Commonly Asked Questions About Marine Binoculars

When you're out enjoying a day on a lake or the ocean, you'll need a reliable pair of binoculars or a great monocular to help you view objects that are farther than the naked eye can see. There are many great binoculars available on eBay, but there are some common questions and answers you should know before you purchase a set.

What are some features of marine binoculars?

There are a few key features of both binoculars and monoculars that you should be on the lookout for to get the most enjoyable experience looking at things. These include the following:

  • The field of view - This is the width of your image at a specified distance, usually 1,000 meters. Having a wide field of view allows you to locate objects more easily but may decrease the image clarity of whatever you're viewing. You'll also want to take a look at the apparent field of view, which is the field of view when magnified.
  • Focus type - Some binoculars use individual eyepiece focus while others use a central focus to adjust both eyes at once. Central focus is ideal for multiple users while individual focus is great for single users.
  • Protection - Since these binoculars will be on a boat or vessel of some type, they're likely to get bounced and banged around. Finding a robust pair will save you from having to replace a cheaper pair multiple times.
Are marine binoculars different from regular binoculars?

Many first-time marine binocular buyers wonder why they can't just purchase regular binoculars. This is because marine binoculars come with some special built-in features that optimize their use for boating. These special features include:

  • Buoyant straps - Buoyant straps help keep the binoculars afloat if they are accidentally dropped in the water. Though the straps may seem silly at first due to their bright color, they come in handy when you accidentally drop the binoculars overboard.
  • A magnetic-bearing or digital compass - Most, if not all, good marine binoculars will include a built-in compass that projects your bearing onto the image you're viewing. Different brands and models will have different compass designs, so if you prefer a digital compass to a magnetic compass, then you'll want to make sure you purchase the right model.
  • Stabilization - While not all marine binoculars include stabilization technology, many do. This allows you to view an object with less image shake.
Can marine binoculars withstand saltwater buildup?

A good pair of marine binoculars will be built with strong, lightweight material that can withstand salt buildup and erosion. The materials used are also tough enough to deal with getting bumped around in the cargo hold, so you don't need to be delicate with marine binoculars.