NVD's are wonderful. After flying with them extensively in a tactical aircraft (USN), I've always wanted a pair for sailing. And camping. And sneaking up on my friends. However, I haven't made the purchase
1) They're not cheap
. If you're going to get a night vision device, you probably want 2nd Generation or better (resolution and acuity, field of vision, etc). These are definitely not cheap.
2) NVDs are degraded by nearby non-compatible lighting
, like your compass
lights, and nearby wharfs, streetlights, fishing
boats, etc. Such lights will "blossom" in your viewer, reduce your gains, etc. You can minimize "light pollution" on your own boat, but if you sail in the vicinity of bright cultural lighting
this could be a problem.
3) Whether using "goggles" strapped to your head
or handheld binoculars/ monoscope, it could be tricky to keep your NVDs safe in a sailboat cockpit
, especially with wind
, waves, and water
Putting points 1-3 together, I would take a hard look at your intended use. Other boats are lit at night, as are many government
buoys, and the unlit buoys tend to stay in predictable places and can be spotted with a flashlight. You can navigate yourself into an anchorage with a chartplotter
Sure, I would love to own a set of goggles and head
strap for the "WOW" factor of seeing the world at night, and if I made a habit of sailing in and out of remote
, unmarked anchorages
, at night, then I would definitely consider it. For now I see them as a luxury item.
Anyone see it differently?