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Binoculars That Are Built for a Marine Environment

Specifically designed for use on the water, marine monoculars and binoculars are useful pieces of equipment for anyone who spends significant time on a vessel. They contain a range of features that make them ideal for a water-based setting, with corrosion-resistant and waterproof casings, as well as built-in compasses and range-finding systems.

What Are Marine Binoculars?

Also known as boating binoculars, marine monoculars and binoculars are waterproof and provide a good field of view.

  • The classic size of binoculars for marine use is 7x5, which means they have a magnification of 7x and the objective lenses are 50mm in diameter. The relatively large 50mm opening allows in plenty of light, which is particularly important during the less-than-ideal weather conditions often encountered at sea.
  • The large objective size, conservative magnification, and exit pupil size all combine to make them a practical option for viewing other vessels from a distance. The conservative magnification of marine monoculars and binoculars reduces the image shake that inevitably occurs on moving boats, particularly at higher magnifications.
  • The larger exit pupil allows you to view an image, even when the motion of your vessel is altering the alignment between your eyes and the binoculars.

Which Features Do Marine Binoculars Have?

Not all binoculars and monoculars are equal, with some offering fairly basic features while others, such as top-of-the-range Nikon models, boast state-of-the-art technical innovations.

  • Many marine monoculars and binoculars come with a built-in compass that projects a magnetic bearing into the image, while some modern day models also feature digital compasses.
  • Some range-finding marine binoculars boast a laser system that automatically determine your distance from another vessel or object while at sea.

What Should You Consider When Buying Marine Binoculars?

Marine binoculars are available with different prism types, eye reliefs, and resistance to both corrosion and sinking, so always check the design before purchase.

  • Most marine binoculars feature either a porro prism or a roof prism. Porro prism models have objective lenses that are more widely spaced, providing a greater field of view and depth of view, while roof prism models are more streamlined, making them ergonomically preferable for some users.
  • Make sure you purchase a pair of waterproof binoculars that are also fogproof, with polycarbonate chassis designed for increased resistance against corrosion. Some even float in water if dropped over the edge of the boat.
  • Those who wear glasses should also consider the optics and eye relief of the binoculars, which refers to the optimal distance from the eye cups to your eye for viewing.

Content provided for informational purposes only. Bay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Nikon.