I get the opportunity to sail on a lot of different boats and one thing I find in common with most of them is the inability to get accurate performance data. Really good instrument systems are very expensive; systems that can be accurately calibrated for your whole range of sailing conditions are going to cost $15000.00 and up and even then getting the data you want to get to the crew who need them is not easy.
So I wanted something that would accomplish two things; I wanted a solution that would deliver accurate data while driving, trimming, or navigating, and I wanted a solution that was easily affordable and easy to install. Luckily the power to provide the data and the calibration that is need is available through Expedition Navigation Software.
Expedition has the ability to do all the calculations and the calibrations that you find in the top end instrument race processors today. You can build really good calibration tables to correct for all the things that low and middle priced instrument packages don’t do, and get every kind of performance and course data you can think of. The Apple iPhone, iPod, iPad platforms supply the inexpensive and versatile means of displaying that data. An owner can purchase this app and install it on multiple devices he has on his iTunes account. You don’t have to buy expensive instrument displays, you don’t have to do any wiring, and you can get the data that the helmsman, navigator, or trimmers want where they need it. The iPod Touch is the perfect display for personal use and you can buy them on eBay for $60 or $70. Have it running on an iPad in a nice waterproof case for the navigator and put one on the bulkhead at the chart table. So Ventus Navigator was born to connect the two together. With our Navigator and Expedition Software you can get more accurate data in the palm of your hand than you get with most instrument systems!
The goal was to get the data you want to see when and where you want to see it. When I’m driving a boat I really only care about seeing four things. The start timer, then upwind I want to see Boat Speed and Target Boat Speed, downwind I want to see True Wind Angle and Target True Wind Angle, and either way I want to see headers and lifts. As a trimmer I would want to see basically the same thing, as the navigator or tactician I want to see pretty different data. So we designed the app to do just that, automatically show you that data. Start the timer and the Navigator does the rest.
However we also recognized that not everybody needs the same data. For offshore racing or cruising there is a lot of other data you want to see, and tacticians need a lot more detailed information at different points in a race. So we also added in the ability to design and save your own custom pages displaying any of the data that Expedition puts out, and there are over 200 channels of those that are possible. I have pages set up to show the Current leg data, such as time and distance to the laylines, range and bearing to the coming mark, and my opposite track heading; and Next leg data that shows me range and bearing to the next mark, and apparent wind angle and speed for the leg so I know what sail I want to use for the leg. For sailing in places with much current I have a page set up to show current set and drift as well as COG and SOG. The possibilities are endless but any of the data you want to know is quickly and easily available right on deck where you are.