Horizon True Camera Mounts Level Your
They are a great training tool! Attach It To Your Stern Pulpit
By Thom Burns
One of my friends alerted me that Jeff Mootz had developed a really cool camera mount which fit on the stern rail and dampened the video while sailing or racing. Jeff sails an S-2 7.9 and is moored right across the dock from me at Wayzata Yacht Club.
We got together at the Minneapolis Boat Show. We took two units to the Caribbean to test them on bigger sailboats while we were conducting sail training, fun vacation sails and sail and dive adventures. We used them on a Jeanneau 45.2, Beneteau 42, an Athena 38 Catamaran and a Beneteau 505. In each and every case, we were thrilled with the results.
In sail training just as in racing, reviewing crew and skipper movements on digital video is a critical feedback mechanism for improvement. The camera mounted on the Horizon True mount proved to be a substantial addition to instructor feedback alone. It was easy to point out small changes which could make maneuvers much better. Often the instructor is focused on one trouble spot which is probably good but there are several other items which could be mentioned as well. The camera often catches all or at least most of the crew and skipper actions. Using the camera also gave us many laughs and indelible sea stories.
The Horizon True camera mounts came to Jeff as an inspiration from watching the Americas Cup boats! Seeing the skills of the sailors as they rounded marks, set the spinnaker, and drove up wind close hauled was not only fun to watch but also allowed for the opportunity to review the race and improve his skills!
The racing sailor and the cruising crew gain the same advantage from the Horizon True camera mounts as the very expensive video mounts used on the America’s Cup boats at a fraction of the cost. Just add your video camera to the mount and go.
Horizon True camera mounts maintain the horizon as the boat rocks side-to-side giving a realistic presentation when viewing the video. This is very important, as it is more comfortable for the viewer watching and also aids in analyzing "what went wrong in that broach" for example. If your camera records audio as well, the combination presents a golden opportunity to sequence events and hear commands which may be confusing folks for example.
We tested both models that are currently available: The counterbalanced model with hydraulic dampening is the ideal camera mount for all conditions! The hydraulic dampener will handle heavy air and waves without swinging out of control...makes for exciting video! The newest pendulum model is ideal in most conditions with less than 2-foot seas and 20-knot winds. The pendulum model is adjustable on both ends to allow for multiple positioning possibilities. We used the pendulum model in much bigger seas, about four feet and it worked fine.
Horizon True Camera mounts are currently in use on many one design boats such as J-24, S-2 7.9, J-105, Mumm 30, Farr 40, to mention a few. We are planning to use them more on our big boat training classes in order to give better feedback. These are really fine pieces of equipment that dramatically help see the exciting events on your boat from a totally different perspective.
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Captain Thom Burns publishes Northern Breezes and Sailing Breezes magazines.