By the Editors of Power & Motoryacht
Cruising after dark, whether you’re finishing an evening jaunt or doing an overnight passage, is always challenging. But thanks to the folks at FLIR, night-vision technology is getting the upper hand. Take their latest handheld thermal-imaging system, the First Mate II (www.flir.com). Because it’s just 7 inches long and weighs only 13 ounces, it can be used by both adults and children and produces an incredibly clear picture, whether in low light, pitch-black darkness, or heavy fog. During a recent sailing trip (gasp! sailboats!), we used one while putting through pea-soup fog in the busy shipping lanes of Portsmouth, Virginia, and it was a huge help. The First Mate is just plain cool, too. Let your kids use it to spot buoys while you transit a channel after dark—in addition to feeling like they’re real crewmembers, they’ll also think they’re part of Seal Team Six.