User photo: Wind Instrument RB on the mast of Night Hawk, a Ranger 28 sailing on a mountain lake near Denver, Colorado USA.

Sailboat Navigation Continues to Evolve

Welcome to all of the new users. It is fall up north now, so a good time to cover product refinements that were made and tested over the summer.

The SailTimer Wind Instrument RB™ is solar-powered and wireless, so there are no wires to install down the mast. It has an ingenious design with the battery used as a counterbalance in the nose cone. The electronics in the tail are sealed, but a magnet on the wind cups reaches through the tail shell on each revolution to indicate wind speed.

This is the only masthead anemometer designed for sailboats, remaining equally accurate when sailing along heeled over. Since it is wireless, you can even raise it without climbing or lowering mast. It can transmit on Bluetooth to the phone/tablet you already have, and has our Air Link accessory for getting the wireless data into NMEA wired networks.

With the vertical design, we have never had a single report of seabird damage to any model of SailTimer Wind Instrument™. But it does come with a comprehensive 2-year warranty. As you can see on the order page, it has the lowest cost and best features, and even has an option for $26.99/month payments. Ships in about 2 days.
New axles & ceramic bearings + updates to cups, tail shell and carbon-fiber pointer.
Wind Instrument Updates
Now with premium non-corrosive ceramic bearings in the wind cups and wind direction arrow (with no price increase). New glossy carbon-fiber for the pointer. There have also been improvements to the wind cups and to the injection molding of the tail shell.

Maybe you are one of the sailors who uses their tablet where they can see it under a bimini top, or mounted in the companionway. But if you want to connect to a chartplotter at the helm, the Air Link has also been updated with a smaller case, improved electronics, internal antenna, and easy install.

Android App Updates
As you can see in the screenshot above, the SailTimer API on Android has now been updated to show the incoming data stream from the Wind Instrument in green text. The API receives the Bluetooth transmissions and converts them into the NMEA standard format for marine electronics, for viewing in a wind gauge, chartplotter or performance app. Seeing the NMEA data is helpful for troubleshooting, and makes it obvious if you don't have a  Bluetooth connection. The API has also been updated for Android 10, along with the SailTimer Wind Gauge app.


The Modern Era of Sailboat Navigation
The SailTimer Wind Instrument works with lots of apps on iOS and Android, such as iRegatta 2 for iPad. Unlike the original iRegatta performance app, iRegatta 2 provides a flexible chart-based layout.

The free SailTimer™ tacking app on Android and iOS comes with aerial photos and land maps worldwide, and allows you to use raster charts or the excellent Navionics vector charts. It has features that are not available on GPS chartplotters at any price. The app can learn your boat's custom "polar plots" (boat speed on all wind angles and wind speeds), and use those to calculate your optimal tacks (see above-right). Amazingly, it is also the only product that accounts for your tacking distances when determining your optimal tacking route. Obviously you can't calculate your Tacking Time to Destination without knowing the distance you are going to travel.

There is a How to Use instruction page for the SailTimer app, and a 1-minute YouTube demo showing how you can test your tacks by entering wind direction manually. But it is even easier with wireless wind data coming in automatically.


Copyright © 2020 SailTimer Inc. All rights reserved. SailTimer, Air Link, SailTimer Wind Instrument, Wind Instrument RB, Audio Navigation, TTD® and the above tacking logo are trademarks of SailTimer Inc.

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