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
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 New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...
It has been a long, hot summer here on Georgian Bay and we miss Adamant 1 terribly. We did manage ...
On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his ...
The Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
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 ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...
Jeanneau’s newest NC model is the NC 33, and it’s an exciting and innovative inboard cruiser ...
The Four Winns H290OB combines two of the most popular new big boat trends to come up with a great ...
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.