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davidpm 07-04-2009 06:46 PM

Racing Watch
I've been doing the weds night race with the spin class keel boats. I'm on a Farr 395. You would think the captain would have a watch but he always calls out for a timer. I'm in the pit on the main sheet so while I normally don't wear a watch I'm thinking I'll get one just to help out.

Any favorites? Required or very useful features?

Really large characters would be good as I need reading glasses which I don't usually wear on the boat.

Gary M 07-04-2009 07:53 PM

I use your basic Timex sports watch, water proof to 100 meters which means you never have to worry about getting it wet. They have timers but I find that most Race Committees generally have the correct time so keep yours on the correct time and you should be able to help him out. Many skippers prefer to rely on crew for a time count down, say every 30 second until the last 2 minutes then every 15 seconds after that. they have a lot to think about just before the start so an automated time to go reference is very appreciated.

If you goggle Standard time it will lead you to a US government sponsored time display that is very accurate.

Have Fun


davidpm 07-04-2009 09:08 PM


Originally Posted by Gary M (Post 502651)
Many skippers prefer to rely on crew for a time count down, say every 30 second until the last 2 minutes then every 15 seconds after that. they have a lot to think about just before the start so an automated time to go reference is very appreciated.Gary

Yes exactly that's what he does. Sometimes no one has a watch so it gets tricky.

Coolstr85 07-04-2009 09:31 PM

i have the gill regatta master. just got it a month ago. LOVE IT. large display that you can even set the contrast on (great for night sailing when you want to keep your night vision etc.) user can replace batteries simply by removing the back piece, so you dont have to go to a watch shop. Awesome countdown timer that you can set to whatever you want but has plenty of pre-sets. then it beeps every minute until one minute, then every ten seconds, then beeps down 10,9,8.....Then when the race starts it automatically switches over to a stopwatch and starts counting up so you can time your races (good for phrf) It has a digital compass but i dont think its accurate enough for racing. but its good for checking while cruising, checking wind direction, etc. and yes its waterproof so no worries there. i love the watch and paid under 100 dollars for it brand new from a popular marine store.

jimq26 07-04-2009 10:03 PM

We have one of these mounted on Velcro in the cockpit
Crew loves it, and everybody in the cockpit knows exactly what the time is. Here's a link - Talking Kitchen Timer Clock for the Blind w/Braille Ins - eBay (item 190319159660 end time Aug-02-09 15:43:08 PDT)

Sarguy 07-04-2009 10:16 PM

To get the 'correct' time.
;) The easiest way to get correct time, is to look at the time on your GPS. That is the correct time, since your GPS operates by knowing exactly what time it is.:) Faster and more accurate than anything you can get on the internet, and easier to use than the NOAA radio broadcasts.

SEMIJim 07-05-2009 12:33 AM

Casio Sea Pathfinder. I was given one for Christmas by The Admiral. Can't say as there's a single thing I don't like about it. And as for LARGE numerals: It's got VERY LARGE numerals :).

The watch has a very nice race start count-down. Its count-down timer can work either of two ways: Go automatically into stopwatch mode after the count-down has elapsed (useful for racers), or start a new count-down (useful for the RC).

Btw: On the off chance said boat has a Raymarine ST60+ knotmeter: That's got a built-in race start timer that does both 10- and 5-minute count-downs.


davewild 07-05-2009 05:05 AM

Go cheap. You can get it caught in ropes, dropping spinnakers etc and it can be an expensive splash. The other option is to put it in a pocket( velcro or zip up) after start. I've not lost one this way myself but people look sad and go quiet when it happens to them. You can also get a slip on cover made of wet suit material that goes over wrist to protect it. Do you have a timer somewhere in boats instruments? A newish race boat should have something in there somewhere.

BreakingWind2 07-05-2009 06:23 AM

I'm with jimq26. Bought a cheap kitchen countdown timer, velcro it to the pedestal. It counts down from whatever you preset (I use 5 minutes) and if it goes over the side, I'm out $5.00


jephotog 07-05-2009 10:51 AM

My vote is for a good watch with racing timer. But I find it hard to believe a boat of that size does not have instrumentation and a timer built into one of those. I have yet to race on a boat from 20 feet up without a timer built into the boat. If there is any instruments on board ask to see the manual and read up on it. Chances are there are functions on them no one on the boat know about, or at least you will know the fastest combination of button pushing to get to the functions.

I had bought the Citizen Stars and stripes watch way back when I started racing. I got it for only $100. It served me well over the years but got very beat up(the crystal and paint), and almost lost over the years. If you position is ever outside the cockpit, I suggest you not risk wearing a watch, you will loose it.

I currently wear a Casio watch which I highly recommend. I do not have the sailing one but looked at it very closely, just chose a different model for my other activities.
  • It has a solar rechargable battery
  • Gets atomic clock setting signal wirelessly each night at midnight from the US atomic clock somewhere in Colorado.
  • has compass, barometer, temperature and altimeter functions just to name a few.
One word of caution though is the race committee will likely be using GPS time and atomic time vary by 19 seconds currently. Check this site out for more info
GPS, UTC, and TAI Clocks

Any watch that has a racing or yachting timer would be worth it IMHO though. It will beep off each minute then every 10 seconds the last minute, 5 beeps for 50 seconds, 4 for 40 and on down then a beep each of the last 10 seconds. After the countdown finishes it will go into timer mode so you can time your course time then use the split timer function after finishing to see by how much you beat the boats behind you to see if they corrected over you or not. All these functions allows you to man your position and still act as the boats timer.

I like the casio a lot but it is a plastic looking watch and not as cool looking as a the citizen watch which is metal and has the cool looking chronograph functions. I can't wear the Citizen mtn. biking though as its too heavy the casio is great for this. You can get the watches with or without a lot of the functions, solar charging, atomic, time etc, which double the price usually.

Whichever watch you get, put a velcro band on it if you are using just for sailing, their too ugly for a daily wearer if you have a real job. The watch will get beat up and eventually it will get caught on something. With a velcro band liek "the Band", just one pin will break leaving the watch dangling on your wrist from the other one, saving you from an expensive splash.

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