Flir Camera Redefines Night Vision Onboard

A thermal-imaging camera installed on your boat can significantly enhance safety during nighttime operations by clearly letting you see what is ahead and around your boat, even on the darkest or foggiest of nights. Practical Sailors review of Flir Systems Inc.s Navigator II, a thermal-imaging camera that can be mounted on a mast, finds that this kind of camera can aid navigation, man overboard recovery, and security. The equipment comes with a lofty price tag but for some, it will be worth the investment.

Mailport: 12/06

MARINE INSURANCE REDUXI have been reading with much interest your articles about marine insurance this year (April and May 2006).

7×50 Marine Binoculars Update

A pair of top-quality 7x50 marine binoculars can be pretty pricey, but its an essential piece of gear on a cruising boat. Good binoculars offer superior optics, enhanced durability, and a long warranty. This binocular test update compares Steiners latest premium marine optics offering, the Steiner Commander XP, with the Commander V from Steiner, and the Fujinon FMTRC-SX. The Fujinon binoculars were the favorite in Practical Sailors 2006 test.All three marine binoculars in this test are waterproof and have a compass, a focus adjustment for each eye with a range of 5 to 5, 7x magnification, 500-millimeter objective lenses, and a rangefinder.

Binocular Update

Binoculars can be an expensive piece of kit, but they are essential safety gear for the mariner. Being able to clearly identify any object that comes within range of your boat-be it a ship, raft, flotsam, navigational marker, or a nearby shoreline-makes for a safer passage. Steiner Optics recent release of its Model 575, an affordably priced 7x50 marine binocular (without compass), prompted us to revisit our past binocular tests to see how the newcomer compares to our reigning top picks.

Seeing the Light on Night Vision

A few weeks ago, I found myself in the desert at night and reflected upon how much the wide expanses of sand and rock in the American Southwest resemble the sea-especially after the sun has set. Away from the loom of the lights of Moab, Utah, my wife and I stood in an empty parking lot looking to the east, where the pyramid peaks of the La Sal mountains were silhouetted by the light of the full moon, still invisible below the horizon. Wed arrived to Arches National Park at night, driving through the blackness, following our headlights to the third or fourth pullout on the winding road into the park. We missed the sign identifying the pullout, so the geographical feature that the viewpoint was meant to serve remained a mystery.

Looking Sharp

Nikon, West Marine top the field of binos under $300.

The Ins and Outs of Aftermarket Bowsprits for Light-air Sails

A salty Kiwi named Ross Norgrove once said that the most important tool for the owner of a wooden yawl adorned with a bowsprit is a sharp ax. To some degree, his witty comment holds true for contemporary sailors contemplating a mini-bowsprit.