Sail Faster - Know Your Numbers

Something I learned very early in sailboat racing was that there was something I was missing. I just didn’t quite always have the confidence to Tack Now and know why. Found out later it was because I wasn’t using my compass correctly. Today, class rules in many dinghy classes restrict electronic compasses or any compass that gives you more information than just heading. But how many “officially sanctioned” class events do you go to?

I wanted to learn the numbers and here in AZ where I sail, we’re a competitive fleet, but no one cares if you have a little help. So I created a mount for the Velocitek line of compasses. These are all self contained devices so no through hull drilling required. They are GPS and / or Electronic Compasses that give you a variety of different information depending on the device and how you may have the device set up.

These mounts are attached to the Laser just ahead of the Harken Double Cam Cleat that is the cunningham and outhaul using 3M DualLock recloseable fastening tape (which is included.) The lines are led through the bracket out of necessity but that then gives you added safety. Finally, I still attach a loop of line to the device itself and directly to the boat.

For the traditionalist, who is better at math than I am, we have a new take on the traditional surface mount compass bracket. This is also great for the times you do have to be class legal. The flat top is 4.5' wide by 4.6' deep. The compass pictured is the Ritchie XP-98W but will work with any deck mount compass that fits on the flat plate. The compass mount is attached with 3m Dual Lock strips right behind the Harken Double Cam Cleats and allows the outhaul and cunningham lines to run through it. This adds a measure of security as well as being functional. (Compass not included).

Finally we have the Tacking Master. This little gadget works with your compass to help you understand all the numbers. One dial for the wind, a pointer for the direction to the mark, and a Lifted/Headed tracking piece that makes ensuring you are in phase and on the lifted tack much easier to manage.