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Every sailor knows that night sailing requires increased attention and concentration. But thanks to night vision equipment, night yachting becomes much more comfortable. Night vision for boats allows you to navigate safely in limited visibility conditions, both when mooring in port and when identifying objects at a great distance. In this article, we will look at night-sailing problems and solutions with night vision devices.
With the onset of night, a person cannot see objects as well as during the day. Some of us adapt fine to twilight, but still, the ability to clearly see objects and correctly estimate their distance is clearly insufficient for confidence and quick maneuvering. It isn't easy to see non-glowing buoys, fishing pots, foreign objects on the water, reefs. It is tough to see the buoys against the backdrop of the bright light of a coastal hotel, cafe, or port. Even if the object is illuminated but is against the background of a brightly lit coastline, it literally dissolves in the light of lanterns from the coast. Many boats are equipped with a powerful floodlight, but this does not solve safe movement at night. The searchlight shines only on a limited area and leaves the water area out of the light in complete ignorance. It is good for mooring in port but leaves a lot to be desired when sailing on the high seas. In addition, the powerful light of the spotlight weakens the mechanism of our eyes' habituation to dim night lighting. And it takes at least half an hour to get used to it. Half an hour at night is an unforgivable long time during which there is much to be missed. Detection of foreign objects at sea using radar is also not always informative. We see a dot on the screen, but we don't see what it is. Even with a radar and a plotter, it is sometimes possible to run aground at low tide. The problem of correctly estimating the distance is always solvable during the day, but it always stands on its edge at night. In addition, small fishing schooners are sometimes very poorly lit and almost invisible on the high seas at night. The likelihood of collisions increases when entering busy ports. Signal lights may not always be seen due to bright night lighting. The solution to these complex problems greatly simplifies the use of a night vision device on board.
The picture on the NVG screen is significantly different from what we see with the naked eye. Thanks to NV technology, buoys, rocks, and breakwaters, which we overlooked in the dark, are clearly visible against the background of the night sea. Poorly lit boats, small vessels, usually difficult to see at night, become visible on the monitor of night vision devices. We get a three-dimensional, informative image. It can be greenish or black and white, depending on the type of phosphor used. Finally, it became possible to estimate the distance to the object correctly. This makes it easier to navigate the fairway, moor in an unfamiliar port, and navigate the high seas. Remote-controlled night vision cameras are often used on large vessels, sport yachts, and fishing seiners. Using a Wi-Fi module, they transmit information to a multifunctional control monitor. Zoom, pan, and image stabilization are available in the mid to high price range. Some night vision systems have a "target acquisition and tracking" function. This makes it incredibly easy to locate and track a drowning person. The ability to switch to the auto-turn mode in the event of a man-overboard alarm is also available on night vision cameras. But not all sailors use NV cameras. The use of even a small night vision monocular is beneficial for safe navigation. And the use of night vision binoculars has long gained popularity among the coast guard, fishers, yachters, and sailors. Night vision devices have received the most flattering reviews and are implemented almost everywhere on all ships.
There are several types of night vision devices for swimming. Among them are night vision goggles, night vision binoculars, and night vision monoculars. Night vision goggles give a three-dimensional picture of what is happening and free your hands. Undoubtedly, they are convenient for navigating the ship at night, when entering a port, or assessing the situation at close range. They give * 1 magnification, so it is easy to move from side to side with them. In contrast, night vision binoculars have a strong magnification and allow you to observe the water area at a considerable distance. It will be useful on the high seas or when observing from a ship standing on the roadstead. If you find it heavy, then a night vision monocular is worth looking into. It is lightweight, compact, and more affordable than binoculars. Night vision monocular works well in small port areas and for surveying the environment around the ship. If none of these options suits you, there is an alternative - a night surveillance video camera. It is fixed at the required height at the best panoramic viewpoint. Data is transmitted via Wi-Fi to the control center. It is extremely convenient. You can control the ship and keep an eye on it at the same time. Among the best offers can be found automatic target tracking on the water, with sound and light signals. Perhaps this option is the most multifunctional, which took all the best qualities from its predecessors. Of course, this affected the price. But the safety of the crew and the ship is worth the investment.
Night vision devices make night navigation safer and easier for the crew. They should be included in your must-have list of equipment for sea travel. This will save the ship from many unplanned troubles that can happen at night.
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