Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-29-2013 Thread Starter
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Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

This is my first year of racing our new to us Precision 23 (1984 edition). We've done pretty well, but lack polish and could do a lot better. This post is about instrumentation, which I've found is a discouragingly vast topic. Someone showed me the ProStart unit by Velocitek. It would be very good for starts, having GPS-WAAS capability for marking the start line. I can't see in the literature whether it can plot a course or save waypoints.
I hope to learn the best choice or choices for my purposes, which may include plotting a GPS WAAS course that I can save. If this course could be overlaid on a chart, that would be so much the better.
I've seen that I could easily break my small budget in trying different units that look good, but out of so many dozens I get depressed just thinking about learning enough to make the buy decisions properly and only once.

Thank you all in advance for your experienced suggerstions and advice.
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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

I ended up getting a Lowrance chartplotter/fishfinder (Lowrance Elite-5 DSI) for instrumentation on our boat. It can plot your course as well as give depth and speed, all for ~$400. I had looked at things like the "Speedpuck" or other sailing specific instrumentation, but all of those tended to cost the same or more than the Lowrance with less functionality. Admittedly, the Lowrance doesn't have the sailboat racing functionality that you may be looking for, but it does work very well as a speedometer and depthfinder. You might consider a sailing app on your smartphone for some of the racing timers etc. as well. YMMV

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post #3 of 14 Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

Depth sounder is nice but a handheld GPS is a must. You NEED boatspeed and speed over ground. Other than that, it's just getting Gucci.

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

Yep, the depthfinder was icing on the cake. I just couldn't justify something like the SpeedPuck for nearly the same price as a decent, if basic, chartplotter with a depthfinder as a bonus. I also really didn't want to have to drill holes in my hull for a transponder.

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post #5 of 14 Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

Check the Gear Anarchy forum on Sailing Anarchy. That forum has a stronger racing focus and this is a popular topic.

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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

Also, depth finder transducer can be installed without drilling a hole in uncored hulls. Just bond it with no bubbles inside the hull. Toilet bowl wax works well and is not permanent.

Depth can be useful if you are trying to avoid a tack and getting close to a lee shore.

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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

I used toilet bowl wax. Worked great for this past season. I have a cored hull, but fortunately there is a patch of solid fiberglass directly in front of the keel.

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

The problem with starting a race is NOT were the line is

The problem is the chess match of putting YOUR boat in the best position VS the other X amount of boats that also want to be in the same position

The most important thing is a STRONG understanding of the racing rules so you understand how to be that boat

The rule book is not that much help compared to and APP like you tack pro which gives a much better picture of the rules in real life


We also have done many clinics by North Sails and the best thing we have gone to is a Dave Perry presentation

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Last edited by tommays; 10-29-2013 at 04:09 PM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

Most important instruments are a Windex and telltales on your headsail.
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-29-2013
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Re: Instrumentation for club racer, small cruiser

Agree with that 100%..

..but if the OP is after some instrumentation, the Rockbox is well worth looking at. It's much the same as the Velocitek dinghy stuff only with a few more features especially for club racers.

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Last edited by Classic30; 10-29-2013 at 07:29 PM.
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