[ Scene from a projector movie night on the water in Richardson, TX ]
There’s a traditional home theater – the kind that looks like a ‘real’ Cineplex down to the popcorn maker. And then there’s progressive home theater. These are the theaters that have been created in random spaces by creative video enthusiasts who take their projector with them everywhere – like a Hollywood starlet carries her Chihuahua – to the backyard, in the middle of the living room, in the basement next to the pool table, and we recently learned — even on the water.
Progressive projector enthusiast, Mike Wilkinson, has taken his business projector into the family, and onto the boat with him. He and some friends watch horror movies, sailing themed movies, and whatever else strikes their fancy – out on the water.
We have pictures to share, and we did a short email interview with Mike to share his unique use of projection. Interview and pictures below :
What part of the country do you hail from?MW:
Richardson, Texas (Dallas suburb)
How did you come up with the idea to project on a sail?MW:
One of our fellow sailors in our yacht club (Lavon Yacht Club) is our Cruising Commodore. He came up with the idea of “Movie Night Raft Up”
What body of water do you project on?MW:
Lake Lavon (Northwest Dallas near Plano)
How long is the sail watching season in Richardson, TX?MW:
We can sail almost year around. As far as rafting up, we usually do that between April and November.
What kind of ship are you sailing? How large is your screen/sail?MW:
I have a Hunter 36 (36 foot Sloop). The name is “Hiding Out” We use my boat as the projector and seating since I have a diesel generator to power the projector, microwave, etc. We have been using another boat (Catalina 30) for the projection screen. His main sail is new and crisp like a projector screen. Everyone else ties their boats up to one side or the other of us.
How does the picture look, and what do you use for sound on the water?MW:
The picture looks good. The screen moves a little with the wind so the picture gets distorted a little bit if it is windy. We are going to try a bigger boom box in the future. This has been the weak point thus far.
What are your favorite films to show?MW:
The club favorites are Wind and Captain Ron! But, any sailing, water, or water horror picture is great!
Have you ever become sea sick from watching a movie on the water?MW:
We do this activity in a cove so the boats don’t rock too much. ” Actually, I have never been seasick. I have raced in Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf. I am lucky that my body actually gets tired and wants to go to sleep when I am in a car, plane, or boat.
What do you do with your projector the rest of the year?MW:
The projector is actually property of my company “Paragon Innovations, Inc.” It is our portable projector to take with us on sales calls, etc.
What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?MW:
Well it depends if it is an African or European swallow 😉
Any other tips you’d like to share with a would-be movie projecting sailor?MW:
You can use a small portable generator (like the Honda EU2000) for power if the boat doesn’t have AC power. Make sure the sound can be louder than you think. In the open, sound doesn’t get to bounce off of the living room walls. Also, movies tend to have lower audio levels than music CDs, etc. The lighter the wind, the better in terms of swaying. The bigger the more stable the boats the better.
Have any photos from the boat?MW:
Photos of Projector Movie Night
[ Sail. Check. Screen. Already checked. Projector. Check. Comfy seating. Check. ]
[ A scary movie on the water. ]
[ Overboard viewed on the sail if a boat in Richardson, TX. “Catarina! Aurturo!”]
For much of the country, it’s a bit too late in the year to start projecting out on the water. But those of us in the south, it’s still in season. Either way, we can all agree that this is an idea whose time has come.
[ Find your own projector for business and/or pleasure ]