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VOL. 8 NO. 10
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Boating at night

6 tips for better night vision

Boating at night

As we get older, our ability to see at night deteriorates. While we may not be able to improve our night vision, we can take precautions to operate a boat safely at night.

Keep your windshield clean. If you can see your windshield as opposed to seeing through it, it needs cleaning. Salt spray is a notorious windshield fouler. If necessary, stop the boat and clean it.

Wear a life jacket with an attached strobe light and whistle. A person in the water is a lot harder to see than a navigation light.

Wear sunglasses until the sun gets lower in the sky during late afternoon. Normally, your eyes take a half hour to achieve maximum night vision, but a few hours of bright sunlight can delay this for hours.

At night, look slightly to the side of an object to see it. Using averted vision in darkness helps your eyes see the object better than looking directly at it.

Cover one eye when you approach a dock or lighted area. According to Car and Travel, the AAA magazine, truckers sometimes do this when gassing up at night to preserve their night vision in one eye.

Use red instrument lights. Your eyes are less sensitive to red than any other component of visible light. In my cabin, I have the choice of a white or red overhead light; the red light will give enough visibility to locate what I want but not take away my night vision.
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