Friday, 19 November 2010

Camera System

There were a few things I quickly discovered about steering when taking to the canal in a hire boat.

· The boat is damned long and you can’t see the bow.

· The bow arrives at the bend long before you can see around it

· You will invariably meet an oncoming boat on a blind bend, bridge corner, or other visually obstructed location.

· For a novice, the thought and actions taken to avoid a collision can be very stressful. And it wasn’t even my boat!

I know that with time we are almost certain to become proficient in manoeuvring the boat. However, between now and then, it’s possible I could place many “dents” in the canal banks.

I’m not adverse to using new technology provided it comes are a cost effective price. So I started considering fitting a bow camera to the boat with a monitor at the helm. A car reversing system was the obvious option. They are getting to be more common and consequentially the cost reduces. They are also 12v DC.

The initial idea was to purchase it in Australia and send it to the UK in the packing case I’d built. The boat would be finished and I therefore decided to opt for a wireless system. All the camera would need was a 12v power supply wire. Further research into reversing systems indicated a wireless system may not be a reliable option. I also discovered cameras are manufactured to a variety of standards. As the cameras were going to be mounted on the bow they would obviously be exposed to the elements. It is also possible they might be hit with water from leaking lock gates.

Cameras have a two digit International Protection (IP) rating. The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts and the second is protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of water. <click here for wiki>

A code of IP66 would mean the camera was dust and waterproof. IP67 means it is dust proof and can be immersed down to 1 metre in water.

By using Google I found a supplier in Australia with the right types of cameras. Then we decided against the packing case option. No room for the camera system in our baggage!

Back to Google and I started looking for a UK based supplier. I was very please when I came across The website was informative and Chris promptly responded to all my queries. We have decided to purchase two cameras. A wide angle lens that will point down at the bow which will enable me to see where it is when mooring or winding the boat, etc.


The second camera will have a narrow angle lens and look forward to give us early warning (I hope) on those blind bends. They are both IP67 rated and will be mounted, along with the horn and headlamp, on a vertical box section post between the bow hatch and the cratch board..


We will have a colour LED/LCD 7” monitor at the stern.


I have yet to finalise how it will be mounted. However it will not be weatherproof so I will need to make it removable.


Anonymous said...

I hope they don't get pinched????


Tom and Jan Jones said...


It's England...... Not Scotland!