I have got some very average binoculars on Wildwood so am in desperate need to upgrade to something decent. Having a pair of binoculars on board is essential to be able to navigate easily, and to be able to identify objects, headlands, other craft etc from afar. I have also heard that you can get binoculars with a compass inside which can be handy for taking bearings etc. You need to specify that you want a pair that can be used in both hemispheres as some compasses are only calibrated for use in one hemisphere or another!
I have read that you don’t want any higher than 7x magnification, as the constant movement of a yacht makes it almost impossible to stabilize at any higher. 50mm is the marine standard for the lens, so we will want something sized 7×50.
You can also get waterproof or non-waterproof options. The things I have read recommend getting the waterproof ones for obvious reasons in a marine environment. Even if you are taking very good care of them, there is the chance that they could get spray, rain or just being in a damp environment can cause mildew to form on the lens. Completely waterproof binoculars are usually nitrogen filled.
Who knew there were so many options! I think the ones I currently have are a branded company giveaway, so it is no wonder I can’t see through them.
I will look around to see what is available and will report back on what we purchase!
Right well that didn’t take long…! My ex-husband owns a Hunting and Fishing shop and he up-sold me to these –
He said that this brand and Swarvoski are the best ones in the market and he didn’t recommend any of the cheaper options out there as – and I quote “they are a piece of s#*t”
I chose Steiner as one of his friends is the agent and he has kindly given me a discount. Great!
Update 5 May 2014
I got my new binoculars at the weekend and they are BRILLIANT! Wow I couldn’t believe the difference between them and the cheapies that I had on board. While they were expensive, the distance, stability and clarity of what you are seeing is just amazing. The compass inside them will double as a hand bearing compass and as someone rightly said to me “It is very hard to be both looking through binoculars and reading your hand bearing compass at the same time” – so this will totally alleviate this problem. The compass even has a red light which you can illuminate if you are viewing at night.
Really pleased with this purchase 🙂