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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-03-2013 01:15 AM
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

Because I have an autopilot with a heading compass, I get a lot of good info regarding current and drift...which is factored into my COG (course over ground) readout. By calculating the difference between Magnetic compass heading and the COG, I can usually figure out if we're getting into the gulfstream or fighting eddys.

Its always good to know your tack angles factoring in COG
03-01-2013 08:35 PM
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

If you're adding repeaters for the data at the helm at the companionway, well and good... On our last boat the instruments were over the companionway.. we (I) found it frustrating when crew (often) stood/sat in the companionway blocking the view from the helm....
03-01-2013 06:55 PM
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

Thanks everyone for your insights!

Our boat currently has only one instrument installed at the helm, which is not helpful for crew (even if it’s only to pay attention to depth while simply cruising around).

I plan to install a few extra displays over the companionway, and before proceeding, I thought I’d probe the collective expertise here to make sure I’m on the right track for our level of racing.
02-28-2013 12:48 PM
Alex W
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Windex is better than telltales downwind...
Telltales on the shrouds are easier to see and just as effective.

I like having a Windex and do use it a lot and it's well worth the $40 plus climbing the mast. On the other hand I've had a lot of fun racing on boats that don't have them.
02-28-2013 12:28 PM
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

Agree with most of what's said here.
Kitchen timer with countdown mode to time starts
Speed thru water for trimmers
Close-hauled gauge is a great luxury tool for beginning helmsmen

Lots of cheap and easy things - mark and standardize your car positions, rigging, halyards, sheets, etc...and don't worry too much about the fancy electronics.


02-28-2013 11:23 AM
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

Windex is better than telltales downwind...
02-28-2013 10:44 AM
Alex W
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

Isn't the minimum a good arrangement of tells on your sail and a stopwatch? How serious is your racing?

I don't do very serious racing, but I do try to get better at it. I usually get to the line half an hour before start so that I can figure out which is the favored pin and timings (based on current wind conditions) for getting there. That is why the stop watch is helpful.

Sailing the same boat time after time will help you get an idea of what AWA's it is fastest at. This is going to depend on sails and sail condition. A handheld GPS measuring VMG may help you understand that, but on a small race course I wonder if you'll find yourself looking at it during the race. We use the GPS for speed over ground measurements too. You don't need anything fancy here and our GPS is normally just reporting two things: speed over ground and current time. We don't have coordinates for marks programmed into the GPS because they move a little bit on every race.

A windex is helpful to double check what the tells are telling you, but it is nowhere near as useful or important.

Anything additional seems like gravy.
02-28-2013 10:14 AM
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

1. Boat speed through the water
2. Mounted compass
3. GPS showing SOG and VMG

That's the minimum. Wind speed and direction (true, apparent) are the next step.

Edit: if you're looking for an explination of why you need these, that might be another topic all together...
02-28-2013 02:12 AM
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

I have not heard of vector made good.
I learned VMG was Velocity made good. it is however a combination of speed and direction so angle or vector does enter the equation
02-28-2013 01:26 AM
Re: Information while racing around the buoys

I race on the lower Hudson River where there is tidal current that can reach up to 2 knots. The VMG that shows on our GPS can be very helpful to figure out if you are losing or winning against the current.
That said, you don't have current that strong on the Chessy usually but the vector made good (VMG) can help you decide what to do.
Your speed over ground (SOG) shown by a GPS can give you an idea of how well your sails are trimmed. Good speed in the wrong direction is not really that helpful though.
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