Join Date: Apr 2006
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Negrini, I think you are forgetting that the simplest answer is usually the most likely one.
Simple, as in, these instrument systems and processes have been in place way before GPS was available, or even LORAN. And the first and most basic instrument on any boat is usually the paddlewheel speed log.
There's no great conspiracy to force you to buy anything, they are simply calculating true wind (or what they consider true wind) by the same means they have done so for the past 30? 40? years. Which is by taking a wind sensor and adding it to the paddlewheel that already was installed on almost every boat interested in any kind of instrumentation.
Old, simple, crude, lazy, incorrect, might all spring to mind. But forcing you to buy more of anything? I don't think so. Raymarine only "forces" you to use their rayspeak-gear for everything, rather than making everything work with NMEA. That's enough "forcing". (Either you buy their gear, or their converter boxes, either way, that's proprietary enough to be a stopper for some boats.)
Now, instead of trying to make Raymarine change their ways, why not find some sailors who have computer skills, and let them set up a freeware program that runs on cheap laptops, integrating universal masthead wind sensors and GPSes to produce real true wind and other data? You could cut Raymarine out of the picture entirely that way, it should be a simple (ha) exercise.
Of course without the paddle thingy, you may know SOG but you'll never know what currents you are in. I'd call a boat without a knotmeter "hopelessly impaired" for racing navigation, no matter how good the GPS was.