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Speed & Distance Manual Part 1

This manual uses an Android Tablet and Software to measure and record boat speed, time and distances. Sailing fast and making miles are desirable capabilities for any sailboat owner. You need to know what you can accomplish on voyages in different wind conditions. Most program input is automatic and requires little human input between the start and finish. While you are sailing as fast as possible, the software is measuring the parameters you will want to see after a day of sailing. The idea is to keep the details in a database for a long time and learn from our past experiences. We would all have a good laugh if I had a record of my first sail 45 years ago. I can remember that I sailed a 12 foot wood sloop in a seaplane basin on a military base. It had concrete walls on three sides and very little wind. I read a book before that sail and that helped a little bit. The book had pictures. This program was written on a cell phone and the pictures cell phone images.

Don't worry about using the little 10-inch tablet. Itís not going to bite. Turn it on and hit the software button and that's it. You will have to keep it charged. Battery life varies with the brand of tablet. It has a built-in GPS and that's what makes all of our measurements possible. You can't screw it up and it didn't cost that much in the first place if you drop it overboard. I install the software at The Sailboat Company and I sell the Tablet. Check with me by email on when it will be available.

The GPS screen is the heart of the program. It does most of the work and all of the calculations. When the large speed number appears at the top center of the screen, the GPS is ready to operate. When you are ready to start recording, you do the following: Push the Control button once and the indicator label will go from Start to Starting. Push it again and it will go from Starting to Running. That's what you do to start recording your data. When you are finished your voyage or day sail, you push the control button a third time. The indicator label will say stopping and then stop. That all you have to do to record a bunch of data. You will see speed while you are sailing with the big numbers and then Distance, Total Time, Average Speed and Maximum Speed when you stop recording. To save the data to the database, you push the Back button at the bottom of the screen. The program will go to the Database screen and show the new data in the top of the screen. Click the Add button to add the data to the Database with date. It will include the wind speed that you calculate by looking at the water. That calculation is: 0 to 3 = Slick water, 3 to 8 = dark patches on the water, 8 to 12 = dark patches everywhere, 12+ = white caps, 18+ = white caps with the tops blown off. The GPS screen also has a Map button at the bottom of the screen on the rigtht. That button will take you to a local map of your area. The X indicator is your current position. That position is updated each time the Map page is opened.

I anticipate that most sailors will use the Knot Meter function as a working Knot Meter. The tablet will need to be mounted in a location out of way, but visible from the helm. The Battery life cycle is about 7 hours with most tablets and that should work well in our sailing environment. Keeping power on from the ship's battery will make them work forever. GPS has got a lot better in recent years. More satellites mean better coverage. I can remember when coverage wasn't that good. The map in this program can't be used for navigation. It can be used for planning and testing GPS availability. The ship's location indicator only updates when the page opens. We can change that to an active page if we have enough interest. The database program is a powerful program that will make our sailing experiences available to our grandchildren when they become sailors. You will need to do it right if you want to look good to the kids.

A sister program that comes with the Tablet is Up Wind Sailing. We will use a separate Manuel to explain its operation.