Every once in a while we spotlight what we call “sailing gizmos” for lack of a better name – innovative interesting little ideas that make our sailing world a little bit better. Today we check out CrewWatcher, a pocket sized alert system that keeps track of the crew and sends out a signal should someone fall overboard. Continue reading →
We love collecting and highlighting cool or interesting little innovations that fall into the “gizmo” folder. This remote operated racing mark definitely falls into that category. The racers in the house know the lousy feeling of being in a starting sequence and feeling a decisive wind shift that will totally undermine how the race was meant to be sailed. Moving around marks can be arduous and we’ve all heard the PRO over the radio try to make the best of shifty conditions with the crew on the mark-set boat struggling to accommodate. But alas, technology has brought with it an alternative – MarkSetBot!
It’s essentially an orange racing mark strapped to a dinghy with a radio-controlled electric motor but it’s obviously more than that. This interesting solution to a problem allows the user to control the mark with a mobile app so if it needs to move a few feet in any direction it can be done from the perch of the committee boat or a nearby RIB.
According to the developers, it uses GPS technology to zero in on a specific location and remain there until told to move. A course can be set by pointing the connected phone at the wind or by using add-on wind instruments to research trends and then set the bearing based on that info.
“The MarkSetBot is the world’s first robotic race mark, which allows a race committee to set up or change a race mark on a course more quickly and accurately than ever before.”
The plan is to use the MarkSetBot for the Great Lakes Boating Festival at Michigan’s Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (GPYC) on May 20 and see if it’s a winner.
Our hats are off to them for going to the trouble – seems like a cool idea. For more information about MarkSetBot, visit www.MarkSetBot.com or find us on Facebook.
We’re always on the lookout for cool inventive stuff that make the act of sailing a little easier or at the least, more pragmatic. We saw this new magnifying tool and thought it would make a great addition to our Sailing Gizmo series and for you, a handy instrument to throw in the nav desk.
The Sirius Signal SOS Distress Light aims to replace traditional marine flares. The SOS Distress Light is the first and only LED Visual Distress Signal Device accepted to completely replace dangerous and environmentally harmful pyrotechnic marine flares. It is battery-operated, buoyant, and lightweight. The SOS Distress Light can be hand-held, tethered, or hoisted aloft. Lasts HOURS compared to flares, which last minutes, or flare gun meteors, which last mere seconds.
Complies with all U.S. Coast Guard requirements for “Night Visual Distress Signals” 46 CFR 161.013
When combined with the included daytime distress signal flag, meets all USCG Federal Requirements for carriage of DAY and NIGHT VDS.
Designed, engineered, patented, and produced in the USA.
There is a definite MacGyver element to being a sailor, particularly a cruising sailor, therefore little inventions to make life easier are always of interest. Life at sea with something broken or working poorly can make an everyday Joe a brilliant inventor. Here’s a sailor math equation for you: Time on hand + annoying broken things = Innovation. Here’s one we like – the rope shackle: