A GPS for sailors

Just announced is a handheld GPS that has been devised specifically with sailors in mind. The Sailing GPS claims to be the first GPS unit that will provide sailors with the optimum tacking angle to their destination based on wind direction and the lat/long of the desired destination. There have been specialized GPS units for golfers for many years. It’s about time sailors had a unit like this. Of course, it does require that you know the wind direction, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the average well-instrumented voyaging boat.

From the press release: Dr. Craig Summers, founder of Indepth Navigation and inventor of The Sailing GPS, today announced that after six prototypes and years of research and development, production of the highly anticipated Sailing GPS has begun.

The Sailing GPS represents a watershed in the history of navigational devices. For the first time, sailors will be able to determine the optimum tacking angle to arrive at their destination in the shortest possible time.

For cruisers, this means a dramatic increase in the ability to plan routes, and accurately forecast Tacking Time to Destination.

For racers, The Sailing GPS provides an unmatched competitive advantage in determining the fastest line to mark — the result of a continuous computation of the ideal balance between distance and speed.

The Sailing GPS is the result of extensive research and development undertaken by a team of navigators and programmers on two continents, led by Dr. Craig Summers, who have successfully overcome the inherent flaws in predicting ETA based on Velocity Made Good.

“The Sailing GPS is the only device in the world that accounts for tacking when calculating distances, time of arrival, and optimal routes,” says Summers. “The Sailing GPS does this automatically. Moreover, it  includes an algorithm that learns your boat’s unique speed characteristics, which is far more accurate when determining actual Tacking Time to Destination than using generic polar plot specifications from manufacturers or simulated models.”

Summers, a Ph.D. with expertise in computer modeling  and electronics, is also an experienced bluewater cruiser and producer of the acclaimed Cruising DVDs series, an interactive cruising guide that covers the entire historic route from the coast of Florida across the Gulf Stream, through The Bahamas, The Turks & Caicos, The Virgin Islands, and into The Caribbean.

The Sailing GPS is lightweight, daylight –readable and submersible. It is easily mounted on a bulkhead with Velcro, and comes with a drypak waterproof pouch with tie-down loops, for additional protection against the elements.

The Sailing GPS is Bluetooth wireless enabled, for sharing GPS data with existing PC-based chart-plotters.

Suggested retail price is $299 US. Available for shipping before January 2010.

By Ocean Navigator