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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year the boat I race on used at times a traditional GPS something like a Garmin 78 and at times iRegatta running on a iPad Mini.

Pros for Garmin:
One handed operation
Small enough to easily tuck in PFD pocket
Long battery life
Replaceable AA batteries
Rugged without special case

Pros for iRegatta
More features (lay lines, tack angles etc )
Interface with other instruments
Bigger display

Con for iRegatta
Short battery life

I am going to be racing my own boat this year, a 24' keel boat with spin and need a nav solution. I am leaning toward traditional GPS because of the pros I listed above. All I really need is bearing, distance and VMG to the next mark. Either main trimmer or helm have one hand to operate whatever we use and will have to put it in pocket when not use.

Am I missing something?

· Freedom isn't free
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I'm still trying to get over the need for a chart-plotter/GPS for a 24 footer to race.

We only race in triangles and not gov marks... so we'd have to waypoint each mark to get distance to mark... so this is the angle I'm working... I suppose if all your marks are fixed, one could make that argument.

But then you are likely on a much higher skill level than I... I thought I was going crazy by just having AWA, and TWA. I suppose technically if I knew where my marks were, I could calculate what you are after.

Have you seen these? Marine Watch + GPS Navigator | Garmin quatix
NMEA 2000.

· Remember you're a womble
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I'm assuming you are doing distance stuff where you can't just use a Mk1 eyeball and look where you are going? If that's the case, get yourself a B&G Zeus, will give you optimum tacks taking into account wind and current etc. Of course likely worth more than your boat but there you go.
Alternatively, if you can see the mark, all you really need is speed (I like to have GPS and through-water), plus a good countdown timer and ideally a startline app to help you nail those starts.

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If you have the budget you should get a real plotter, not a handheld that runs on batteries. Defender is having a sale on the B&G Zeus Touch 7. This has the sailsteer software that was referred to above. The unit is under $600. You will probably spend a little more once you add all the wiring, brackets, etc. Do you have wind, speed, and other instruments? If they are relatively new they will interface to the B&G unit too.

My Garmin 740 interfaces to my Raymarine ST60 instruments so I can get true / apparent wind, distance, course, and time to the mark, etc.

Of course you don't NEED any of that stuff to race but it doesn't hurt and having that information can help determine the favored side, help you see wind shifts, etc.

Link to Defender:
B & G Zeus Touch T7 Touchscreen, Multifunction Display

When I race on a friend's boat I used to bring my Garmin 78 with me. I had the race marks loaded so I could determine time to the mark, bearing, etc. Then in one race we had the chute up too long, tried to jibe and got knocked down. That was the last time I saw the Garmin unit :(


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Beneteau 393
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I havent used iRegatta but just saw it in Ap store.
For a racer who can put in nmea wind etc theres a couple of features that could be race winning... Lifts and acceleration monitor.

As some of the others have said if you can see the mark you can see the mark... But its much more difficult to see a lift or a knock. Acceleration should help too because thas difficult to judge unless you stare at the screen.
And race boats in the learning phase always need better starts. If you can mark in the line and have a graphic of time to the line you could realy learn to hit the start line right on the gun at top speed. Get over the line first and you have clear air... A race winner.

A chart plotter has none of that...

And after the racing you hand held GPS won't download porn.

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Spend the money on new sails and a smooth bottom. Electronics are nearly useless for winning day races. A handheld to locate distant marks, okay. Basic nav plotter if the water has hazards, okay. VMG, SOG, ETC bah!
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I would go first with whatever I was comfortable with. If the results of that were satisfactory, I'd stick with it. If the results were less than satisfactory, I'd see what else there was that might be better. Trial and error sometimes takes longer, but it always works.

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I have all the stuff and it helps on log distance races. on short races not much. buy new sails and a clean bottom and then learn how to trim them. the guys that are fast already know what the instruments are telling them. on a 24' you need to keep your head out of the boat watching the wind and the sails.

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I'd go with iRegatta instead of dedicated hardware which is (a) expensive (b) doesn't integrate with any other equipment (c) rarely gets upgrades and (d) you can't do much else with it.

I've been using iRegatta on both larger yachts and my Weta Trimaran which is probably the most extreme environment to use it.

Some tips:
- Mount the iPhone/iPad where you can see it in your normal line of sight (so you don't have your head in the boat to read it) - on the mast for preference - and out of the direct sun if possible.
- If possible, test you chosen device with the demo version of iRegatta in sunlight and wearing your normal sailing glasses before purchase . (The iPhone 6 and 6+ has an improved polarizer which means its much easier to read in landscape format in sunlight - especially if you wear polarised glasses).
- If you have an iPad without cell network support you'll either need to add a GPS with via WiFi built in (Bluetooth on Android)), connect to an existing GPS NMEA over WiFi or add a GPS dongle (e.g. Bad Elf).
- Use a cover that doesn't cover the screen (Dog&Bone Topless WetSuit or Lifeproof Nuud) to reduce reflections and make it more sensitive to wet fingers
- If the device is not close to you, use a $99 Pebble Smartwatch with the $3 iRegatta add-on as it allows you remotely control iRegatta to change settings and input mark locations and it also mirrors the iRegatta display - for the start countdown for example.
- If you have existing data sources then use a NMEA WiFi bridge to obtain data from them. If you don't then you can now buy some which have WiFi built in.

You can donwload a demo version of iRegatta which disables the NMEA input after 4 minutes.
- If you sail fixed marks import them as a JPG layer into Google Earth and create map points for the marks. Then export the file and import into iRegatta.
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