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How sailing instruments can help your race results

When asked in an interview what was the most important part of a sailing race, one famous Olympic sailor answered ‘The start, the first beat, and the rest!’ These days, electronics can help you to get the best out of your boat, not only on the startline, but tracking windshifts, tacking on the correct laylines and making sure your boat performs to its potential.

Before the start

B&G chartplotters allow you to quickly create routes: by entering shortcodes you can have a route set up only minutes after the course has been read out over the VHF. Alternatively, a windward-leeward course can be input by entering the range and bearing to the top mark.

The start

B&G chartplotters come pre-loaded with America’s Cup level technology to help you be first across the startline when the gun goes. The StartLine display tells you which end of the line to start, with a clear indication of line bias. It also keeps you informed with the time remaining, distance to the line and laylines on each end to ensure you don’t get shut out at the committee boat.


Until recently available only to top-flight navigators, our layline features show you accurate upwind laylines on the chart, with windshift information and tacking angles clearly displayed, for accurate layline calls every time you approach the windward mark.

B&G’s new Advanced Windplot chartplotter app gives you an excellent overview of what the wind is doing, making it easy to identify permanent and oscillating wind shifts and track trends.

SailingTime uses the layline information to provide you with accurate Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) data at your waypoint- taking into account the time spent on each tack.

Helmsmen often find it hard to interpret a forest of numbers – but the SailSteer app shows wind data, heading, waypoint, layline and tide data, all on one intuitive display. Steer to target angles, make sure you don’t sail past the mark and keep an eye on the tidal flow, all on one easy screen.

What’s happening up ahead?

Using either Polar data or manually calibrated Layline target tables, the What If? App lets you preview upcoming legs of the course using real-time data or by inputting potential wind shifts. Armed with this information you can select the right headsail or call for a gybe set before your competitors have even noticed the wind has shifted.


Of course, none of these features will be accurate without the ability to precisely calibrate the data. B&G H5000 instrument systems allow for ultra-precise calibration of all sensors, with heel corrected speed and 3D Motion Correction of wind data. Even our Vulcan and Triton² chartplotters and instruments allow club racers to enter advanced calibration data that will ensure the data is as accurate as possible.

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The most important part of the race: how to get the perfect start