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  • I got a Forerunner 225 for relatively cheap, could sail a couple times and it worked well as speedometer and to record the tracks. That’s all I wanted of it and I was happy. Well, it could have shown the speed in kts but I was starting to master the conversion. Then the buttons stopped working and after a few days moisture appeared under the screen. It was salty water so I have no expectations to recover it.
    So the question is, which would be a reliable and not too expensive gps watch for this purpose?
    It seems that I should have gone to the 10 Atm spec instead of 5, right?



    Edited by Andinista on Dec 01, 2020 - 07:24 PM.
  • I have used a Garmin Foretrex 301 for years. It is a bit bulky but not too bad. It does everything that I need right up to club racing.

    One of my sailing mates just upgraded to the Foretex 601. It has all the functionality of the 301 plus. It has a much better display and has added WIFI/Bluetooth connectivity. Well worth a look for the money vs other GPS watches.

    --
    dk

    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
    --
  • The Forerunner series is Garmin’s running line. While the better ones have some water resistance, I don’t think they’re designed for sustained wet conditions. I would look at the triathlon watches, because Garmin knows they will be in the water. The 735XT is an older model that you can likely pick up inexpensively.

    For context, I run with a Forerunner 935.

    --
    Dana, Holly, Emma & Hannah

    LJ/Stu's Dart 18
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  • Both the Foretrex 301 and 601 are rated IPX7 so wet conditions are not an issue. If you want information on your wrist, it has to be displayed large enough to see and easy to select with gloves on (at 15 knots). You can select imperial or nautical units and they have the types of functions that are sailing rather than fitness related.

    It is a practical application of a GPS wrist watch. If you want slick or upscale, it is not the unit you are looking for.

    --
    dk

    Blade F-16
    Hobie Tiger
    Hobie 14
    Corsair F-242
    Mirage 25
    --
  • IPX7 is less than the 5ATM of the Forerunner 225. I see that many other swimming watches are 5ATM too, only a few are rated 10ATM. So I guess mine was just defective. It seems that I'm getting a replacement, I'm trying to figure out how to recover trust now...
    According to my investigation so far, if I stick to the 10ATM spec, which is apparently not really necessary, the Garmin Instinct would be a reasonably cheap option. I haven't opened the search to other brands, it was hard to handle all the variety...



    Edited by Andinista on Dec 02, 2020 - 09:31 AM.
  • Got the Garmin Fenix 5S, but "reconditioned" or whatever - It looked brand new when I got it. Love it, and the fact the watch is very independent from my phone, has been pretty deep in saltwater all summer and still kicking fine. It has buttons; I knew a touch screen would be next to useless on the water.

    Upside of these Garmin watches are the apps you can download. I've been using "Sailracer", which does a pretty good job of giving you the info. you want and recording it. Has a selection of screens that can give you as much or as little info (e.g. just current speed in big numbers) as you want. And, free. This app and others work on the Forerunner and other models as well, apparently. Also does navigation, tracks tacks and jibes - but that is secondary. You can get compass, way point direction, VMG and SOG all on one screen, but I'd be OK with way point, SOG and heading knock. It doesn't have that like a speed puck.

    With all the above, the problem is looking at the damned thing while you're sailing... At least for me, it causes me to loose focus and I end up pointing up. That's where a speed puck or Novasail speedo would be much, much better.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
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  • I sailed all summer in saltwater with the Forerunner 645 without issue. I would recommend this watch to others as a good value. No touch screen to worry about. I used "dinghy racer"

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    David
    Inter 20
    Southern Maine
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  • Another inexpensive option is a Garmin Vivoactive HR. I've gone swimming with it on many times, it's made for that.
  • Will check out "dinghy racer" - amazing what can go on these watches. Mine has full topo maps, but find it kind of hard to deal with on such small real estate. Being able to put in way points and program a route, however is cool.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
    --
  • QuoteWith all the above, the problem is looking at the damned thing while you're sailing

    That's why speed is all I want to look at. My previous experience with an app on the phone was not good, all the attention required to set it up wasn't worth the result, plus a list of other cons. Another important requirement that was mentioned above is that you want a watch independent from the phone. The gps eats the phone battery , if you need to keep the phone screen active, even more. To me the main purpose of the phone is to be able to call, I don't want to be concerned about draining the battery in 2 or 3 hours.
    VMG seems to be something of interest too, but you need to tell the app the wind direction, besides the attention that this takes, fo how long is it valid? The only time I tried to have a good VMG reading I felt I was working for the app and not the other way around.
  • Ditto the above. The VMG reading isn't that accurate; maybe a "gee whiz" and MAYBE of some use if the wind is 100% rock steady (when is that?), so I end up just setting the watch to speed over ground and compass direction. All independent of the phone, with tracking and a decent battery life. Battery life goes down to about a day with super-accuracy (all 3 satellite positioning systems) turned on. With regular GPS, it lasts for 3 or 4 days. Still, the way point set-up and compass with speed is nice. Make sure you set your watch to lock out buttons, because I find the main sheet hitting them when it's blowing good.

    --
    Chuck C.
    H21SE 408
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