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FLIR Systems Navigator II Thermal Camera

Old 05-03-2008, 10:08 PM
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Default FLIR Systems Navigator II Thermal Camera

Does anyone have any information or opinion they'd like to share on the FLIR Navigator II camera? Has anyone used one? What do you think about the product's reliability? Is it worth installing to aid in night navigation? It's a lot to invest and I want to make sure they're worth it and that the product lasts.
Old 05-04-2008, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: FLIR Systems Navigator II Thermal Camera

It's way too pricey for a primarily recreational-fishing-oriented discusion board to have much experience with.
Old 05-04-2008, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: FLIR Systems Navigator II Thermal Camera

I have the Flir night vision. Don't know if its the Nav I or II. Its amazing at night you can see something floating in front of you as well as markers, bridges, other boats, etc.. Expensive, but sure makes you feel better looking at the screen and seeing whats in front of you.
Old 05-04-2008, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: FLIR Systems Navigator II Thermal Camera

I have someone interested in one as well, just waiting for the boat to be delivered and then install for a real report
Old 12-21-2009, 06:08 PM
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the unit is topheavy, and is useless after the tilt gearing strips.
out of 30 units i have had to remove and replace 12.
7 with pan tilt probs 2 with video/control problems 3 with all of the above.
removing the tilt function. would be a vast improvement.
Old 12-21-2009, 08:29 PM
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The safety factor goes way up with the installation of a night vision system. I've had numerous reports from clients who say it was one of the best decisions they made. It is expensive but if compared to "the price" of being in the water or maybe just compared to the deductible of your insurance, it may not seem too expensive.
Old 12-22-2009, 04:57 AM
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What deductible? Do insurers actually give you a discount for having one?

On edit, nevermind. I see what you are saying, if you hit something your deductible will come out of pocket....
Old 12-22-2009, 05:06 AM
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I have the fixed mount unit, and I like it - so far trouble free. For traveling around at night it is a good addition to my chartplotters and GPS - I always use it on a 50/50 split screen with my radar on overlay mode.
The pan & tilt has advantages, but I really only care about seeing things ahead of me and have it set up so it see the water close to the boat at off-plane speeds and as a result, about 50' away while on plane; I just couldn't see the extra $3,500 for the pan/tilt.
Old 12-22-2009, 08:13 PM
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li32, where did you get yours from?
Old 12-23-2009, 05:42 AM
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I bought a reconditioned one after talking to Jim from BOE last Spring. The list is $5k for the fixed unit, retail is about $4,500 and I think I paid $3,400 for the FLIR reconditioned unit with a full warranty.
Old 12-23-2009, 08:29 AM
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Well, maybe if that new job and salary bump comes through..... But there are still a few expensive items ahead of it.

Now if they could come out with a fixed mount version of the first mate..... Maybe just the camera and power/video/control cable in a waterproof housing and leave all the other controls in software for PC control (no joystick panel). Leave out the memory slot, buttons, handle, etc.

Bring the price in around $2k and it could be a good seller.
Old 12-23-2009, 03:25 PM
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the deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance company pays anything --- typically 2% of the insured value ie; if you are insured for 300k your 2% deductible is $6000. if you hit something that you might have seen with the FLIR it WILL cost you at least $6000. in this instance

MOST importantly though if you have the displeasure of having a crew member fall overboard at night OR day their recovery will be drastically increased with a FLIR on board
Old 12-23-2009, 03:50 PM
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flir does have exposed core lenses which can lead to scratching of the lens.
Old 01-24-2010, 08:51 AM
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I know the FLIR units do a wonderful job identifying buoys, boats, bridges, all at slow speed in the dark.
My question is has anyone used one of the fixed units at a running or cruising speed in the dark? Someone had suggested that without the higher priced "stabilized" units, the picture would be rather erratic as you work yourself offshore? Especially true if installed on a smaller boat.
Old 01-24-2010, 09:07 AM
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i can see it taking 'the edge' off at night, but too much money and performance issues for me.
Old 01-24-2010, 09:38 AM
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if your running offshore at night at 45-50 cruise. the fixed mount navigator will be steadier. we have 4navigators in domrep that have given us no problems for almost 3 years. color is nice but black and white works just the same and no 3"x7" control panel to mount somewhere on your dash.
Old 01-24-2010, 11:33 AM
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I have been using the Navigator II on my 38' center console for two years. I use it for slow speed navigation from my lagoon, through the ICW, and out to the ocean, as well as for running offshore at planing speeds.

When running offshore I usually have the FLIR screen up, full screen, on a display in front of me, and the radar and chart plotter in split screen mode on a display to the right of me. Running with the FLIR is so nice that I keep my eyes on it more than on the radar or plotter. FLIR gives me much better awareness of what is out in front of me than radar does for distances less than 1/2 mile. Of course large objects, like boats and ships, can be seen on FLIR farther away than that.

How well I can see on the FLIR depends on sea conditions. In calm or moderate seas, even at high speeds, the FLIR display does not bounce around too much and provides a good view out to quite a distance. But just like in the daytime, depending on how fast you are going (>30kts), you may or may not pick up an object floating on the surface (like a log) in time to steer around it. But you can easily pick up objects rising out of the water (like buoys, small boats, etc.).

In my experience, if seas are so rough that the FLIR image is bouncing around too much, it is likely you will be slowing down anyway as you and your crew will be bouncing around too much. Rough seas significantly reduce the distance at which you will pick up objects floating on or just under the surface, but you can still easily pick out larger objects in front of you.

FLIR really helps when we pull up to find a fleet of boats already anchored up for tuna chunking. It makes it easier to navigate around the boats, their lines, and their anchor lines. We can get through to just the right spot without screwing anybody up.

While FLIR is expensive, I find it significantly reduces my stress level when running at night, both in the back and out in the ocean. I wind up using my radar for long range situational awareness, but I definitely use FLIR as my main nighttime navigation tool. I have never had to use the FLIR in a MOB situation but I can see where it could make a big difference.

Knock on wood, I have not had issues with the tilt gears mentioned above.
Old 01-24-2010, 11:54 AM
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I am the captain of a 60' motor yacht and the owner just added a FLIR Navigator II with full pan and tilt two weeks ago. It is linked to one of two, Raymarine G150 screens. In the 1x time I have used it...I was pretty impressed, but regular use over the course of several months will be the key indicator.

One thing I noticed is that if you are not looking at the screen straight on...the resolution of the nightvision/ thermal-returns is less crisp. This was a little disappointing to me because I am pretty tall, and I am always looking down at the instruments on the helm and not head on.
Old 01-24-2010, 03:29 PM
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why not get a gen 3 or 4 Night Vision scope that sits on your head like the military has?

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