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Old 05-01-2015, 08:23   #1
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Golf range finder

Hi there,

Somewhere I read about using a cheap golf range-finder to more accurately guess distances between the boat and possible obstacles/other boats. I've done a little reading on them, and I'm a bit sceptical...

Has anybody used them for this purpose (or another)? I'm not talking about GPS rangefinders or the expensive type, just to be clear. The 15-30$ ebay laser type is what I'm looking at...

Cheers!
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:29   #2
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Re: Golf range finder

I have a range finder meant for hunting. Same idea. It works but I haven't really found a lot of use for it on the boat. If you think you would use it, they work.
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Old 05-01-2015, 17:49   #3
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Re: Golf range finder

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Originally Posted by Orchidius View Post
Hi there,

Somewhere I read about using a cheap golf range-finder to more accurately guess distances between the boat and possible obstacles/other boats. I've done a little reading on them, and I'm a bit sceptical...

Has anybody used them for this purpose (or another)? I'm not talking about GPS rangefinders or the expensive type, just to be clear. The 15-30$ ebay laser type is what I'm looking at...

Cheers!
Pretty sure it will not work the way you want.

The max range on the ones I saw were about 900 yards or .44 nm. That 900 yard number is likley based on the use of a reflective surface like a golf pin with reflectors built in.

Besides laser range finders require a steady hand for accuracy, not easy on a boat.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:15   #4
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Re: Golf range finder

Most of the nicer binoculars come with a "range finder" built in. There is a formula provided with the binocs that use vertical hash marks in the viewfinder. It basically says "if you know the lighthouse you are looking at is X tall and it appears to take up Y marks in the viewfinder, you are about Z distance from the object."
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:26   #5
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Re: Golf range finder

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That 900 yard number is likley based on the use of a reflective surface like a golf pin with reflectors built in.
No reflectors needed. It may be difficult to use in a sea way but any solid surface with in its range will acquire a reading. The only things I have found that they won't read through is a glass window (i.e. looking through a window) . But it will read off of a window (i.e. the window is 100 yds away and you are lasing to it.)
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:31   #6
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Re: Golf range finder

When anchoring, we use a rangefinder designed for hunting and it has been invaluable.

Although its range is 1600 yards, it is mainly used to measure distances under 500 yards. My husband uses it at the bow while I have the helm and we find it more useful than the radar.

Also when electronics are off, distances to other boats or land can later be quickly and easily measured.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:51   #7
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Re: Golf range finder

I found its great when PRO for pinging the pin end of the starting line from the committee boat to make sure the line is the proper length for the boats in the race start, but cant see the need for that kind of precision while cruising. As others have said, it isnt easy to use without a stable platform.

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Old 06-01-2015, 23:17   #8
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Re: Golf range finder

A couple of comments about stability affecting the ease of use:

Most of the time the targets you are interested in are huge (land, rocks, other boats), so it is not difficult.

A target like a very small mooring float can sometimes take a few goes to pinpoint if it is a reasonable distance off, as something small like this is harder to hit if the boat is bouncing around.

We purchased ours after good feedback from several cruising friends, so are not alone in finding it very useful.

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Old 07-01-2015, 09:39   #9
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Re: Golf range finder

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
A couple of comments about stability affecting the ease of use:

Most of the time the targets you are interested in are huge (land, rocks, other boats), so it is not difficult.

A target like a very small mooring float can sometimes take a few goes to pinpoint if it is a reasonable distance off, as something small like this is harder to hit if the boat is bouncing around.

We purchased ours after good feedback from several cruising friends, so are not alone in finding it very useful.

SWL
Sounds like you have a higher quality range finder than the $15-$30 one the OP was talking about on eBay. Higher quality optics equals easier to use.
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:50   #10
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Re: Golf range finder

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Sounds like you have a higher quality range finder than the $15-$30 one the OP was talking about on eBay. Higher quality optics equals easier to use.
I too have a very good Leupold I think, couple of hundred dollars at Cabela's, I used it for very long range shooting as that is / was a hobby of mine.
With these things you get what you pay for, the cheap golf ones, are they laser? There are a couple of other ways to determine distance of course even focus can be used to get a guesstimate on distance. Laser brings in a level of accuracy that just isn't possible optically, but a $15 laser rangefinder?

PS, I don't golf, never have understood the point
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:55   #11
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Re: Golf range finder

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PS, I don't golf, never have understood the point
I agree whole heartedly cant stand it.

But golf or "Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden" if you will, is/was a great way for husbands to have an excuse to get away from their spouses for a while and go whack their balls around. Something there wives obvisouly didn't want to be a part of
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Old 29-08-2015, 11:35   #12
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Re: Golf range finder

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
A couple of comments about stability affecting the ease of use:

Most of the time the targets you are interested in are huge (land, rocks, other boats), so it is not difficult.

A target like a very small mooring float can sometimes take a few goes to pinpoint if it is a reasonable distance off, as something small like this is harder to hit if the boat is bouncing around.

We purchased ours after good feedback from several cruising friends, so are not alone in finding it very useful.

SWL
What make/model do you have?
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Old 29-08-2015, 13:56   #13
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Re: Golf range finder

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What make/model do you have?
It is a Leica Rangemaster 1600-B.
There are many less expensive alternatives that I think would also work well.

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