SAIL

SAILING INSTRUMENTS

Be it for safety, navigation or competition, all sailors have a need for information about their boat’s performance and its environment. Many recent advances have been made by marine electronics manufacturers, which have increased the accuracy, quantity and accessibility of data from electronic sailing instruments. A general understanding of how these devices gather, share and display their data is helpful when sorting through the myriad of options on the market.

Collecting Data

The fundamental sensors that make up any sailing instrument system include wind speed and direction, boatspeed, water depth and water temperature. These transducers detect variations in the physical world around the boat and convert that information into an electrical signal. Buying your transducers as part of a kit with instrument displays is a reliable way to make sure that everything is compatible. However, if you are attempting to integrate new and old equipment or use devices from more than one manufacturer, transducers should be selected carefully. Most transducers output an analog signal that must be converted to a digital data format by a dedicated instrument display, or alternatively a “black box” computer. It’s

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