Binoculars for Marine Use

How to select a binocular that is suitable for marine use?

When buying a binocular for use on the sea, here are some features that you should consider before making the purchase:

  1. Waterproofing. Getting wet and really wet is just part and parcel of life on the sea. Make sure that your binocular is fully waterproof so that it can last through your journey. Best still, models like WP7x50 and WPC7x50 are not only waterproof, they can even float if dropped into the ocean, making sure that you can easily retrieve the binocular in the event you accidentally drops it into the sea.
  2. Fog-proofing. The high humidity at the sea can easily cause lenses to fog up, thus ruining your view and causing you to miss out on terrific sightings in the ocean. Making sure that your binocular is fog-proof ensure that your views will never be affected by the fog.
  3. Magnification. The higher the magnification of your binoculars, the further you can see (a 10x magnification binocular makes an object seems 10 times closer, compared to a binocular with 5x magnification which makes the object seems 5 times closer). However, with a higher magnification the shakiness of the view from any movement will increase as well — and you can imagine how shaky it will be to be using a high magnification binocular on a boat. For usage on the sea, unless the binocular has an inbuilt image stabilization system (more on that later),7x magnification binoculars provide the highest magnification power without causing the users to suffer from shaky views.
  4. Objective Lens Size. The bigger the objective lens the more light the binocular will be able to gather and hence resulting in a brighter image. This is important as many a times you will be using the binoculars in less than ideal lighting conditions, especially when entering and leaving ports in early or late hours of the day. For marine standards, 50mm objective lens is the most widely accepted size for binoculars.
  5. Compass and Range Finder. Some marine binoculars are inbuilt with compass and rang finder which allows you to easily measure the direction and distance or size of an object in view. Very useful feature if you are using the binocular for navigation.
  6. Image Stabilizer. For those who desires to use a binocular with higher than 7x magnification in the sea, be sure to lookout for a binocular that has image stabilization system as this will ensure that no matter how choppy the water is or how shaky your hands are, you will still be able to easily get a stable view. Very importantly, if you are using a pair of binocular with image stabilization system, make sure that it is 100% waterproof (not just water resistant or weatherproof) as otherwise the it can be easily damaged by contact with water.  Check out the Fujinon Techno-Stabi series binoculars for powerful binoculars that is inbuilt with image stabilizer and is 100% waterproof.

Check out some of the highest quality marine use binoculars that are extremely popular among fellow seafarers:

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