Gadget Weekend: Testing Out My New Marine Binoculars

Now I happen to be a kind of guy who is blessed with living by the seaside. Well, not directly by the sea, but it’s just 5 min drive away.

I also happen to have a boat. I can almost hear you sing “I’m on a boat, m***, on a boat…”, okay nevermind. It’s nothing too big, a 23 foot sloop, made in the late 70s in a local yard that doesn’t even have a proper name. I bought it from a guy who had maintained it well and had even done some small passages.

my sailboat moored

I’ve been practicing sailing, even took a course with the town’s yacht club and now I have papers saying I’m a certified small sailing vessel navigator. In reality, my sailing has been very limited due to both a lack of time and a lack of equipment.

But I’m serious about this. I will get into sailing properly very soon and I have started a to-do of things that I’ll need to get sorted before I can start doing some sorties up and down the coastline.

In any case, yesterday I received my first ever pair of marine binoculars. Last week, I scouted around and found this nice detailed introduction into the topic and decided that the Steiner Marine will be the best binoculars for my boating purposes. I hope so.

Out of the box, they looked neat and really tough – a good thing when sailing a small dinghy where you get whacked around quite a bit. I got a floating neck strap too in case I dump them in the water, though I have no idea if I’d be able to turn the boat around to actually get them, but that’s another story.

So, I used the free day yesterday to take them out on the water and get to use them in a real situation. The weather was so-so, cloudy with gusty winds and I was going out somewhat late, so I got to try them at dusk. All in all, I must say I never thought I’d be so fascinated by binoculars. I found out that using binoculars on the water is actually exciting, especially with the clarity of image I got out my new Steiners. Pretty much everything I looked at, near or far, was very detailed. What astounded me (although I had read about it, I didn’t really believe it) is that looking through the binoculars I actually got a brighter image than just looking with my eyes. It’s as if they had light amplification of sorts built. Of course they don’t, they’re just normal binoculars.

So yeah, I’m happy. That’s one less thing to worry about now. Now I just need to get another 1,000 things and make a few repairs here and there and maybe I can go out for a weekend’s cruise in a few months time.


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