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There is more to ETA on a sail boat…


The SailTimer GPS was launched in the US recently for around US374 amid a lot of very interesting claims. Having researched the various technologies available for creating your own polar diagram I thought this device was rather innovative in its approach. since it claims to effectively create a polar diagram “on the fly”.

“…This is the first device in the history of sailing that can instantly tell you your optimal tacking angles.  And it can do this by learning the performance (“polar plots”) of your individual boat on different points of sail.  The

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Getting a Polar Diagram for your boat…

Having researched the articles on optimal routing recently, one of the many avenues of related research that presented itself was of course to do with determining what your boat performance characteristics really are. For a sailing yacht this at the very least involves having as reasonably accurate Polar Diagram.

My previous posting entitled “Boat characteristics and learning to Wally” generated some comments from readers which are worth following up.

I have now discovered that the University of Technology at Delft have developed a mathematical model based on their research into hull

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Chart plotting software..

While researching my 7 part article on Routing Software I came across a number of packages that just amazed me in their sophistication or some aspect of their functionality that I thought was particularly good. Some of these packages are very low cost or even free. Many will run on handhelds or netbooks. Some will import and export waypoints, routes and tracks to the big name chart plotters.

The thrust of my previous article was of course Weather Routing NOT chart plotting. In other words taking into account all the data inputs such as GPS, Wind, Weather,

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EPIRB Update

  Last year I did a quick summary of the EPIRB products then available because I had come to replace my old 121Mhz EPIRB.

The 406 MHz units were designed specifically for satellite detection and Doppler location, and provide the following:

improved location accuracy and ambiguity resolution; increased system capacity (i.e. capability to process a greater number of beacons transmitting simultaneously in field of view of satellite); increased probability of detection (higher power); global coverage; and unique identification of each beacon.

System performance is greatly enhanced both by the improved frequency stability of the 406 MHz

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5in. All in one chart plotter + AIS receiver for less than £500!

The Digital Yacht SC500A GPS Chart Plotter with built in AIS Receiver is really the sort of thing that the ill fated Raymarine RC400 could have evolved into.

To be fair I have used the RC400 mounted at the helm of my 32ft yacht, and despite all its faults and initial hiccups in getting it to work at all I must say that it has withstood both hell and high water and worked very well for the past 4 years. The trouble is that it doesn’t link to anything and connecting it to PC based chart plotting/planning

…….Click 5in. All in one chart plotter + AIS receiver for less than £500! …. to continue reading