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Anybody use night vision goggles on boat?

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Old 06-15-2005, 12:42 PM
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Default Anybody use night vision goggles on boat?

There have been times when I would have loved some kind of night vision ability. Has anyone used them in their boat?
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Anybody use night vision goggles on boat?

I havent while boating, but i did use them to scout elk before the hunt. I thought they sucked. could see maybe 30 ft, and after that it was a blur. then again, maybe there are better ones out there.
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Old 06-15-2005, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Anybody use night vision goggles on boat?

Their great if you can turn all your lights off.I have a pair of night vision binocs and their great to scan the horizon every once in a while.
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Old 06-15-2005, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Anybody use night vision goggles on boat?

It takes training/practice to do it well, but it can be done.

When I was in the Marine Corps down in Gitmo, we had a "Rigid Raider" a 17-18' boston whaler with twin 90's on it. We would patrol the bays & Guantanamo river with it some during the day, but do a fair amount at night as well. Pretty harrowing running 40 or so down a winding river fully blacked out, but it can be done. One benefit we had was the complete lack of real civilization or traffic to deal with, pretty much if you hit something, you should have seen it coming.

Night vision is not created equal though. We were using AN/PVS 7B's which are a monocular type and they worked pretty well. We used to also do all of our night driving with them as well, without too many problems. As far as full throttle speeds with a powerboat, I don't know...

You do lose depth perception while using them and that can be a factor with waves, other boats, etc. Bright lights, from airports, lighthouses, other boats will also "blind" you with the washout of light through the NVG's.

Hope this helps,

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Old 06-16-2005, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: Anybody use night vision goggles on boat?

Andy is right. They are great, but not all night vision goggles are created equal, meaning, what we the public have access to is not the same as the military versions, and even they vary in technology. My wife works for a defense contractor, which makes the technology installed in these toys. She has been able to sign out a military version for the weekend, and we have used them for just that reason ,just to see how good they work, and I can tell you its awsome what our boys have availible to them, depending which models they have at their disposal. I wouldnt hesitate to drive a car, or boat, all night, without lights. Visibility was as good as the naked eye in the daytime. Just in various shades of green, like and old black and white tv. But, what the public can purchase is much earlier technology, and a much grainier view, making it more difficult . Wait a while, they are getting better.
P.S God Bless our Troops !!
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Old 06-16-2005, 11:50 AM
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Cool Re: Anybody use night vision goggles on boat?

I ran boats for a federal law enforcement agency in the Caribbean for several years. We had access to both infrared and passive night vision devices. I'd highly suggest that the actual operator not where any goggles because once you take them off you've lost your night vision. A persons night vision takes about 20 to 45 minutes to readjust. We would have one of the crew members wearing goggles or viewing the FLIR assist the operator as lookouts. FLIR operates on available radiated heat from a source. Passive night vision devices amplify the available ambient light like from the moon, stars or city back drop. You'd be nearly blinded by white out running near coastal from city lights or even your running lights. They work well in moonless nights away from most light sources. On moonlight nights you can actually see better with binos. FLIR is great but cost prohibitive for most recreational boaters. We had Raytheon Palm IR's which cost about ten grand each and mast mounted units for about 20K. Remember the USCG COLREGS dictate that a proper lookout be posted at all times and your speed is regulated by your ability to avoid a collison. Good question though.

Last edited by Ing; 06-16-2005 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 06-16-2005, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Anybody use night vision goggles on boat?

Thanks for the info guys. I will probably look into some night binoculars or monocular to put on my xmas list.

Good point about night vision. I have 2 x 1 mil candle spots on board which I use. I only boat on or close to full moon, but even then 1 cloud can make big difference. Spot lights reflect so much light that you have to keep using them due to loss of night vision.

Hard to see that unlit 10 foot jonboat at best of times. I do believe in minimum planning speed for night time running BTW.
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