technology for sailors

Discussion in 'Sailing Talk' started by MattBryant, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. MattBryant

    MattBryant New Member

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    Hi everyone, I’m not sure if I can post directly here (not so familiar with forums)
    I’m Matt Bryant from London, I go to Italy in the summer where I’m able to sail with a friend’s Farr 30
    I’m looking for informations about about products developed by this italian company: http://www.astrayacht.com/wp/en/home-eng/
    They developed this smart watch for sailors, I would like to hear some impressions if anyone is using it or if someone is using similar products
     
  2. Pewit

    Pewit New Member

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    My take on this product is that it looks OK but with the programmable smartwatches from Apple and others all being released recently , you risk being stuck with a product which doesn't get developed that quickly and becomes an expensive piece of hardware.
    An alternative is to use an App such as iRegatta Pro which provides similar functions (and more) displayed on an iOS/Android phone or tablet which is much more readable from a distance. It can also be matched with the Pebble smartwatch which can be purchased for around $99 and the Pebble is sunlight-readable as it uses an e-ink mono display (a colour version is in development).
    For best viewing, mount the phone/tablet below deck where it shielded from the sun on an arm that can swung into the centre of the companionway thus making it visible from the cockpit. You can then use the watch to control/set it and the iRegatta display is also mirrored on the Pebble.
    Alternatively, you can get a waterproof phone/tablet cover which leaves the phone/tablet screen uncovered thus reducing reflections (e.g. LifeProof, Dog&Bone) and mount this on a bulkhead or the mast. The "plastic bag" type covers are OK for waterproofing but not very readable.
    The benefit of going this open route is that you're not locked into one source for development.
    Paul
    Weta #325, Sydney
     
  3. SnowDog

    SnowDog New Member

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    2 HUGE selling points of this over any of the Apple or other products is...

    1- If I found the right price and converted it, it's only about 360 USD vs close to double that I believe for the Apple.
    2- Waterproof without a bag or box, which I believe is a must for any watch you use on the water.

    The one negative I can possibly see is that I believe it will only interface via WiFi to other ASTRA instruments.
    I don't have any personal experience with them but I did work with a guy that liked them.
     
  4. Pewit

    Pewit New Member

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    True if you buy an iPad outright the watch is cheaper - if you're only going to use it for this one task and you aren't concerned about updates or obselescence.

    However, if you're going to use it for other things or you're on a plan then the tablet/phone may pay for itself - just buy a local SIM card.

    One other thing to consider is whether you want other people to be able to see the display. I've tried wearing an iPhone on my forearm in a waterproof case with an armband when sailing single-handed - but it wasn't in my line of sight and I couldn't view it easily while trimming, steering etc. .

    When sailing with other crew, it was difficult to impart complex simultaneous information to the other crew members who couldn't see the display - especially at starts: time to line, distance to line, time to start, SOG.

    But if you mount an instrument where most of the crew can see it, they can share the information and you don't keep having to look away from your normal field of view. That applies to dedicated hardware and tablets as well.
     

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