This is the First Mate, Raymarine’s handheld
thermal imaging camera by FLIR.
differences and then present them as an
image. You need no visible light to still
produce a picture.
There are also low-light night vision
cameras. This special circuitry greatly
enhances the amount of visible light to
create an image. Such night vision cam-
eras are useful in darkness, but in a white
wall of fog in daytime, you still see noth-
ing but white. With thermal imaging, you
can discern other vessels and
channel markers very clearly.
Something with a strong ther-
mal signature like a man over-
board in the water, would be
easy to spot.
$20,000. At first, that may sound like a
lot but we’ve seen 40-foot express cruisers
with transom lifts that cost $20,000; just
to keep this in perspective.
And, the big units are simply amazing. You can have what appears to be a
black and white photograph in pitch
darkness. With the press of a button you
can introduce various colour palettes to
help you to bring out more detail.
Display the images on your helm, compare them to your radar sweep and also
to your charts.
With this wealth of navigation information available in darkness or fog, you
can really gain confidence to extend your
time on the water. Soon you could be saying, ‘Let there be dark!’