September 20, 2014 at 10:46 pm #537
There has been extensive discussion between Weta owners about the use of technology during class races.
However, in 2010 after extensive research and discussion, the French Weta owners introduced National Class Rules which allowed any technology to be used in their class racing – amongst a number of other changes which rationalised modifications that owners had made to make the boat easier and more comfortable to sail..
Their experience to date has shown that simple, clear devices work the best as complex displays , which require extensive button pushing, are just not useable on a wide (mainly) single handed boat like the Weta – although may have more application when sailing 2-up.
So the majority of the French have a simple start watch and a few have a SpeedPuck costing around $300 and a TackTick Micro Compass for around $400. None have gone for the advanced devices like the Prostart as they are too complex for use on the boat.
This may seem expensive, but this should be put into perspective when compared to start watches such as the Ronstan ClearStart costs around $100 and the Gill RacePro costs $150. If you then add the cost of two compass and kayak mounts for the tramps at $100 each, there’s not a huge price difference.
The other problem with centrally mounted instruments is that the viewing angle and distance when hiking from the Ama can make it difficult to read the screen. Other classes get around this problem with a counter-rotating system which uses the boom to turn the instrument towards the helmsman but without a boom it’s difficult to see how this could be created on the Weta.
The alternative is to look at Apps for mobile phones some of which provide more features than could ever be programmed into dedicated hardware and it means you have one device for all your communication and racing needs – just add a waterproof cover or even buy an inexpensive rugged phone or tablet. The main issues that most phones have is the difficulty of reading the LCD screen in bright sunlight with polarized sunglasses but manufacturers are working on this and waterproof covers are available which leave the screen uncovered.
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