High-end digital compasses like Velocitek, Tacktick, and Sailcomp have been the go-to gadgets for competitive sailors for years. While sophisticated, these devices can set you back hundreds of dollars.
Enter Regatta Recon, an affordable performance sailing app for Android and iOS that aims to bring crucial racing tools to your smartphone or tablet, without breaking the bank.
Features and Usability
Developed by two racing sailors from Charleston, S.C., Regatta Recon offers three core functionalities crucial for competitive sailing which are as follows:
- Compass Heading and Directional Trend – The app displays your boat’s heading, as well as any degree of lift or header to offer vital information for making real-time decisions on the water.
- Countdown Timing – With six timing settings ranging from one to six minutes, it provides audible alerts at specific intervals for precise start timing.
- Competitor Logging – The ability to log the elapsed finish times of up to six competitors, giving sailors a comparative performance analysis.
Switching between functionalities is as easy as tapping the screen. Our test found that the app was highly responsive and accurate, and its readings matched those of a handheld GPS.
Reliability and Versatility
The most appealing aspect of Regatta Recon is its offline capabilities. Once downloaded, the app doesn’t require an Internet or mobile connection, thus staying compliant with race rules against outside interference.
Compatibility is also a strong suit as the app works with any device featuring an internal compass.
User Experience and Tips
We found the display clearly visible under various lighting conditions, including bright daylight. However, the developers recommend adjusting your device’s sleep settings to ensure the screen remains active throughout its use.
Battery longevity is another concern; make sure your device is fully charged before heading out.
Given the aquatic environment, a quality waterproof case is a must. In tests, a water-resistant Otterbox Defender case was used, but for wetter conditions, options like Lifeproof or Aquapac are advisable.
Regatta Recon developers are working on a mast-mount coupling compatible with various popular digital compass devices, offering more flexible setup options.
While it doesn’t display boat speed like its more expensive counterparts, Regatta Recon is an economical and functional alternative at just $14.99. The app simplifies complex tasks by offering vital data at the touch of a screen, and it should be considered a viable option for sailors looking for an affordable yet effective performance tool.
However, be aware of device overheating issues when left in direct sunlight and plan accordingly. Overall, it’s a useful addition to any sailor’s tech arsenal.