If you have heard of "polar plots" like the one in the diagram below, and wonder how they work, we have a new summary
on the SailTimer™ app web site. It compares traditional polar "targets" versus modern calculations of optimal laylines using the free SailTimer app
One of the problems highlighted is that polar targets are expensive to buy, but do not appear to be validated with actual boat speeds. Therefore, if you use the traditional method with polar targets based on Velocity Made Good to the wind, your optimal tacks may be wrong. The article shows the advantages of recording the actual polar plots for your boats' actual performance in the SailTimer app. The patented SailTimer method begins with the polars and distances, to determine the optimal tacks. No-one has done it this way before. This data is easily accessible, there is no question of how valid it is, and the logic for defining your optimal tacks is much simpler.
Polar targets originated circa the 1940s, before GPS and even computers existed. You could not recalculate trigonometry distances every second then. But we have GPS and computers easily accessible now on the phone in everyone’s pocket. So now the SailTimer app makes it easy to calculate optimal tacks to the actual waypoint, instead of navigating based on your velocity into the wind like your grandfather did.
SeaNav app and Pebble Watch
SeaNav is an iOS app that can now connect to the wireless SailTimer Wind Instrument™. Developed by Pocket Mariner, there is a posting on their blog explaining how it works. SeaNav has marine charts for numerous countries, and a unique Augmented Reality view. Pocket Mariner also has an interesting history on developing their AIS display in the Bristol Channel in England.
SeaNav has a clever gauge for wind direction shown in the screenshot below. It shows both wind angle and wind direction at the same time. SeaNav also lets you display your wireless True and Apparent wind data on the Pebble Watch.
Update on Wind Instrument orders
The wireless SailTimer Wind Instrument™ has many innovative new features, and the lowest price on the market. We hadn't fully anticipated the worldwide demand that would occur, when the new version was introduced this year. So these products are a scarce commodity so far. We can update an app overnight, but ordering parts, doing machinework, molding and final assembly takes time. So it is taking awhile to scale up and accelerate the manufacturing and shipping with this popular new product. In the past few weeks, we added a mid-year improvement to the incredibly thin molding done on the tail section. That introduced a delay to current orders, but is an important improvement that means that the Wind Instrument continues to set new standards. If you have a pre-order in the queue, you should receive it no later than July based on our current output. It is not practical for us to respond to email asking when in future a package will be sent. We can't estimate that with any degree of accuracy, and individual correspondence about shipping timing takes our personnel away from technical support and manufacturing/shipping. The estimated timeframe is shown on the Order page and is updated in these newsletters. We also send a FedEx tracking number when the package is on the way. We'll also make an announcement when all pre-orders have been shipped.
Hands-on demos from Capt. Domenic
Here are some light and entertaining user reviews that give you a first-hand look at the wireless SailTimer Wind Instrument™. Capt. Dom is also known as the Vagabond Epicurean. He is a chef who produces cooking videos, but he also keeps his boat on Chesapeake Bay, USA and does video reviews of marinas and restaurants as well as marine products.
How-to YouTube demos: Capt. Dom shows how the blue cap is removed to activate the magnetic off-switch (which turns on the blue LED light that flashes every 4 seconds, so you know the Wind Instrument is charged and turned on). If you break your wind cups, the Wind Instrument can be easily disassembled for a quick replacement. This video also shows one of the most basic innovations with the wireless Wind Instrument: it is the first masthead anemometer that can be raised without going to all the trouble of climbing up or lowering the mast.
In another YouTube demo he shows how to use the Wind Instrument with two Android apps: the SailTimer API (which receives the Bluetooth transmissions) and the SailTimer Wind Gauge app (for displaying the data). There is also a growing list of chartplotter, wind gauge and performance apps that can display data from the wireless Wind Instrument on Android and iOS here.