GPS or gadget for recording sailing tracks and data

Discussion in 'Laser Talk' started by deeman, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. deeman

    deeman Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    8
    I hope this has not been covered before - I searched for awhile with no results.

    Is there a GPS or specific gadget that can track the sailing for the day? Some sort of recorder to show where you went, how fast you went, etc?

    Something along the lines of a GPS recorder?

    I see some races post these results, but what about for the curious sailor not racing?

    I am a gadget freak and love that sort of thing.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Rob Hair

    Rob Hair Member

    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The GPS cycling computers should do what you want. Garmin makes several, Edge 305, Edge 705, Edge 500, etc. I've used an Edge 305 on my iceboat with great success, but haven't yet used it with my Laser. These work with software that will plot your trips on maps, record all sorts of data and do way more than you would ever think anyone would care to do! Of these, I like the Edge 500 the best.
     
  3. cskudder

    cskudder Active Member

    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I don't race, just sail for enjoyment. I put a Humminbird 161 combo GPS+profiling depthfinder (fishfinder) into my Laser and love it -
    http://store.humminbird.com/products/307121/161_Combo
    I don't know if they're still available, I paid ~$200 for it I think.

    It has a moving map and will plot your track, and give basic info like distance, time, speed since you last reset the "triplog." I don't believe it can connect to a computer for download or anything like that tho.

    I sail in a reservoir where the water level usually varies by 15 feet or more from spring flood to fall low point. And since the bottom is a flooded streambed with all the usual floodplains, undercut bluffs, oxbow curves etc etc, the depth+ shape of the bottom is VERY non-intuitive. It can be 4' deep 200' offshore here, and 200' north or south, 35' deep; and 35' deep 30' from shore 200' in the other direction. To avoid hitting the dirt I've programmed in key fixes with their elevation, and then keep a sharp eye on the depth, the rate of change in depth and the profile. It has enormously opened up the water for sailing. And of course it's fun also to see 12-13kts boatspeed in a good blow. ;)

    It's mounted flat on its back on top of the cover of an inspection port right next to the mainsheet block. It runs on a lil battery pack of 12 D-cell's that are shock-corded around the daggerboard trunk inside the hull. It's spec'd to run on anything from 20-10 volts and pulls something like 300-400 milliamps. The battery pack starts at 18v with new batt's and it drops maybe 0.1v per hour (less at lower voltage) so I get 100+ hrs of sailing on a fresh stack of batteries. That goes me the whole season + more but I usually just put fresh batt's in there in the spring. You can also find small rechargeable 12v batteries for $25-50 - like for jetskis, motorbikes, snowmobiles, tractors etc and many of them would work fine too.

    It has been just great in this reservoir.
     
  4. harpo

    harpo Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Any GPS can do this. If you want fancy:

    http://www.velocitek.com/speedpuck/

    ... almost certainly not legal for racing in regattas to which Laser class rules apply. Read your rulebook.
     
  5. deeman

    deeman Member

    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Dan
    Dang!! Love the speed puck, hate the price....lol.

    CSKUDDER - how do you keep your GPS waterproof in the event of a capsize? I know they are typically very water resistant and will keep spray and drops out, but submerged......?
     
  6. 49208

    49208 Tentmaker

    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    48
    If you have an Iphone or Android based phone, there are a few apps that will do most of what you are looking for... I have the MotionX app http://gps.motionx.com/iphone/overview/ which I'm pretty happy with - obviously need a waterproof box for it
     
  7. cskudder

    cskudder Active Member

    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I installed it 4 years back, and have capsized+turtled plenty of times in pretty rough conditions, up to 30-40kts, waves 2-3ft. I have not had a problem with water getting into it --- it has always come back up working. I couldn't find in the manual what it's water-resistant/waterproof spec's are or rating is.

    Hope I didn't just jinx it by writing this!! :D
     
  8. franknprintr

    franknprintr New Member

    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    The Speedpuck is the way to go Deeman. It's good to 25 or 30' below the surface... not that you want to take it snorkeling. Let's just say it's waterproof. Relative to the cost, it's worth it. You can replay several days of sailing on your PC. (it's easy) The Speedpuck will also give you knots per hour with accuracy to the tenth and also gives you compass bearings showing lifts and headers. I use my Speedpuck to practice with. If I put a bit more vang on... my Speedpuck shows what that adjustment did/does relative to my immediate boatspeed. It also records "maximum speed" not very useful but fun info. If you do 12 knots on a broad reach, that's cool to know. You don't have to read anything to figure out how to use it... just push one big button. It's all there, super easy.
    Finally, the guys that own Speedpuck will take care of you. If you lose a backplate or need another one, if something goes wack-o (which mine never has) they will "fix it," promptly... no hassles.
    Buy one... you won't regret it. I love mine and sail with it all of the time. *Not class legal, but you can easily remove it for regattas. No screws required... it uses industrial strength velcro. It's all good.
    And no, I have nothing what so ever to do with Speedpuck. I just like their product.
    Cheers,
    Franknsailor
     
  9. chrisrock

    chrisrock Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Speedpuck is amazing, but keep in mind that this is most likely illegal because you are getting access to technology that is not available to all racers. This is because these GPS' are able to tell you your boat speed and are able to tell you how flat your boat is.
     
  10. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    A Speedpuck is illegal in official races. Other less expensive, illegal but fun, devices for tracking and measuring speed are the Garmin Foretrex 301 and the Forerunner 305. Both can be bought for less than $150 (Amazon, E-Bay, etc).

    If somebody has advice which one is preferable, please comment. I was thinking about (temporarily) mounting the device somewhere on my boat (using hook and loop tape), so I can readily read speed upon making minor adjustments.
     
  11. torrid

    torrid Just sailing

    Likes Received:
    55
    Trophy Points:
    48
    A good compass costs what, $150-200? Sails that last a few regattas are $600-700. Then there is gas, lodging, entry fees, etc. At $339, I guess I don't see why something like this should be illegal to race with.
     
  12. AlanD

    AlanD Former ISAF Laser Measurer

    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Simply because the class rules do not permit electronics, including digital compasses etc. The only thing permitted are timing devices. Simple as that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. hitime

    hitime New Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Deeman,

    I have used TackTracker for the last 2 years and I have found it a great device to review my races at home and if you get your friends onto the same application you can compare your races. the website is www.tacktracker.com

    hitime
     
  14. chrisrock

    chrisrock Member

    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Agreed, but they also allow analog, or normal compass' now as they normally provide a compass bearing at all regattas that helps the sailors with compass' but also for race regulations of course.
     

Share This Page