With the sea being so unpredictable, there is nothing as important as having accurate information you can trust. When sailing larger boats, instruments are extremely useful in observing conditions in addition to your natural senses. However, sailing instruments do not replace a sailor’s natural instincts, they simply enhance them. Instrumentation should be highly visible and easy to access like our main three - marine binoculars, plotting instruments and sextants.

Marine Binoculars
Optimising vision, binoculars are one of the most important instruments for use on the water. They are required for clarity, brightness and comfort of use which are all essential for accuracy at sea. A point to consider is whether you want waterproof or non-waterproof binoculars to support your needs. The difference is that most waterproof binoculars have an individual-eye focussing system, whereas non-waterproof binoculars usually have a central focus wheel with a separate right eye adjustment to correct for uneven eyesight. Both have their advantages, but because of the environment, moisture or spray is likely to get into any binocular that is not completely sealed. The most common fault on all binoculars will be the movement of the prisms causing double vision or eye strain which can only happen when they have been knocked. You should consider purchasing a much better optical binocular that is well protected in order to give you long-term good service.

Plotting Instruments
These tools are a traditional way of measuring distances, determining time and direction and transferring coordinates. For efficient marine navigation, you need instruments that are precise and reliable. From protractors to parallel rulers, to navigation triangles to speed-time-distance calculators, navigational items have been consistently dependable for years.

Almost an iconic instrument of charting, the sextant is an instrument used to measure the angle between any two visible objects. Common uses include sighting the sun and sighting the Polaris star at night to find one’s latitude. A sextant can also be used to measure the lunar distance between the moon and another celestial object in order to determine Greenwich time. With so many benefits, these tools are essential in more ways than one. The sextant is a quality instrument that allows you to take a sight with excellent precision for an invaluable back-up to navigation.


Without sailing instruments, it is impossible to know your exact heading and direction without certain tools or pieces of technology. The equipment you have on board will make the difference between a great journey and a terrible one. We hope this guide has helped you with some of our essential sailing instruments we have on offer. Got any further advice on these tools? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Post By Ruby Lovell