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  7x50 Binoculars w/compass, what do you use?

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SuburbanBoy posted 04-28-2001 12:31 PM ET (US)   Profile for SuburbanBoy   Send Email to SuburbanBoy  
My wife, two daughters and I are taking a class with the local Power Squadron. One topic we discussed in class was the usefulness of binoculars. It was mentioned by some that binoculars with a fluid damped compass are indispensable. Recently, I drove over to my local West Marine for a look-see. They had Fuji's, Steiner, Tasco, West, and others. The Fuji Polaris was by far the best (at$650 they better be!), and the Tasco plastic barrels (at $65) were at the other end of the scale, with all the others falling somewhere in-between. They don't carry any Nikon, Zeiss, Canon, or Leitz. I wish I could have compared the West Sea Search and Fuji Mariner models to the Nikon Ocean Pro. The Nikon is center focus, and has much greater eye relief. My observation determined that the Fuji Mariner's were a touch brighter than the West Sea Search, but the Mariner's had a big piece of dirt on the vertical grid and a battery light to illuminate the compass at night. I bought the West Sea Search for $200 ("internet sale only" matched in the local West store). Alloy body, excellent optics, and no battery door to leak water. But I have to admit, I left with Polaris envy. Later that day, my neighbor put it back in perspective, “imagine SuburbanBoy, that you had purchased the Fuji Polaris and your daughter dropped them on the deck. There will be far less pain with the West pair. And remember, this act will be repeated time and time again.” Probably good advise for me. How about some advice and binocular experiences from the other members of our distinguished forum.
Tom W Clark posted 04-28-2001 12:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I wouldn't go out on the water with out my pair of binoculars. I believe every boat should have a pair. I do not think that every boat needs an expensive pair with a compass but just a basic pair of binoculars that is designed for use in a marine environment.

My own pair is a Swift 7 x 50 rubber coated model # 781. I have used and abused this pair for 15 years without any problems. They were not expensive. I do not recommend binoculars with any higher magnification than 7x because they are too difficult to hold steady in a boat.

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