Boating Sunglasses: Why You Need Glasses Out At Sea


Boating has become one of the most prominent recreational activities across America. According to statistics from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 415,000 first-time boat buyers entered the market in 2020, with the market valued at $23.6 billion in 2022. This increase in demand has boosted the number of jobs in the boating industry, which has only added to the number of people at sea.

While boating and other related activities can be fun, it comes with its own set of challenges. With the sun beating down on the boat and reflecting on the waves, the environment can be harsh on the eyes. For this reason, boaters need to get sunglasses that protect their eyes. In this article, we visit some reasons why you need glasses out at sea.

Reduce sun glare

The sun’s rays reflect on the ocean waves, leading to the familiar glitter on the sea. However, this reflection is especially hard on people with weakened eye conditions, who may have difficulty tolerating bright lights. While regular sunglasses can reduce the intensity of the sun’s glare, polarized sunglasses do a better job of reducing reflected light from reaching the eyes through a lower light transmission.

Most manufacturers can produce polarized lenses, and if you’re on a luxury yacht you’ll want to look good as well as stay safe. One of the best-known brands of shaded eyewear is Oakley sunglasses, worn by celebrities and athletes across the globe. Even these stylish and contemporary products offer a selection that are polarized and thus allow you to see better under the sun’s glare, but can also be supplied with their Prizm deep water lenses technology, perfect for watersports, boating, and even fishing. Models like Split Shot and Flak can be made with blue mirrors, with a 10% light transmission optimal for open, reflective water.

Read also: Best Weather Forecasts Apps For Sailing: Our Review

Protection from UV rays

When you’re out on the sea during the day, you will usually be under the sun. Most people understand that ultraviolet (UV) exposure can damage the skin, but many underestimate how the human eye can be harmed. According to the Translational Research in Anatomy longwave UVA and mediumwave UVB are especially harmful to the cornea, with the latter capable of penetrating the cornea epithelial layer. Chronic exposure can lead to damage causing minor conditions like pterygium to serious photokeratitis that can cause immense pain.

To protect your eyes from UV, protective eyewear firm Wiley X designs glasses with UVA and UVB 100% protection, which best suits boaters and anglers. Their adult sunglasses meet the ANSI Z87.1 High Velocity and High Mass Impact Safety Standards, ensuring cutting-edge products made for durability and performance. If you’re looking for boating sunglasses with UV protection, note that not all polarized lenses have UV light unless “UV400” or 100% UV protection” is indicated.

Improve water activity experience

Most of the time, people engaging in water activities stay under the sun for extended periods. They are exposed to bright light, wind, and water, causing eye strain and making the experience less pleasant. To improve your boating adventures, eye protection is a must. Many boating glasses have a hydrophobic coating, weakening the surface tension and allowing excess water to drain. The glasses also block debris and prevent wind from drying out your eyes.

One of the major risks of sailing with sunglasses is accidentally losing them in the sea. If you’re traveling across relatively calm waters, floating sunglasses can be a great option as they don’t sink and can easily be picked up, particularly those with colorful and highly visible frames. Since weather conditions can change at sea easily, getting boating sunglasses with interchangeable lenses to suit lighting conditions is also helpful. With this, you have the bonus of looking fashionable.

For people regularly at sea, it’s best to invest in quality sunglasses. Not only can it boost visibility and improve your experience on the water, but it can also protect you from eye strain and long-term harm.

If you enjoyed this guide to sunglasses for boating, you might also find our article titled ‘Sailing Packing List: How to Pack for a Yacht Trip?‘ some use ahead of your next trip.