through binoculars for a buoy or marker being able to take a bearing at the same time makes practical sense.

Rangefinder
This feature allows calculation of the distance to an object if its height is known or calculation of height if its distance is known.

Image Stabilization
Image stabilized binoculars are designed to minimize image shaking in hand-held binoculars. Higher power binoculars bring the image closer, but the image shift is also greater with even smaller movement of your hands. Image stabilization technology in binoculars ensures instant adjustment of the image to compensate for the motion.

ACCESSORIES

A binocular harness system is the best way to carry binoculars. Most designs offer very comfortable straps and prevent your binoculars from swinging out.

For storage on boats, a hard case ensures your binoculars are protected.

Attached lens caps ensure you're not fumbling with your lens caps when that once-in-a-lifetime view appears, nor worrying that you’ll drop them in an emergency.

Obvious for crystal clear viewing all the time, make the small investment in a cleaning kit. Most kits include a durable neoprene bag that includes a brush that's been engineered to clean any lens safely; a scientifically designed cloth to remove fingerprints and smudges from the lens surface; and a lens cleaning tissue for more aggressive cleaning.

Tripod mounts allow you to adapt to a standard tripod, window mount or mono-pod. Usually threaded in standard ¼”/20 on both the bolt and mount side, most mounts will fit most binocular models.

Final thoughts:
1) Ask your trusted fellow seafarers what they use.
2) Buy from an established marine dealer or chandlery.
3) Buy from a manufacturer with a good reputation.

By Elizabeth A Kerr

Destinations

  • Prev
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...


The Marina at Blind ChannelOne of my favourite places

By Marianne Scott

Sailing north of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and the Broughton Archipelago offer cruisers a bevy islands with ample anchorages. Tides cause swift currents to run through the islands’ waterways. Few marinas are found in this large, sparsely populated region but one that provides all the services boaters need and especially enjoy is Blind Channel, a marina and resort operated by the Richter family located on Mayne Passage on the east side of West Thurlow Island (50 24. 82N, 125 30. 00).

Read more about the Blind Channel Resort...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...
Unfortunately this is not a picture from a boat but was taken on the evening of February 27, 2019 ...
On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...

Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

Marine Products

  • Prev
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...
After developing the Figaro Beneteau 3, the first production foiling sailing yacht, Groupe Beneteau ...
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...