FLIR Ocean Scout TK

One of the lightest and most affordable thermal cameras to date. This ultra compact thermal imager tips the scales at 170g and can extend your vision afloat during day or night passages.

It creates images of heat to pick out obstacles, boats, buoys and people in the water, boasts a 640×480 colour display and is small enough to keep in your pocket.

In an emergency, a thermal imaging camera can greatly speed up a rescue but for most recreational boaters, thermal imagers have proved prohibitively expensive. The Ocean Scout’s relatively affordable price point combined with its high-quality performance and reliability ensured this mini unit was firmly in the MBY Cool 50’s sights.

Perhaps its most obvious use will be in emergencies. The Ocean Scout will detect the body heat of anyone in the water and could prove a life-saving piece of kit during a man overboard emergency. Day-to- day, it  can also be used to identify issues in unknown cruising grounds and detect vessels, watercraft, buoys, channel markers, obstacles and jetties.

FLIR Ocean Scout TK

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The Ocean Scout’s microbolometer (the heat sensor) is a relatively low 160×120 (hence the affordable price tag) but the image is digitally enhanced to produce a crisper result than you’d normally expect from this specification. On test it was easy to pick out rocks, buoys, boats and people in the water at ranges up to 120m.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery is good for five hours’ operation and the unit can store up to 1,000 thermal snapshots and record thermal video. As a thermal imager, the Ocean Scout TK creates images based on heat, not visible light so it gives increased visibility in all light conditions – from pitch black to glaring sunshine. The kit comes with a USB cable and wrist strap as standard.

Price: £495


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