Banque Populaire V  


Get the most from your thermal camera 


Raymarine ambassador Brian Thomson sees the benefits of thermal cameras


I used the Raymarine Handheld InfraRed camera on board the maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, for our round the world record attempt last winter. We sailed 14,000 miles non-stop from the English Channel to the Southern Ocean and back.

We took the equipment specifically to look for icebergs and growlers at night as we passed through the Southern Ocean at speeds of up to 45 knots. The ice would show up as significantly colder than the 4 degree C seawater.


An unexpected plus was the search and rescue benefit, if needed the camera would be very effective in the event of a man overboard incident, as the target would be much warmer than the seawater - definitely a big help in a potential rescue.

Handheld thermal camera(1) 


I found the image quality in the pitch dark was astounding, and even individual wave shapes could be distinguished by their heat signature. It was just incredible sensitivity - I had no idea that was possible! Watching crewmen over 100 foot away working on the deck was as clear as daylight, and even people's reflections in mirrors could be seen in zero visible light.

In our initial night testing undertaken in harbours, the buoys and land features would show up as if it were dusk. These thermal night vision cameras are undoubtedly an aide to night voyages. I found this camera absolutely superb, and for the specific requirements of a Round the World Record it could be critical for safe navigation in ice avoidance and man overboard situations.