Tacktick's new Race Master system

A look at a top spec J/80 installation of the tactical racing instruments

Wednesday April 25th 2007, Author: Andy Nicholson, Location: United Kingdom
We were recently given the opportunity to see the tricked out J/80 Jenga Trois featuring the latest hardware from wireless electronics specialist Tacktick. Launched to the public at the London Boatshow the new Racemaster is a sophisticated update on the company’s previous version, which now incorporates Tacktick’s proprietary Micronet wireless technology. This enables the unit to be hooked up to other data inputs onboard such as speed, depth, wind, GPS etc.

As a stand alone unit the Race Master is used as a tactical compass and timer with a range of functions being available. Before the start you sail your port and starboard upwind headings and they are automatically taken into the unit to display future headers and lifts. This mean wind direction information is also used in a new function which can determine line bias (excluding any tidal aspects you may be interested in). By sailing along the line in Line Bias mode the unit works out the favoured end and by keeping an eye on this, and also by doing further ‘head to winds’ in the pre-start, any further changes can be identified.

Stepping up to the Race Master system you add speed and depth. The display comes with a single speed/depth (and water temperature) transducer which is cabled to a hull transmitter. The display can then be positioned anywhere on the boat without cables – ideally on the mast below the gooseneck and it communicates via the Micronet protocol with the transmitter. Also included in the system is a small solar panel which can be fitted to the deck and provides power to the transmitter.

The display is excellent with two angled faces featuring two lines of data. The top line is in big 28mm digits for primary information and a smaller line below. In the basic system the top line can be shared between Compass and Speed functions. The bottom display line can show another line of data and cleverly the depth alarm can be hidden – only going off and showing the depth when the alarm depth is reached.

On Jenga Trois a second Racemaster display had been fitted on the mast providing a total of four lines of data to be continuously shown. In addition a Wireless Interface had been fitted which has enabled a GPS antenna and Remote to added to the system The preference onboard was to have a GPS to display COG and SOG, a very useful tool for a tidal racecourse. The Remote is used to choose and operate the various functions on the displays as the race progresses and it also enables all the data to be accessed from between your knees whilst hiking out.

Interestingly as part of the J/80 class rules it is not permitted to have electronic wind instruments. One of the best features of the Remote is a graphical display of the wind trend – both speed and direction and to have this sort of info on a sportsboat/small keelboat really makes it worthwhile having the Remote in the system.

The set up on Jenga Trois is not without a hefty price tag but brings together a range of tactical devices in a robust solar powered environment.

The Racemaster is priced at £499.95
With speed and depth added as the Race Master System: £869.99
The Remote (with wireless interface) £399.95
GPS antenna £225.95

Yes, wires. From the GPS and the Speed/Depth transducers to the Hull Transmitter and Wireless Interface

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