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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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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

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.

Jim
 

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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.
 

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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

Dave
 

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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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Jordan,

Thanks for the website. I should have known about this YEARS ago, and I feel a little lazy for not investigating time more thoroughly in the past.:eek:
 

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I have a Ronstan Clearstart RF4031. There are (I think) 4 watches in this series. I read the manuals for each one, and I don't see any functional difference. The only exception would be the huge one, which is probably best mounted somewhere, as others have said. Other than that, I think the differences are what the band and/or case is made from. Mine is the cheapest at about $50.

I think this is a better tool than a regular timer, mostly because it has a sync button. This button allows you to sync the countdown with the race committee. So if you miss the first gun by a few seconds, you can sync it a minute later.

It also knows the 5,4 1, GO sequence, and makes all the different sounds at various times. But, I don't think its loud enough. I would like it to be MUCH louder.

Its also nice that it will start counting up after it hits zero int he count down, but it will only count up to an hour. So if the race is less than an hour, its useful. I'm not sure if it will wrap around to 0 as it counts up past the hour.

So, in my club race I am in class B, we're the second start in a 5,4,1, GO sequence. I can set it to count down from 10 minutes and then to start counting up.

As for the skipper not keeping the time himself, probably a good move. I dedicate a time keeper for this task. As for not knowing when the starting gun is going to fire (or the shape dropped - the real signal) well you just can't have that.
 

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Whatever you get, keep it cheap, and make sure it has a sync function. The sync function is exremely useful. buttons on the top are prefered over side buttons, gloves tend to trigger side buttons.
 

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David, I also swear by a $10 kitchen timer from any dollar store or kitchen supply. Runs a couple of years on a AA battery, makes a loud beep, has a big display, and stays in the galley when it is not abovedecks doing race timing.

You CAN actually find some that will count down and then count UP again to keep track of the race duration. But for the price, and being "hands free", and visible to everyone in the cockpit...sure is hard to beat. And cheap enough to make a gift to the skipper of it.(G)
 

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For race 5 minute count-down we always use B&G H2000 timer. It's very easy to re-synchronise it on 4 or 3 minutes left, if You missed 5 minute signal.

During the race we tend to compare time differences between main competitors in each mark we can. In this case I use my waterproof Samsung B2100 cellphone't stopwatch function. It has function to measure many "laptimes" in order to compare you against nearest competitors.
 
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