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Binoculars are essential when sailing. According to safety regulations, binoculars are mandatory on board for navigation beyond 50 miles from the coast in addition to navigation maps, barometers, clocks, chartwork tools. However, beyond what is required by law, binoculars are extremely useful when hugging the coast both in leisure time and in crucial situations.

Going deep into why having binoculars on board is a good thing, examples are countless. Having a clear overview not only of the immediately surrounding sailing area may help to foresee and anticipate possible difficulties, such as, e.g., to realize whether or not the boat ahead of yours is in trouble or is dropping anchor. Or to check a mainland landmark on a nautical chart, or again, to make sure when entering into port in full sun that the sign is green, and so on and so forth.

You certainly are spoilt for choice when it come to choose the binoculars that best meet your needs. It is always true that you get what you pay for, meaning that quality goes hand in hand with price. Binoculars for marine use must be waterproof or tight. Long life in a harsh environment like sea is ensured by rubber coating.

Binoculars come with or without a compass, and this is a matter of personal choice. If your boat is provided with a bearing compass, then you may choose binoculars not fitted with a compass, like Professional binoculars 7×50 ( Should this not be the case, choose a model like this Professional binoculars  7×50 with compass ( that provides two pieces of equipment in one, both essential during navigation. Some models are fitted with a digital compass as an alternative to an analog compass.

In 7×50 binoculars, the “7” tells you that the target object is magnified to seven times its size while the “50” gives you the diameter of the objective lens. However, binoculars like Binoculars Zoom 10x30x50 ( are fitted with a quick operating lever ensuring a zoom range from 10 to 30 enlargements.

Binoculars moisture tightness is of utmost importance as even the slightest lens fogging might make binoculars useless. Always put binoculars in their case after use. Leave them in a handy and sheltered place in the cockpit. Protect them from impacts. Make sure they are in good working conditions: you may need them to take a closer look to a herd of dolphins or to check whether your boat and a vessel on the horizon are on crossing course. You may never know.

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