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SIONYX Nightwave Camera: Don't Be Afraid To Boat At Night

A new ultra-low-light marine digital camera system can help boaters navigate after sunset — without the thermal imaging price tag.

Boaters in a small powerboat on the water at dusk

Dayboaters love to squeeze the most out of a blue-sky day, but plans to be "back at the dock by dark" don't always pan out. Whether or not you plan to do some night boating, the Nightwave camera system from SIONYX is worth a look. Based on what we saw at a sunset showcase of the technology at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in October, the brand's proprietary Black Silicon BSI CMOS sensor makes night as clear as day.

Product photo, SIONYX Nightwave ultra-low-light marine digital camera system

"This technology provides clear color images in near-total darkness and is simple to install and operate," says global product manager Gio Lepore. "Nightwave allows mariners to navigate safely by easily spotting hazards and debris in moonless starlight without additional illumination, maximizing time on the water."

See for yourself in this promotional video from SIONYX.

Nightwave Product Overview

Unlike night-vision systems that rely on thermal imaging that picks up body heat (FLIR is the leading brand), digital night-vision cameras use incoming ambient light to enhance optics of the entire frame. Nightwave allows mariners to see well beyond human eyesight and detect a man-sized object at nearly 500 feet. A wide field of view increases situational awareness to spot unexpected obstacles, debris, markers, and vessels. Whereas FLIR'S Night Vision M232 thermal camera costs upwards of $3,500, the Nightwave system starts at $1,595.

Nightwave is IP67 waterproof and shock-rated, and easily integrates with all major brand MFDs via the analog video output. The Nightwave app enables monitoring and control from a smart device.

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Rich Armstrong

Senior Editor, BoatUS Magazine

A journalist by training, BoatUS Magazine Senior Editor Rich Armstrong has worked in TV news, and at several newspapers, then spent 18 years as a top editor at other boating publications. He’s built a stellar reputation in the marine industry as one of the most thorough reporters in our business. At BoatUS Magazine, Rich handles everything from boat and product innovation and late-breaking news, to compelling feature stories, boat reviews, and features on people and places. The New Jersey shore and lakes of lower New York defined Rich's childhood. But when he bought a 21-foot Four Winns deck boat and introduced his young family to the Connecticut River, his love for the world of boats flourished from there.