Any boat or ship has a pair of good marine binoculars on board, it’s a piece of standard equipment when going out on the ocean. Every sailor or captain will use binoculars regularly be it for spotting obstacles, other ship traffic, search and rescue or observing marine life.
Let’s look at the most important criteria for binoculars to help you find the best marine binoculars.
High magnification binoculars may not be the best when you are on the water, they could become difficult to hold steady when seas are not absolutely calm. Binoculars with 7x up to 10x magnification work well under these conditions.
High quality marine binoculars such as the Nikon 7457 StabilEyes have integrated sensors designed to detect slight movements such as shakes and vibrations caused by hand movements. For a steady view, this technology adjusts the optics to compensate for movement, however, in very rough seas, the image stabilization might get to its limits.
For a secure hold and a good grip, it is important that at least the hand rest surfaces of the binoculars are coated with rubber. Some top models of various manufacturers are coated with a rubber layer on the whole case. This very well prevents the binoculars from slipping out of wet hands.
Water-resistant or waterproof
Essential for marine binoculars is a waterproof build. Best quality binoculars have their interior filled with nitrogen. The nitrogen prevents the penetration of water or moisture and adds to shock resistance.
A useful feature is the buoyancy of the binoculars. Particularly if the binoculars are used on small vessels, sailing boats, catamaran or a rowing punt. This feature can also be useful when children are on board.
Even in the age of GPS, analog devices are still very important. Decent marine binoculars should have an integrated compass. Some models have also built in lighting for the compass.
Carrying & securing straps
A carrying strap is an essential for any marine binoculars to have. Especially when the binoculars are used on the water for whale watching or search and rescue activities.
High-quality binoculars may not come very cheap, but everybody who has ever used a top of the line pair of binoculars appreciates their superior viewing experience. Rely on well-known brands when purchasing binoculars for sailing or marine.
|Bushnell H2O Waterproof/Fogproof Roof Prism Binocular, 8 x 42-mm, Black||$||4.5 / 5|
|Steiner 7×50 Marine Binocular||$$||4.5 / 5|
|Steiner 7×50 Commander XP C Binocular||$$$||5/ 5|
|Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Fogproof Military Marine Binoculars w/ Internal Rangefinder & Compass for Navigation,Boating,Fishing,Water Sports,Hunting and More||$||4.5 / 5|
|Steiner 8×30 Military/Marine Binocular||$$||4.5 / 5|