Even if you have a 60-foot (20 m) mast, the new version of the SailTimer Wind Instrument™ is well-suited to transmitting from the masthead at that distance. In fact, if you anchor off shore and dinghy 150-200 feet to shore, you would still be able to receive the Bluetooth 4 (LE) transmissions. But the wireless, solar-powered SailTimer Wind Instrument™ is also small enough to be used on centerboard boats, racing dinghies, trailer-sailors and beachable catamarans.
In a small sailboat, these days it is easy to take advanced GPS chartplotting capabilities along on your smartphone or tablet. This is the only masthead anemometer that is submersible, for use on small boats that could flip. Although we have now added an off-switch, we wanted to make sure that one was designed that would never leak, even after many years outside in all types of weather. The new Wind Instrument has a clever magnetic switch inside the solid plastic tail. The switch is triggered with a magnet in the blue cap shown in the picture above. Snap on the blue cap, and the magnetic field reaches through the clear plastic to trigger the off-switch for you.
The Wind Instrument is sent to you from the factory with the cap on, so it has a charge and can operate as soon as you receive it. You can use the cap if storing the Wind Instrument during the off-season. When the cap is removed, a small blue LED light blinks every 4 seconds (until you have a data connection), to make it easy to know if the unit is turned on.
New Wind Angle Display in SailTimer™ app
The SailTimer™ app was the first mobile app that could learn the polar plot for your individual boat. It also has the unique ability to be able to assess your tacking distances to determine your optimal tacking angles; something GPS chartplotter devices at any price do not do. When you have a Bluetooth connection to the SailTimer Wind Instrument™, as the wind fluctuates, the app updates your optimal tacks and TTD® (Tacking Time to Destination) automatically.
There is a new Wind Angle button in the upper right corner of the low-cost SailTimer™ app (and free Charts Edition). The new version (5.7.1) is in iTunes now. When clicked, it gives you a full-screen numerical display as shown below, which is large enough to be visible from across the cockpit.
Both Apparent and True wind angle and wind speed can be displayed. Under the Settings, you can also display an optional Countdown Timer for races.
There are also some changes to ActiveCaptain in the new version 5.7.1 of the SailTimer app. When you turn on ActiveCaptain in the SailTimer app, it adds four different colors of flags to points of interest on the charts, for anchorages (green), marinas (red), local knowledge (blue) and hazards (orange). You can register at ActiveCaptain.com before turning on this feature under Options - Charts in the SailTimer app. ActiveCaptain is like a cruising guide that never goes out of date; see descriptions of points of interest shared by other sailors and add your own.