Another important requirement for use of binoculars on a small craft is that they are waterproof! Many years ago, I purchased a pair of binoculars at a popular high street camera store, and as they were rubber-clad I assumed they would be waterproof.
When I first used them on my boat they acquired some salt spray, so I carefully rinsed them off in fresh water back at home.
Similarly, in coastal waters, being able to recognise a buoy at a distance reassures the navigator that he is on course – or not, as the case may be.
Of course, for those racing around the cans, the ability to spot the next mark is essential: and even if you are not leading the fleet, there is no guarantee that the boats in front are actually heading in the right direction!
Being able to read a compass bearing is also a useful feature, whether for determining position or deciding if there is a risk of collision from a closing vessel.
So, for this test we chose to look at binoculars with a built-in compass, also giving ourselves a price limit of £600.
So, rubber covering is fine to protect from knocks and stop them sliding around, but it’s no guarantee they are waterproof.
Our sensible choice is limited to waterproof versions, and this will put the price up.On passage, the ability to identify another vessel in the distance – in particular its direction – gives early peace of mind.As you approach another vessel it will of course get larger, but a fishing boat may take some time before its direction can be identified by the naked eye.We are then able to track the progress of such talent, advise where necessary and inform clients of potential future leaders.Read more Award-winning health and social care recruitment and executive search providers, Compass Holding Group, interviewed at the Health Investor Awards 2017 after winning the “recruiter of the year” category.The 10 sets of binoculars tested use Porro prisms (see terminology panel, below) and, with one exception, are of the fixed-focus type which is typical for water-resistant marine binoculars.