Best marine night vision equipment for 2019

Like just about everything else electronic on boats, night vision equipment has come a long way in performance and user friendliness. Being able to see clearly after dark has widened the operating window and eased anxiety for a lot of boaters, especially when entering an unfamiliar harbor. Thermal imagers have become an essential tool for many.

Below are five night vision systems that score high marks in several categories, from image clarity and stabilization to automatic scanning of objects in the water. They are part of an exercise MEJ does every year in our Buyers’ Guide. It works like this: We ask manufacturers to identify the one model they produce in a particular category that they consider to be their Best & Brightest—not necessarily the most technically advanced or newest but rather the one they rate highest in the product line for one reason or another. Could be the functions and features it offers, or maybe it breaks new ground in maximizing effectiveness or utility, or maybe it’s the most popular as measured by sales to boaters.
The Best & Brightest list includes 16 categories of electronics, from autopilots and fishfinders to radar and satellite TV. Last week we told you about the pick of the litter in electronic charts. Next week we’ll tell you about VHFs.


The M500 is the ultimate expression of FLIR’s night and day imaging technology on the water.  Fitted with a cryogenically cooled mid-wave infrared neutrino core and a 14X optical zoom, the M500 delivers unsurpassed detection of long-range detection of targets large and small.  M500 also packs a synchronized color daylight and lowlight camera with 30x zoom.  An LED spot-beam target illuminator rounds out its three-pack of payloads.  The entire system is gyro stabilized for smooth viewing in rough seas, and to enable full use of its enhanced long-range optics. M500 is engineered for first responders, security vessels, commercial ships and superyachts desiring the very best technology available.  It can be controlled via joystick or linked up with leading MFDs from Raymarine, Furuno, Garmin and Simrad.  

The ComNav V7 Thermal Night Vision Camera with multi-axis gyro stabilization and high-sensitive quad payload is designed for situational awareness such as surveillance, navigation, security and search and rescue applications in extreme low-light environments. Furthermore, it is an effective tool for ice and iceberg detection. Thermal imaging technology allows the capture of faint image details in challenging light conditions, as well as being able to "see” through smoke and fog. Digital Pattern Enhancement (DPE) allows for sharper, crystal-clear, high-resolution images. A three-axis joystick control remote unit helps command the V7 with intuitive ease. A two-year warranty is standard, with an optional one-year extension if registered.
The GOST Watch HD H20 XVR next-generation all-in-one video surveillance system is designed to remotely stream and record thermal and IR-illuminated camera recordings in real time. Designed for law enforcement and fire boats, the GOST WATCH HD H20 XVR is enclosed in a fiberglass case that offers IP67 waterproof and impact-resistant protection and also makes installation simple. Within the case is a high-speed 4G LTE data communicator that can stream up to eight analog or IP 1080P cameras to the newly released GOST Watch HD XVR app. The built-in expanded 4 TB hard drive records and stores up to 90 days of footage per camera. The XVR is compatible with FLIR AX8, M232, M400 and M500 cameras.

Raymarine ClearCruise/FLIR M232

The combination of the FLIR M232 thermal camera and Raymarine Axiom series MFDs make for a powerful nighttime navigation system.  When integrated together the pair’s ClearCruise intelligent thermal analytics technology offer boaters an entirely new level of awareness and safety. Like an extra set of eyes, the M232 will automatically scan for objects in the water and Axiom will notify you about them with both visible and audible alerts. When combined with the AR200 Augmented Reality sensor, the M232 can also display live data overlays identifying navigation aids, AIS contacts and navigation points. The AR overlay is stabilized and synchronized with the M232’s pan, tilt and zoom capabilities.

Adventure doesn’t need to stop when the sun goes down. Bring night to life with the world’s first water-resistant day/night camera. Navigate waterways with full color night vision. Whether it’s a simple boating excursion or sailors manning the rails of one deck in a fleet, piloting waterways can be challenging. The water-resistant Aurora was constructed for coastal environmental conditions, providing true night vision to enhance navigation and fleet management capabilities at any hour. With mounting, GPS, and remote capabilities, Aurora allows sailors and captains alike to keep track of fleets and water traffic, even from below deck.

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Laurie Seibert:(2/16/2017 2:00:20 AM) "Thanks EV Collier for sharing this informative blog. It is important to know the causes of EMI filters. We use these parts in our daily life in the electronic products so we should know that what are the causes are cures of EMI Filters.

Great job and keep updating!

Laurie Seibert"
Yes:(2/10/2017 7:22:40 AM) "EMI/RFI filter causes and cure. There are very few people who share such information with everyone. I was looking to read such informative blog!

Great job!

Lisa Wilson
hugo:(1/30/2016 2:00:32 AM) "Why is no integrated ais transceiver available? Only recivers.


Each AIS system consists of one VHF transmitter, two VHF TDMA receivers, one VHF DSC receiver, and standard marine electronic communications links (IEC 61162/NMEA 0183) to shipboard display and sensor systems (AIS Schematic). Position and timing information is normally derived from an integral or external global navigation satellite system (e.g. GPS) receiver, including a medium frequency differential GNSS receiver for precise position in coastal and inland waters. Other information broadcast by the AIS, if available, is electronically obtained from shipboard equipment through standard marine data connections. Heading information and course and speed over ground would normally be provided by all AIS-equipped ships. Other information, such as rate of turn, angle of heel, pitch and roll, and destination and ETA could also be provided. Check out:"
Islander Sailboat Info:(12/4/2015 9:49:32 AM) "Great post!! This is the missing introduction I've been looking for. Thank you for taking a complicated subject and making it very easy to understand." 11:16:16 PM) "Excellent posting! thanks a lot for sharing this information.
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