Raymarine systems are a racing certainty
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Raymarine’s solutions-based innovations have much to offer for dedicated club racers
Greg Wells and Will Sayer of Raymarine have extensive racing experience between them. Greg, Raymarine’s EMEA DEM Sales Manager, "has raced on Farr 40s and Mumms," while Will, Raymarine’s Experience Manager for Sailing and Global Product Manager for multifunction displays (MFDs) and instruments, has competed in offshore races such as OSTAR and Fastnet in his Sigma 33.
Both are well qualified to describe the benefits of Raymarine products for club racers, beginning with the live display of dynamic laylines on the navigation chart in the firm’s LightHouse 3 operating system. "This function also has wind history," Greg points out, "so when it draws the layline it actually draws a cone, because it’s calculating the wind over a selectable time period between three and 60 minutes. The wind is always shifting, so this feature effectively gives you a clue of when the earliest opportunity might be to tack and clear a waypoint, or the latest opportunity to make sure you do."
Will outlines the race-ready features now available in latest Axiom operating system update, LightHouse Bermuda 3.10. "We’ve created a race mode in the MFD that enables a race countdown and start-line timer," he says. "With the start-line tool, you’ll be able to ping the ends: you can to go to the pin end of the mark and hit a button, sail to the committee boat end and hit a button, and immediately set your start line."
"You’ll know the true wind direction so you’ll be able to determine the biased end of the line; and once set, the laylines will be applied to the start line itself, so you’ll be able to see if you need to tack to make the line. And now you know that, the countdown timer will give you ‘time to burn.’ In race mode, there’s a new dashboard page called Race Start: this shows the countdown timer as a large-data item. It has ‘distance to start line’ and displays the amount of bias in metres against the true wind mark, so if there is a bias, it will tell you which end and by how much."
Warming to his theme, Will touches on Raymarine’s wireless displays. "The Maxi display is a key racing product within our wireless portfolio: big, bright numbers, designed to go on your mast, visible from any part of your boat."
"Airflow software is built into the Maxi," adds Greg, "which applies corrections caused by the effects of upwash. It’s always difficult to get ‘tack-to-tack’ performance correct on a true wind: it always seems that when you tack, the wind tacks with you. Well, Airflow makes corrections for that which provide 95-96% of accuracy as standard while allowing you to make precise adjustments."
Greg goes on to commend the Raymarine Wireless instrument range, which can be interfaced to Raymarine’s SeaTalkNG system via the Microtalk Wireless Gateway. "Elements such as target speeds and polars depend on a reasonably calibrated boat, and Raymarine Wireless products give you a pretty much calibrated boat straight out of the box. Racers often like different data when they’re going upwind to when they’re going downwind, so we have a nice little feature where it automatically changes the data items based on the wind angle."
"And integration with SeaTalkNG brings the Evolution heading sensor to the party, so now you’ve got this unbelievably good compass data going into the system. That data is key for making all the performance data work, because your true wind is calculated from the compass."
"It all results from a more solution-led thought process," Greg concludes. "We’re focused on making life easier for our customers."