Do you have a hard time finding your way around a strange city even with the use of a GPS navigator? Imagine trying to stay on track in the ocean, surrounded by featureless water and with no reference points visible on the horizon. GPS technology has made navigation easier for boaters in this situation, but there is a special class of boaters that has only benefitted slightly from it—at least until now.
Sailboats have a unique method of traveling through the water. Because they rely on wind direction and speed, they spend most of their time “tacking”—sailing back and forth across their main line of direction in order to take advantage of current wind conditions. If a sailboat is using a GPS device to find the best route, it will constantly get reminded that it is on an incorrect path because it’s not following the shortest distance route. Also, standard devices are useless for predicting estimated time of arrival because they don’t take into account the extra time it takes to tack.
The Sailing GPS, a new product from SailTimer, Inc. has all the features necessary to give sailboats accurate destination, ETA, and directional information. It is tuned in to the tacking process and even gives sailors instructions for how best to tack. Finally, a device made by sailing experts allows sailboat owners to use GPS technology to its fullest potential. The company first filed for the patent back in 2006, but the completed product is just now becoming available to the public.
As you would expect in an electronic device intended for boating, there are plenty of heavy-duty protection features as well. It floats on the water; boasts an extra-bright display for viewing in full sunlight; and comes with a waterproof bag equipped with tie-down loops.
Within the next few months, an accessory wind vane will be available, which will communicate with the Sailing GPS via Bluetooth. The real-time wind information will make the GPS technology even more useful for sailors in determining optimal tacking angles.
There are plenty of other advantages that this little device provides, but most of them are described in acronyms and terms that only a die-hard boat enthusiast would appreciate. The Sailing GPS costs just under $400.00.