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Thread: Rear view mirror for rowing.

  1. #1
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    Default Rear view mirror for rowing.

    I believe I've seen rear view mirrors clamped to the gunwales of rowing craft, but don't know if they are something cobbled together by the owner or factory made.
    Are there factory made ones out there or, at least, plans that I can follow to make my own?
    I came dangerously close to ramming a dock today in my Rushton pulling boat at full speed.
    Thanks for any advice.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    If you happen to wear glasses, those bicyclist mirrors that clip on to the temple of your glasses are highly regarded by those used to them.

    Like most sailors who have stood many night watches, I have great trust in my well developed peripheral vision. I only have to turn my head about 45 degrees one side then the other stroke by stroke to know what's ahead of me and slalom confidently through a crowded anchorage.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Backup cameras show a positive image, a mirror shows a mirror image, if that matters to you.
    ECNALUBMA
    AMBULANCE

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    We use these on the trikes and they are excellent. They are made to mount into the end of a tube, which in this case could be a block of wood on the gunwale with a hole bored in it or similar, and the various bits will swivel in just about any direction as needed to aim them. Decent size as well. You don't have to strain to see the image.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mirrycle-FBA_...ountain+Mirror


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Teach yourself to row facing forwards? in cultures where they habitually row like that they think we are bonkers.
    'C'est la vie' say the old folks it goes to show you never can tell

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    Backup cameras show a positive image, a mirror shows a mirror image, if that matters to you.
    ECNALUBMA
    AMBULANCE
    Some do, some don't - many give the user the choice. Pays to know which kind you're using.
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Chris Cunningham has an article in Small Boats Monthly, August 2017 re: a mirror he installed. It may not meet your aesthetic but it seems quite functional.

    https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/fte-august/

    Jeff

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Took an old VW bus mirror whose end fitted into a bit of 1/2'' ID PVC, some 1/2 dowel in the other end and tucked it into an after rowlock socket in my dory, one that only is used when two up. Simple and works ok, but not reliable enough for an anchorage.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    there are also mirrors that clip to the visor of a cap.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    I used these on my on off road motorcycles and they would work for boating.

    Uses a RAM mount ball.

    https://www.doubletakemirror.com/build/components
    Ric in Richmond

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    I've tried this out some time ago. I used a rear view camera to beu used with cars with campers or trailers hooked on. I mounted the camera at the bow, and connectet it to a (rather big) 7" monitor inside of the boat. This requires a battery for sure, but this is a minor problem.
    The main problem is that monitors of this kind are usually made to be installed in a rather dark place inside of a car. On a boat the monitor is in clear day- and or sunlight (very bright environment). In such an environment you can simply see nothing on it. The contast and the brightness of the monitor are way to low. Even a deep frame to make a shadow around the monitor did not really help to improve this so far that it became usable. So I cannot recommend this solution.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Thanks, all. Some good ideas so far. This is something I'll noodle around with during the dark months of winter.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    I made one that works very well and gets a lot of remarks from other rowers....most of them positive. ;-) Since I occasionally row in waters with snags and strong currents, the mirror has definitely saved my boat a few times -- plus makes me somewhat less of a danger to others on the large TSCA rows.

    Here's my Facebook album - https://www.facebook.com/david.luckh...2dUMscUmgvcckA

    Be sure to get a decently large mirror with some curvature, as that lets you adjust it to see both sides of the bow. I used an add-on truck mirror from Kragen clamped to some bamboo glued over a 1/2" SS threaded rod, seated in a stock oarlock base and held in with galvanized nuts.

    I use it on two of my boats, and the one that has two rowing stations also has two mounts for the mirror.





    Last edited by Thorne; 08-22-2018 at 10:34 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Thorne, I like your idea. Size matters (not always, but in this case for sure). And your stick adresses the need to have the mirror at about eye height to be really useful. Otherwise one is only staring at the gunwale and doesn't see the own "past", this means the stretch already rowed so far. I'm thinking about a mirror for my new rowboat Biber Vajra. As it has a fixed seat and a shifted rigger, to have a constant look into a mirror should be a breeze :-).

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Thorne's idea looks perfect. Both my rowing craft have two rowing stations, so all will be good.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Actually its a "forward view" mirror that you need, make sure when you buy your mirror that it has the correct orientation!

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    Actually its a "forward view" mirror that you need, make sure when you buy your mirror that it has the correct orientation!

    John Welsford
    Yeah... I woke up around 2 a.m after I posted this thread and thought, "You big dummy, it's a forward view mirror not a rear view!!" But I'm too lazy to change the title, plus everyone knew what I meant.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Your rear, boat's forward. Just as when rowing you pull on your right oar which is on the boat's port side to turn starboard . . .

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    I sometimes row and canoe on a small river that is close to my house. It is very windy with lots of snags, dead fall and other boaters, so I really need to keep tabs on what is in front. I tried the round bike mirror that Todd showed, but found it was too small to get a good view forward. My next try is going to be a combination of a Contour helmet camera connected by bluetooth to my iPhone. The camera is in a waterproof case mounted on the breast plate and iPhone on a mount on the rear seat. It did not cost me anything since I already owned all the pieces, and they are just clamped in the boat. On bigger lakes and rivers I won't need it, but the Tualatin is just two miles from my house so it is really handy to get out in the evening. The iPhone X screen is very bright so that may solve one problem with the backup camera concept.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Update on the High Tech solution. The view up or down the river is good, but the camera is too wide angle, and in the Bluetooth mode, the resolution is not high enough. I got a great overview of the river, but could not see the smaller obstructions. I also had the mirror that Tod showed. I think that one on each side, mounted about 12" above the gunnel might do the trick. I need pretty good resolution, since this evening I ran square into an 8" dia. stump that was only about 4" above the water.

    Just to clarify, the Contour camera's resolution in record mode would be fine, but when it is in Bluetooth mode it reduces the resolution to conserve battery and bandwidth. The Bluetooth image is normally only used to set up the camera. A good back up camera would probably work fine, but I think I will go with the low tech 2 mirror solution.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by john welsford View Post
    Actually its a "forward view" mirror that you need, make sure when you buy your mirror that it has the correct orientation!

    John Welsford
    And if you buy a mirror from Australia or New Zealand, it will need a 180 degree pivot attachment to overcome the upside-down view...



    Seriously, though, I encountered an unexpected problem using this mirror on some of the more scenic rivers around here: I kept looking in the mirror instead of looking around and seeing things directly. BEWARE!
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post


    Seriously, though, I encountered an unexpected problem using this mirror on some of the more scenic rivers around here: I kept looking in the mirror instead of looking around and seeing things directly. BEWARE!
    Funny you should mention that. I had that problem with my High Tech solution. I kept looking at the screen instead of the scenery (and I still ran into a solid stump in the river) I'll post a picture of my new mirror mount when I get it finished. It drops into the slot in the gunnel, so it is easy to place where ever I want it. My current version is only about 6" above the gunnel, and it is not high enough. On the next model, I'm going to use a light dowel between the base and the mirror, so I hit something with the mirror it will break the dowel rather than split the gunnel.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    A pair of webcams on the back of your cap, feeding a virtual reality headset. I hear it's just like being there. What could possibly go wrong?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    I don’t know if you have run into this problem up in your neck of the woods where it is cooler, but around here, I found that an iPhone in a waterproof case in the open will overheat and shutdown until it cools to whatever the temp is below the firmware’s shutdown temp. That removes the solution of using the iPhone and Bluetooth forward view mirror option.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arlc View Post
    I don’t know if you have run into this problem up in your neck of the woods where it is cooler, but around here, I found that an iPhone in a waterproof case in the open will overheat and shutdown until it cools to whatever the temp is below the firmware’s shutdown temp. That removes the solution of using the iPhone and Bluetooth forward view mirror option.
    I did not have a problem with my iPhone X, but it is waterproof without a case. I do have an OtterBox bump case on it, but it is not fully enclosed. It ran for a couple of hours with no problem, but the image from my Contour + camera was not good enough to really pick out low stumps etc in the water.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ski-Patroller View Post
    Funny you should mention that. I had that problem with my High Tech solution. I kept looking at the screen instead of the scenery (and I still ran into a solid stump in the river) I'll post a picture of my new mirror mount when I get it finished. It drops into the slot in the gunnel, so it is easy to place where ever I want it. My current version is only about 6" above the gunnel, and it is not high enough. On the next model, I'm going to use a light dowel between the base and the mirror, so I hit something with the mirror it will break the dowel rather than split the gunnel.
    Well the break-a-way function worked perfectly. My port side oar hit a a tree, and when I brought it in, it hit the mirror and snapped the dowel, as well as the little wood block that fitted into the gunnel. I am going to try again. It seems to me that on this particular river, I may need a mirror on both sides. Most places it would not be necessary.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    There's always a cap-mounted option

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illinois Switzer View Post
    There's always a cap-mounted option
    I never was comfortable with the helmet mounted mirrors for cycling but maybe I'll give them another try. I gather there are some designed for rowing that are larger than those for cycling.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    One of the TSCA rowers showed me his front/rear-view mirror setup last weekend, using an old side mirror off a golf cart.

    From my experience here are the critical factors for a gunwale-mounted mirror:

    1. Metal rod through an oarlock base or something similarly well-anchored.
    2. At least 1' in height, possibly taller -- you need to see around your body.
    3. Curved mirror -- you need to see both sides of the boat, or as much as possible.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Right on cue, Small Boats Monthly has the solution - wireless cameras!:

    https://smallboatsmonthly.com/article/cruz/


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    Talk about taking a sledgehammer to kill a fly...................

    Ono forum member has a tag line that applies here, I don’t remember who it is but I give full attribution:
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  32. #32
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    Default

    Radar could be the answer.


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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Rear view mirror for rowing.

    This thread has jumped the shark.

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