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Camera as forward lookout

Posted: Fri May 10, 2019 1:54 pm
by Tking58
Many chartplotters these days support displaying video from onboard cameras. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on the effectiveness of using a forward looking camera on top of the mast to enable the person at the helm to see what's under the water in front of the boat?

It could be very handy when, for example, entering anchorages or manoeuvering in reef areas, especially short-handed. But would it work well enough to be a satisfactory substitute for a pair of eyeballs up front?

Obviously it wouldn't work if the water was too murky, but a lookout on the bow may not be much use in those conditions either.

Forward looking sonar is another option, but cost puts it in another ballpark from a camera on the mast.

Re: Camera as forward lookout

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 2:42 pm
by Darren
Keeping the lens clean would be a problem. It would become crusted in salt pretty quickly I think (based on how little it takes to mess the reversing camera in my car)

Re: Camera as forward lookout

Posted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:21 pm
by mySerenity
Have one facing down the anchor chain below the anchor roller. Allows single helm operation with anchor retrieval from the 'Helm position'. Given that the anchor winch should only be used to retrieve the chain and anchor, not pull the yacht forward at the same time as anchor retrieval (unless you have cash to replace the anchor winch every few years).