I didn't buy one for myself. I thought it might be ridiculously expensive. I thought it was probably only worthwhile for the really good guys looking to be even more gooderer. But since returning home I'm not so sure. I've been doing a bit of research online and am beginning to think I should treat myself to this camera. Here are Six Reasons Why Tillerman Needs a Sail Pro Video Camera.
1. I do a lot of training by myself. With this camera I could record my own clumsy attempts at Laser boat-handling and compare it with video of how the experts do the same maneuvers from the Advanced Laser Boat Handling DVD made by my friends in Cabarete, spot the differences, and then work on them.
2. I learned last week that sometimes a video is the only way to convince yourself that you are making mistakes in your boat handling. I thought I was doing some things right, only to be quickly disabused of that notion when Rulo showed me (and all the other students on the clinic) video of exactly what I was doing wrong.
3. According to the Laser Training Center website, this onboard camera package was actually developed by Rulo after he became frustrated with the performance of 26 other different cameras. It certainly sounds as if he has come across most of the potential issues with such cameras and found solutions for them.
4. There is a stern mount that is custom designed to fit the Laser.
5. The examples in the videos (like the one below) certainly suggest that it gives an excellent view of all the actions of the Laser sailor, better than you would even see from a video taken from a coach boat.
6. I could always post a bit of video of my own sailing on the blog one day if I can't think of anything else to write about.
The price is $380. About two thirds of the price of a new class-legal Laser sail. Or, I am somewhat ashamed to admit, only about twice my total tab at the EZE Bar in Cabarete last week.
But is there anything else that I can buy that will cost less than $400 which would help me to improve my Laser sailing as much or more than this camera would?