SailTimer, gone iPhone & handheld
I first heard about SailTimer — a set of algorithms for calculating sailing tacks, including total distance and tacking time to destination (TTD) — back in 2006. And it did indeed become a very interesting feature of NavSim’s SailCruiser. But developer Craig Summers was not done there. His Indepth Navigation company now offers a free, and very simplified, iPhone version of SailTimer as well as the $14 app illustrated above. Frankly, even the paid app doesn’t seem as full featured as the online SailTimer demo yet — you don’t see what your calculated speed is, for instance — but I know Summers is working on it. In fact, SailTimer 2.0, with tacking lines drawn between those pins on the map, is due out this week. And then there’s the “Sailing GPS”…
Yup, Summers has designed a handheld GPS with SailTimer math built in, as seen below. It’s due to ship soon, and apparently I’ll get to test one. In the meantime, the best way to understand the SailTimer app is via this YouTube video. And to really get into the problems surrounding traditional VMG numbers, you can read Dr. Summers article in GAM magazine, and also this Knol piece by John Navas. Whereas I’ve become something of a stink potter in my old age, I’m very curious what you blow boaters think of the SailTimer concept and implementations.
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