New Technology or BS?

I have just read this on the Sail World site and I still don`t know if they are pulling my leg or it is for real.

The silly thing is that some are already using this stuff for similar experiments and so it has a ring of reality about it but the writing is a little strange?

You be the judge.

What’s an RC-27?

I t would be nice if the author would just tell you, simply, what the new techology was about.

Hi Ian,
I’m sure this is total BS, as I’ve never heard of this class or any of the individuals. To reach a level of interest to be calling on a “World” regatta, this so called “class” would be better known than this. The last paragraph contains a statement that reveals the true intent, that this is an April Fools Day spoof:
“We apologize about not having announced this on April 1, as planned…”

This is how I felt after reading the article:

Sometimes when people from several different countries (like a few central American/southern U.S. or a few Europeans) get together for an event they call it “worlds”) for some reason. I think this is what happened. I got the feeling that this event was somewhere is South FL with a few caribbean dudes (where the “elitist” prase came from) and this was some kind of a promotional or gimmick stunt for a sailing magazine, so they had a manufacturer throw together a few boats, and they staged the “regatta.”

It had none of the usual reading you’d get from an organized r/c yacht ragatta.

Billl- From that last paragraph, it seems that it’s just a big lure to announce a new sailboat-oriented gambling “game” in Las Vegas…

Did you notice the feedback link at the bottom?


I don’t get it… the technology is there… but… uhh… we have a hard enough time keeping the line square to the wind… HOW THE HECK would you keep the marks in line with a submerged cable??? Oh yeah… sure… RIGHT… THAT would work… This sounds to me… the classic case of someone with great ambitions… and got a little carried away with themselves… with what they THINK would work… and then reality rears it’s ugly head… Can you imagine … getting called over early and you are not even to the buoys yet because of the scope of the line? Even the smallest windshift would cause the line to move away from the cable… and there goes your “nano-second” response time.

100% USDA Grade “A” BULL-S#!+

As to calling the line… well… R/C cars have transponders that register when they cross the start/finish line for each lap… that has been around for 20 years… and it works great because the cable is either buried under the dirt or suspended over it in an arch *(usually with some advertising on it)

Why do they always invoke MIT??? I have worked with MIT off and on for years on various projects… and some of them are good… and some of them are well… I flew with some of them and they ain’t no Lindberg.

Cameras on boats??? BIG DEAL… everyone has been doing that for YEARS… wireless cameras… actual video recording cameras, you name it. My favorite is the ASTA cam… my wirefox terrier Asta will take the wireless cam on a E-ticket ride that is TOO much fun to watch… but usually rakes if off on some low furniture or bushes.

You want crazy??? OK… try this on for size…

Buy an inexpensive Bicycle computer on EBay. Make a 2" paddlewheel and put a neodium (kick-ass) magnet on it, about the size of a pencil eraser…and position it on the transom of your boat (velcro) with the sensor from the cycle-puter mounted next to it so it reads the magnet each time it goes by.

Calibrate the cycle-puter for the 2" wheel (some will not let you go this small, so you multiply by 10, the puter won’t know the difference… RPMS are RPMS to it. Put the display for the puter (the head unit) in frame where your onboard wireless camera can see it clearly.

Go to RadioShack and get the $129 5" LCD screen COLOR TV with batteries (and A/C adapter) and plug in your wireless Rx. NOW… you can stand there… at the pond… and get a speed readout LIVE from your boat.

Called… telemetry. R/c cars have setups that make this look as hacked as it really is… R/c airplanes now have active working pitot static systems that give the pilot real time telemetry… as in IAS, (indicated airpseed) baro alt. even VVI (vert.velocity) AMAZING stuff.

The next step? the future? 3-axis gimbals that digitize their movements and are recorded by the onboard device. These are coupled with sensors on the sheets, and paddlewheel, creating a mosaic of data that records boatspeed with heel angle, and sheet position/boom angle. The only thing not contemplated is sail shape and windspeed.

Assuming no changes in sail shape (whooo… that’s a big one) You can predict from the data the most correct sail trim for the angle of heel to produce the best speed… ie reverse the data stream and have the onboard processor drive your winches and trim your sails for you.

Now… did we actually put the camera on the boat? Yes… go to YOUTUBE and see for yourself. Did we actually put the paddlewheel on the boat and get a readout? Yes, but it is unreliable, it takes a more dedicated mount, and I didn’t want to do that to the boat being used as the test bed. Can you build it into the hull as you would on a full sized boat? Sure can.

Have we recorded digitally the movements of the boat? No, I am still playing with the digitizer (and it is WAY too much fun so far) and now with the move things are super clogged up… but don’t kid yourself. It’s all out there.

It’s a great time to be playing with technology… you are most limited by your own imagination. Stereo Lithography… small desktop units are under $10,000 now… and some are quite a bit less. 3D routers… just worked with one that has 100" x 48" cutting surface, and I forget the Z… atleast 18" though… $16,000 they are getting cheaper all the time.


Not worth discussion. Grade A BS with all the trimmings - and not awfully funny.


It was quite obviously not meant to be taken seriously.

The boat in the picture happened to be an Australian IOM design - a Blowfly.

I agree with Angus - the item failed miserably.

I know nothing about an RC-27 class, but I am familar with Kattack and a couple of the names of the people involved with it. Kattack supplied hand held GPS units to part of the fleet at the Corsair Nationals last spring in Pensacola. After the race, each unit was hooked to a laptop and the tracking data downloaded. Afterwards, you could watch the race unfold with each boat’s speed and course shown on a map of the bay. You could see the wind shifts hit and boats tack, and a separate speed display showed each boats current speed as the race unfolded. It was amazing to see Randy Smyth’s Tri, speed to the correct corner and leave everyone behind! It also caught us passing on the wrong side of a mark on the long distance race :frowning: =RAF*

There is also a new electronic unit called Velocitek that can use GPS points for the boat and pin ends of the line, to tell you how far your bow is from the line. Even with it’s error, it can put you close to the line even if the line is 1/4 mile long :zbeer: Mid line sag??? Not anymore!

The technology is coming!