Velocitek launches race boat compass

The Shift is an inertia-stabilised to help show lifts and headers

Wednesday October 30th 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Performance instrument maker Velocitek, long known for its GPS-based instruments for competitive sailboat racing, has announced the release of the company's first non-GPS instrument - an inertially stabilised magnetic compass known as the Shift. The Shift is the world’s first compass designed specifically to help sailors identify wind shifts quickly and accurately.

"It was very simple to go upwind before the start and hit the set button for Port or Starboard tack and once the race started I immediately knew whether I was headed or lifted. The Shift didn’t make me think too much and it allowed me to focus my efforts elsewhere," commented Anthony Kotoun, Melges 32 World Champion, Moth North American Champion and former J/24 World Champion

Flavio Favini agreed after coming in second at the Melges 24 World Championship using the new Shift. “Its easy to remember your offset number to see if you’re higher or lower and the arrows are good.”

How It Works

Top tacticians can mentally calculate changes in wind direction from compass readings in milliseconds. For the rest of us, remembering and analysing those numbers can be a huge distraction from the business of racing; sail trim, strategy, maneuvers, and boat speed.

The Shift makes those tactical calculations simple, freeing up mental bandwidth for the more complicated business of making a boat go fast.

How does it do it?


1. Remembering port and starboard reference angles with the push of a button.

2. Figuring out the difference between your current heading and the reference angle for the tack you're on.

3. Clearly displaying the result as a lift or a header.

No more mental math. No more writing angles on duct tape stuck to the deck, the back of your hand, or a wrinkled Wetnotes pad. Shift does it all.

Full Features

The Shift's 1.5-inch tall compass digits can be read from over 100ft away, and you’ll never need to worry about reading the screen with your polarized sunglasses. They have no effect on the Shift’s clarity.

The Velocitek Shift uses a 9-axis solid-state sensor to track the orientation of your boat in three dimensions, making the Shift’s compass incredibly accurate, smooth, and trustworthy.

The Shift features the same popular countdown timer as the Velocitek ProStart. Whenever you hear a horn or see a flag, hit the GUN button. If the timer isn’t running, it will start. If the timer is running, it will sync to the next minute, and you can easily jog the minute up or down.

Plan to use the Shift for a longer race? The Shift’s red LED-backlight won’t ruin your night vision, and its solar-charged battery is good for over 60 hours of sailing in the dark.

The Shift uses no GPS technology and can be configured to comply with the rules of any class that allows electronic compasses.

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