R 22

Rhodes 22



I have been considering a good pair of binoculars and would appreciate some feedback.

Does anyone have experience with built in compass models? They add a lot to the price and I'm curious to know if its an option worth having.

I'd be interested in makes/models to avoid as well as ones to look for. (under the theory that there may not be someone you want to vote for, but there is almost certainly someone you want to vote against)

17 Jan 2002

By all means get the ones with the built in compass if you can afford them. At the Miami boat show I saw a pair which were also self leveling. This is the feature I like most, as sighting on a target in a normally choppy seaway is difficult. The ease of use of the normal binoculars with the built in compass is so much greater than using the hand bearing compass. Unfortunately, my budget only allows for the old fashioned hand bearing compass and a pair of Bushnell binoculars.

Richard F Sheehan
17 Jan 2002

I have the Nikon with the built in compass, their are ok but I rally use the compass, Pratical Sailor had a review a while ago of many types, I think I could dig it up and send you a scan?

17 Jan 2002

I find that it's a bit hard to read the compass while sighting, but maybe it's just me. I have a pair of the Tasco offshore with rubicon lenses and lighted compass. Pamela has a pair of Nikon binoculars with compass (not sure if it has a compass light). Both are fine and I have a problem sighting the compass with both of them. By that, I mean I don't see the compass all the time. But when I concentrate, I can use them effectivly to take a bearing. Not sure if it would be a sure replacement for hand bearing compass or not.

Alex Bell
17 Jan 2002

I am still using a set of Tasco binoculars I bought about 10 years ago. The compass is absolutely worth it. Sometimes I am looking for a bouy a ways off, based on a heading from a chart. Especially with a veering wind at night, the compass makes sure I am looking where I think I am looking. Also, if I see something on shore that is not on the map, it is easier to get a bearing to investigate it with the binocular compass.

Merry Lynn
17 Jan 2002

I've had a pair of Bushnell Banner Navigator 7 X 50 mm marine compass binoculars (Bushnell P/N 12-8759) since 1988. They're rubber armored, nitrogen charged, fogproof, waterproof, & the eye relief is something like 9 mm (Good for eyeglass wearers). The rubber armor is very grippy & has little nonslip ridges cast into it to make it to easier to hold steady. Exit pupil diameter is 7.1 mm. The field of view is rated @ 367 feet at 1000 yards (7 deg). Image quality is very good. The antireflective coatings on the lenses & BAK prisms are about as good as anything on the market. Relative image brightness is rated at 50.4. The overall weight is 42.3 oz. The compass is easily readable & the damping is superb, among the best I've ever used (including Steiner, Nikon, & Fujinon), thus making taking a compass bearing very easy & accurate even from the deck of a small sailboat. The reticle includes a rangefinder. About the only feature these binoculars lack is a nightlight. To take a compass bearing at night, I must hold a small flashlight up to the plastic illumination window on top of the compass module. On the other hand, these binoculars don't require any batteries either. I don't know if these binoculars are still in production by Bushnell. But if they are, you'll find the price to be approximately 60% of the cost of a pair of Steiners or Nikons & a bunch less than a pair of Fujinons. These binoculars have made numerous Great Lakes voyages, 3 Gulf Stream Crossings to the Bahamas, as well as helped dozens of Boy Scouts earn their Bird Watching & Orienteering merit badges. They've been dropped, dunked, stuffed into backpacks, & even urinated on by a 6 point mule deer buck in velvet! They still look & work great. I'll probably pass them on to one of my sons when I die.

Roger Pihlaja
S/V Dynamic Equilbrium
17 Jan 2002

On a small boat don't go with a power greater then 7 or 8. Otherwise there is too much shake. I also like the larger ones. Having some weight is easier to steady. 7X 50 or 8 50. I have to disagree with the feedback you have gotten recommended the built in compass. If money is not a concern then go with it but I would rather have very good optics then only OK optics and a good compass. Part of the reason is I don't plot with a hand held compass much. I either do rough DRs or use my GPS. I don't need to know my position in the middle of the bay. I just need to know I am not too close to rocks or that I am on the right track. If you want to be taking bearings on objects all the time then they are useful, but other wise a rarely used option. Somewhat it depends on your expense navigating. If it's not automatic then you should do it as much as possible but once you have the experience you don't need to be as accuracy because you know when it's important and when it's not. Just my 2 cents based on 4 years as a boatswain mate in the CG and 20 + boating and sailing the coast of Maine in every thing from a 18 foot outboard to a 45 foot sloop. And my brother's Roades is great. I am a great believer in sailing other people's boats. I also like to fix them so I am always welcome.

Ted Scharf
17 Jan 2002

web page developed by Logic Unlimited, Inc.