The Projector Project also known as code name ‘Don’t Tell Wife’
We had this small TV mounted on the wall. It worked well and ran off 12 volt but we didn’t use it much and with laptops and iPads on the boat it was easier to grab them than plug the TV in.
Found an idea online about a projector that was used on a similar Beneteau. The projector most people imagine are those massive ones that offices tend to use but available projectors are almost the size of an iPhone these days. Once the idea was planted it started growing but I didn’t know where to begin.
Aliexpress was the main website for my research. The great thing was I found a projector screen that was 50 inches for around $50. Measuring around the boat and I thought anything bigger and we would be that household who have a massive state of the art TV in the tiniest living room.
The projector needed to have certain features and to be honest I watched a lot of Youtube Videos to get ideas.
I started with lumens. There are a bunch of really well priced projectors but unless there is an eclipse you might not see anything. You must remember a boat isn’t exactly the ideal cinema room if you are trying to watch something during the day.
Watch out for the 480p projectors! They may even have 4K on the box but that just means it can read and accept 4K videos and then will down size them to 480p. 720p minimum was my requirement.
Wifi was a must because I wanted to stream Netflix and Youtube straight from the router without cables everywhere.
Bluetooth was also a definite requirement because we have a bluetooth speaker and even a bluetooth stereo so we don’t need to rely on the horrible speakers these projectors usually have.
HDMI in! Watch out for the HDMI out only projectors. Why the heck I would want to display my projector onto a monitor or TV I don’t know.
Internal battery was another must and that way we didn’t need to rely on power during a trip.
Lastly internal storage so if we didn’t have internet I could preload a movie on the projector itself before a trip.
Luckily I found a projector that has it all!
The problem with projectors is trying to get the image to fill the screen which means trying to mount the projector in exactly the right spot. The other issue is even if you work out the required distance between projector and screen I still didn’t really have a game plan for where we were going to mount the screen. Looking around the boat there is a split in the roof panels where fibreglass arches over so I was thinking we could screw in a mount. We made two holes in the roof… one has a drill bit that snapped in half (we have since learned to use drill bits designed for drilling into metal!) and the other has a small hole in the gelcoat which is now filled with epoxy. I was so upset we have damaged parts of the roof only for a small project so we needed a plan B.
What I didn’t realise was that we already had everything onboard to make this work. Pulling out our camera tripod I used that to mount the projector which allowed me to put the projector exactly where I needed it. The projector screen wasn’t going to be permanently mounted so I used the GoPro suction cup on the top of the hatch and hung the screen off it using some chain. We have now bought a projector screen designated suction cup and it works really well!
The projector screen hangs from the hook and the bottom rests on the hand rails. We just put some soft foam on each side so the wood doesn’t get a light sanding each time we put the screen up.
The other thing you might be thinking is where do you store these? The side of the boat is a great fit for the screen just behind the bench seats and the projector just rests in its soft padded case in our electronics cupboard. We mostly leave them in the back cabin ready for the nightly projector watch.
Below are the links to the two items!
If the projector isn’t for you due to cost then maybe think what you want out of a projector and how much you might use it. The Noyazu projector we ended up with is worth every cent in terms of all the features and the quality of the image.
Rigal Projector Table Screen Portable 50 Inch
- Bluetooth – Works with our portable bluetooth speaker
- Wifi – Connects to internet without cables
- 32 GB Storage – Massive storage so if we don’t have internet we can still watch
- HDMI IN – Download Netflix for example on your iPhone and play it through the HDMI port. (Apple accessory required)
- 2 Hours of battery life – This is accurate almost to the minute. Can also be plugged in. It is charged using a mains adaptor with 5V, 3A output – you can also get one of those multi-output 12V adaptors such as this one from Jaycar if you aren’t on shore power.
- 1500 lumens – Perfect for at night with a bright image but also does okay during the day.