Laser GoPro Mount Locations

This article also appeared in the Fall 2012 Edition of The Laser Sailor and is now featured here as well.  It was written with help from Kyle Martin.

Sport cameras are a relatively new breed of cameras that are compact, waterproof, durable and can be easily mounted on all kinds of surfaces.  This makes them great for boats and sailing and especially the Laser.  The footage from these cameras is great as a training aid, as a keepsake of your sailing and as a way to share sailing with friends and family – just don’t bore them with 20 minutes of you sailing upwind with nothing happening.  Not only do most of these cameras do video, but they can also be used for time lapse photography either to watch the whole series, or just to pick key photos of maneuvers , scenery or technique.

Disclaimer: While great for training and pleasure sailing, cameras are not legal equipment for racing on a Laser.

There are several different brands of cameras on the market each with their own strengths, weaknesses, price points, features etc.  Kyle and I both use the GoPro Hero2 cameras, but any of these cameras could be mounted in the shots below.

Bow
Pro:
Easy to set and forget, sees a great scene into the boat and all of the activity in the cockpit
Con: Often submerged leaving wet spots on lens, risk of snagging others mainsheet
Tip: Use a tripod mount on the bow eye for the most secure attachment.
How-to Video
GoPro Bow Mount GoPro Bow Mount View
Mast Facing Forward
Tip:
For best results, angle slightly off center to port. This ‘looks’ ahead around a mark or down the line on a start.
Pro:
Shows boats ahead of you
Con:
Boring video if you are in front
How-to:
Go Pro Mast Mount
GoPro Mast Mount GoPro Mast Mount View
Side Mast Facing Aft
Tip: To mount use a roll-cage mount with extra long screws
Pro: Similar scene as the bow, but from a higher elevation.
Con: Only works upwind
GoPro Side Mast Mount GoPro Side Mast Mount View
Masthead
Pro: Wide view shows boats around and position in cockpit
Con: Unsteady in waves, weight aloft
GoPro Masthead Mount GoPro Masthead Mount View
Mid-Mast
Pro: Closer view of cockpit than masthead
Con: Good video one tack, ok video other tack
How-to Video
GoPro Mid-Mast Mount GoPro Mid-Mast Mount View
Side of Boat
Tip: Use a suction mount on the smooth hull surface.
Pro: Interesting angles
Con: more likely to be underwater, greater risk of getting banged against something
GoPro SIde of Boat Mount GoPro Side of Boat Mount View
Chest
Pro: Great shots of hand-over-hand activity in the cockpit, putting the viewer in your seat
Con: easy to obstruct the view with hands or bang camera with tiller extension and hiking out shows all sky
GoPro Chest Mount GoPro Chest Mount View
Head
Pro: Nice point-of-view shots
Con: Scene changes fast as the wearer quickly looks around the boat to sail
GoPro Head Mount GoPro Head Mount View
Boom Facing Starboard
Tip: Wrist mount fits boom perfectly
Pro: Unobstructed rear view downwind
Con: Completely obstructed view on port tack by sail
GoPro Boom Facing Starboard Mount GoPro Boom Facing Starboard Mount View
End of Boom Facing Forward
Tip: Use roll cage mount
Pro: Shows sailor in cockpit and what’s ahead when sailing upwind
GoPro End of Boom Facing Forward Mount GoPro End of Boom Facing Forward Mount View
Stern Facing Forward
Pro: Shows sailor plus what’s ahead
Con: Slight risk of snagging your mainsheet
Pro: Shows sailor in cockpit and what’s ahead when sailing upwind
GoPro Stern Facing Forward Mount GoPro Stern Facing Forward Mount View
Side of Dolly
Pro: Can be used right-side up, or down
GoPro Side of Dolly Mount

Jon Deutsch
Races Lasers, PHRF boats and anything else he can find to race and usually has a video camera running. Check out his YouTube channel.

Kyle Martin
Races Lasers and makes a variety of tips and tricks videos on how to make the most of GoPro Cameras. Check out his tips on his YouTube channel.

Other YouTubers posting Laser footage:
laserinternational, ClaySails, DCSSInstructors, Districttwelvelaser, ericjpetersen1, GRSALaser, jondeusch5, kylemartin101, laserd8, LaserPerformance, LaserTrainingCenter, lightningfleet192, nalsalam, paigesailor, prsalaser, robsuhay, rwbeigel, SailProCameras, sdalin27, syelland100, ussailing2, wjsymes, xdlaser, zorgetbetty, 5FishBoy5, raffak1, GreatDaneLaser, pgihockey13, sailingshack, lasertouring, jonemmettsailing, eshedsailing

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5 comments on “Laser GoPro Mount Locations
  1. Chris Love says:

    Very cool, useful and thorough post! I’ll be using this as a guide the next time I shoot a Laser regatta!

  2. Sombi says:

    What did you use to take the camera to the masthead? Thank you!

  3. Marcus says:

    Thanks for sharing!

    Got a few questions:

    – Have you tried using the wrist mount for the mounting the action camera on the “End of Boom Facing Forward” position before? How did that turn out? Was it secure?

    – For your “End of Boom Facing Forward” mounting position, what size of roll bar mount did you use? (diameter?). Thinking of getting one for the next time I rent a Laser Pico to go sailing.

    – How secure is the suction cup mount (especially for sailing)? Did it fall out often?

    • jon says:

      Marcus – the wrist mount at the end of the boom would likely see the stern quarter upwind, or be looking up in the air or way behind me downwind. For this reason I like this mount closer to where the boom vang hits the boom on Starboard as it gets more of me and the boat in the shot.

      The roll bar mount for the boom is the standard GoPro roll cage mount. For use on the mast, I needed longer screws as what’s provided with the roll cage mount are not long enough to get it around the lower section.

      The suction mount is not secure at all. I’ve only ever used it for practice or very low key races that I could stop and fix it or at least yank it off if I needed.

      After years of using the camera the wrist mount on the boom is what I’ve used 90% of the time I’m sailing.

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