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Old 30-09-2013, 08:42   #16
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Re: Conning At Night

A good pair of binoculars, especially, stabilized ones, work wonders on a very dark night.

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Old 30-09-2013, 12:18   #17
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Re: Conning At Night

Originally Posted by rtbates View Post
A good pair of binoculars, especially, stabilized ones, work wonders on a very dark night.

Yep, I should have mentioned a good binoc too, ideally at least with good glass and big objectives lenses. Maybe a couple, so multiple spotters are enabled...

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Old 08-10-2013, 14:31   #18
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Originally Posted by SailFastTri View Post
1) come out from behind the glass or isinglass, or whatever it is. Remove it
2) Instruments have a night mode. learn to use it, and learn how to get out of it because once you're in night mode you won't be able to read the screen in normal light
3) Pick your nights. Overcast and new moon = stay at the dock. You pick your weather, why is this different?
This is all excellent advice.

Originally Posted by Bill Lee View Post
I was not prepared to trust my instruments as ... I know my instruments can be off.... This was incredibly unnerving.... The whole thing was unpleasant.... I am not prepared to spend money on new instruments.
You may want to rethink your reluctance to upgrade or service your instrumentation.
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Old 08-10-2013, 14:53   #19
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Re: Conning At Night

'related to the "come out from behind glass" idea, I find a great increase in my ability to distinguish my surroundings my stepping out of the cockpit. I usually stand on my aft cabin looking over my cockpit bimini to speak to Nancie at the helm and nearby, but lower and in the influence of the instrumentation light, to suggest steering adjustments. Also, at critical points entering a narrow passage with unlight markers, I like to use a weaker flashlight instead of a bright spotlight. Sometimes the weaker light will sufficiently reflect a marker, but not overpower your ability to see all else. I also use my radar for the helmsman and positioned where I can reference it too.
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Old 08-10-2013, 15:06   #20
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Re: Conning At Night

Raymarine E series has a feature to dim the night screen. Check me but I think you push the on off button and then there is a bar graph showing the intensity and you can dial it down using the round nob that turns. You can dial it down to a dark blac screen and then dial it up a little to see.
I may catch a lot of flack but I would tend to set way points for my trip down in the day light and use autopilot to steer the route back at night. You still must be very cautious but you can put your attention to sighting. Or you can make a track on the way down and then follow your track. You know you were in safe water making the trip down.
If looking for markers at a great distance, you can use your binoculars and spot light. Shine the light toward where you think the mark is. You will not be able to see the mark with your naked eye but will be able to see the reflective marks and numbers using the binoculars. If you want to get fancy, put your curser on the mark on the chart. It will read the bearing and distance to the marker. Use binocs with a compass and you can look at the same bearing. If you can not identify the mark numbers but it is on the same bearing as the mark on the chart plotter and the appropriate distance you might be more comfortable that it is the mark you are looking for.
You may have to trust your instruments more than you want.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt. It is just my opinion and I am a beginner
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Old 10-10-2013, 04:35   #21
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Re: Conning At Night

I prefer an overcast night as it allows me to more easily see small and unlit buoys with the loom.
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Old 10-10-2013, 07:26   #22
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Re: Conning At Night

I second the thought about letting your night vision catch up with you. Take the time in the dark to allow your eyes to adjust. It takes time to let your eyes adjust. Light discipline on your bridge is essential. I have used the night vision binoculars and they are amazing, what they can show you, if there is very much light at all where you are looking it will render them useless. I use a method of trying to put a light source behind what I am trying to see to give me an idea of what I am looking at. In the dark/fog, it seems like you move farther than you actually do in most cases. Do take your time and do step out of the bridge and look around. Have your courses preplotted and know what your headings will be from point A to point B. You did well to have your guests (crew) helping you spot.
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
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