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GPS Speed Sailing
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Mulekick84



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:41 am    Post subject: GPS Speed Sailing Reply with quote

I'm curious what people are using for waterproof GPS units. I just used a Cyclometer GPS unit for fun and clocked 37.32 mph in 25-35 mph winds on our local lake.

I was riding an 89 Liter Starboard Kombat with the stock Drake wave fin and a Sailworks Hucker 4.8. After clocking the 37 MPH run, I got fired up and went for it, but after a couple good crashes, the GPS went kaput. Water penetrated the unit!

I emailed the ride to myself between sessions and when I looked at the data, the fastest 1 mile average was only 25.6, which was disappointing, but the winds were up and down.

Is there a good wrist mount GPS out there that is reliable / durable?

Thanks!

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grayson



Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 74
Location: Burlington, VT

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Garmin Forerunner 310XT is the only wrist-mount one I know of that'll really hold up to the rigors of windsurfing on its own. It's really aimed at runners/cyclists/triathletes, so the featureset is really loaded with options for monitoring heartrate, power, calories burned, and all sorts of other crap I don't care about, and is quite weak for basic navigation and features that I would care about. However, for just tracking speed, distance, track log, and some other basic stuff, it works great, is totally waterproof for windsurfing uses, is durable, and doesn't get in the way at all when sailing (it's just a bulky wristwatch). I've had mine for 2 seasons now, and it's holding up great.

Before that I had a Garmin Foretrex 201 for a number of years, which is also wrist-mount, though bulkier. The catch is it has a lower "waterproof" rating (like "up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes" or something like that), and it would work fine for a season or so but then eventually die (replaced it twice under warranty, then the last time it made it just past the warranty period). It did have a featureset I liked a lot better than the Forerunner 310XT though. Some folks take the Foretrex units (there's now a 301 and a 401) and put 'em in a waterproof pouch strapped to their arm. You can still operate the thing right through the bag which is nice. Really you can do this with most any cheapo GPS unit, so that's probably the lowest-cost option, but just a little bulkier than a real wrist unit like the Forerunner 310XT.

BTW, nice 37.32mph speed run!
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NickB



Joined: 30 Jun 2009
Posts: 497
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got a Garmin Forerunner 205 and used it a lot last season, directly on my wrist and it held up fine. I just make sure to rinse it and dry it after the session.
Definitely not as fast as you though, been topping out around 27mph (with big free ride equipment in 15-20mph wind). At higher speed, I'd consider wearing it under the wetsuit sleeve in case of nasty crash.
It's just over a hundred bucks now. Nice for speedsurfing, but also just to very easily log your sessions on GarminConnect.
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grayson



Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 74
Location: Burlington, VT

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NickB wrote:
Got a Garmin Forerunner 205 and used it a lot last season, directly on my wrist and it held up fine.

Careful! The Forerunner 205 is only rated to IPx7 for waterproofness. That's "1 meter depth for up to 30 minutes" (see IP Code definition). That's the same rating as my old Foretrex 201 that also seemingly "held up fine" for a season or so before dying. Then the replacement one did the same. A friend also had one, with the exact same experience, except he didn't bother to replace his. For true waterproofness that'll stand up to the rigors of regular windsurfing, you want a depth number associated with the waterproofness rating. The Forerunner 310XT is rated to 50m depth. An IPx7 rating is not sufficient for long-term windsurfing use in my experience.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1442

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am on my 7th season with a Fortrex Forerunner 201. I carry it it in a cell phone size Aquapac attached to a neoprene/Velcro arm strap on my upper arm. Word was that the 201's were not very water proof. Mine has been on my arm for over 400 outings.

The Aquapac has developed a couple of holes which I have patched.
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Mulekick84



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 337

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Guys!! I really appreciate the input. I like the wrist mount, but $350 is a chunk. It sounds really cool though and I can use it for MTBing.

I also checked out the waterproof arm packs. They look great! I saw Wyatt listening to tunes in the waves last year at Pistol! That guy is always so stoked!!!

The good news is I was able to salvage my contacts and data from my Iphone. If yours ever gets wet, the number one thing is NOT to plug into power!!! I thought my battery just died because I had the GPS running all day. They will just dry out in a bag of rice in 24-48 hours. Who knew?

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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 519

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look at www.gps-speedsurfing.com and www.gpsteamchallenge.com.au you'll see that they recommend the Locosys GT-31. It's the most accurate GPS unit for windsurfing, and has a much better battery life. I know several windsurfers who used Garmin units and had problems with battery life, accuracy (much higher than actual speed "spikes"), and eventual failure in crashes (when used without waterproof bags).

The GT-31 must be used with a waterproof arm band (e.g. Aquapak 212). The combination costs about $200. You can get it at amazom.com, semsons.com, or pre-configured for windsurfing from midwestspeedquest.com
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NickB



Joined: 30 Jun 2009
Posts: 497
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grayson> thanks yeah I had seen that, but decided to take my chances due to low price. I'm thinking that I'll either pouch it from now on, or at least wear it under my wetsuit sleeve (so that it's not subject to as much pressure when I wipe it hard).
When this one dies, I'll probably get one like yours, much less bulky too!
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tramontana00



Joined: 15 Feb 2010
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Locosys is recommended unit, but it's sure bulky and annoying to wear in arm band, so I invented the new way. Ziplock bag taped to sail. Works great!
Double ziplock bag makes it bulletproof and small rubber o-ring around thumb stick prevents accidental screen option changes.



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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 519

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tramontana, I like the idea of taping the GPS to the sail (I don't mind the arm band, but my wife does). What tape do you use - regular duck tape? Also, wouldn't taping the GPS onto the sail disrupt the laminar air flow and create drag/slow you down?
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