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zeilfanaat 02-27-2013 10:46 PM

Information while racing around the buoys
I am trying to make the most of the limited information my instruments can show.

What kind of information about the boat, course and wind do you rely on while racing? Boat speed, wind speed and direction, AWA, bearing to the mark…what else?

Which information do you watch all the time, and which do you occasionally glance at?

Sabreman 02-27-2013 11:03 PM

Re: Information while racing around the buoys
I have an opinion, but will lurk waiting for some of the go-fasters to weigh in. I could learn a few things here........ Standing by

HeartsContent 02-28-2013 01:07 AM

Information while racing around the buoys
VMG to the mark is useful.

Faster 02-28-2013 01:26 AM

Re: Information while racing around the buoys

Originally Posted by HeartsContent (Post 996181)
VMG to the mark is useful.

... But can sometimes send you the "wrong way"... Away from the next shift.

I think thru the water boat speed is important for trimmers and helmsmen, tactically a 'good ol' compass is what's going to help you see the shifts to maximize gains up and down the course (assuming we're not talking about AC level computerized instrumentation)

CalebD 02-28-2013 02:26 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.

overbored 02-28-2013 03:12 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

zz4gta 02-28-2013 11:14 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...

Alex W 02-28-2013 11:44 AM

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.

Faster 02-28-2013 12:23 PM

Re: Information while racing around the buoys
Windex is better than telltales downwind...

aelkin 02-28-2013 01:28 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.



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