Small Boat Racing Essentials

You don’t need much in the way of equipment on a small boat like mine, but here are a few racing essentials I absolutely couldn’t live without. Since I’m ever on the lookout for things that make me a more competitive racer, be sure to check this page from time to time — you might find something new!

Tactical Compass – a necessity for racing, as it can tell you early on when the lifts and headers happen.  I like this better than the digital models (I also have one a Tacktick digital compass), because you can see so much more information at a glance, and thus, have more of a visual idea of what the wind’s doing. It’s also helpful if you’re sailing across the bay and trying to find your way somewhere — a good compass will never let you down! Mine is mounted on my mast, just above where the halyards are cleated, so both I and my crew can easily see it.

Race Start Timer – absolutely essential for getting the start sequence timed exactly to that last, crucial second. . .  I like this one because it has a “sync” button, so if you’re off by a few seconds, you can sync with the Race Committee’s signals at the 4 or 1 minute flags. You (or your crew) can wear it on your wrist.

Waterproof Notebook – In a small boat, there’s water everywhere.  I use this water-proof pad for recording wind data, and the race course details, and any other things I don’t want to forget. It works way better than soggy paper, plus you can keep a nice little log of your racing, scores, conditions, and stuff you figured out!

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