I just want to know how fast I'm going. - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 02-28-2012
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I just want to know how fast I'm going.

I don't want to install a traditional knotmeter. Since I'm weekend sailing on a lake, I certainly don't need a chart plotter. Is there a simple GPS based gizmo that will tell me how fast I'm going?
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Old 02-28-2012
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Any handheld GPS will give you Speed Over Ground. On a lake that would be acceptable unless there are areas of strong current.. when trimming sails it's nice to have Speed thru the water as opposed to SOG.

Handheld GPSs are becoming rather inexpensive.. non marine models may not give you the option of knots (nautical miles per hour)
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Old 02-28-2012
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I just use the GPS out of the truck. Gives me a good indication where I am and roughly how fast I'm going. Although it only reads the speed in mph or kph, it does give me an idea on what to do with the sails.
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Old 02-28-2012
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If you have a smartphone you can download any number of apps for speed over ground.

From the Android market I use SailDroid or GPS Test
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Old 02-28-2012
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I consider a knot meter to be a fairly important piece of equipment, and critical if you want to learn to sail better. Why? Because it is the only instrument you have that can instantaneously tell you if your boat is speeding up or slowing down.

Doesn't matter if it is accurate. If you trim the main in a little, how do you know if that helped or hurt? The only way is by looking at the knot meter and seeing if your speed increased or decreased. Again, it doesn't matter if the speed it is reporting is accurate, it only matters that you can see how it changed. Then you will KNOW what your adjustments to sail trim are doing.

Of course, if you don't care to know how changes in sail trim affect your speed through the water, then you don't need a knot meter. As a SAILOR, though, this is something that I consider very important.
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Old 02-28-2012
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Cheap way out ! Check out Ebay # 120867991235.. Tafrail log Simple Knotstick..Dale
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Old 02-28-2012
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Garmin 72H. Waterproof, floats and you can even do basic waypoint navigation with it. Job done.
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These have ranges greater than required but may serve your purpose,
You could get more info for the buck with a handheld GPS, but if you don't need it this might be all you want.
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Old 02-28-2012
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There is a portable gps called a Speedpuck. Pricey but what you are looking for.
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Garmin eTrex

I'm a weekend lake sailor with the same need - how fast are we going? If I had an Apple or Android smartphone, I would download one of the GPS apps to provide me with this info. But, I don't have a smart phone.

A friend on the Yahoo Catalina 22 group recommended the Garmin eTrex. About $100 - yellow, waterproof, speed in knots or mph, waypoints, use it for sailing/hiking/biking. That's what I'll be buying. Check out the Garmin website for the low-end, low-cost, eTrex 10 or 20.

- Bob
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