TackTick, on the yardarm

Maltese Falcon2

Who isn’t fascinated by the Maltese Falcon, the 289’, $100,000,000 yacht that sails under a very unusual DynaRig, actually three rotating carbon fiber masts carrying fifteen automated square sails on carbon yards? I did get to see a phenomenal 18” model of the Falcon (built by Rob Eddy, another local gem), but I would so like to get a sail aboard this vessel, or least a glimpse at what the electronics its very techy owner Tom Perkins chose for her. I do know that Tacktick is quite proud that its Micronet wireless wind sensors were used to help test the rig during construction in Turkey. And today, which happens to be the Queen’s birthday, the company won the Queen’s Award in the Innovation category. A tip of the crown, then, to Tacktick. I’m pleased to report that I’m going to test a Micronet wind, depth, and speed system on my Rhodes 18 this summer, and that today is finally warm enough to think about boating.

PS: Speaking of Queens, check out this time-lapse video of the Queen Mary II visiting San Francisco. This site, BoatingSF, also has an interesting newsletter on AIS.

Maltese_Tacktick crop

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

6 Responses

  1. I am presently delivering a Sunsail Jenneau 43 from Langkawi, Malaysia to Nha Trang, Vietnam. A Tacktick wind speed unit has been installed on this vessel since 2002. In my opinion it should be left at the dock! The unit does not have an output which can be used for integration with the autopilot, the bezel is so crazed you can barely see the display and the batteries (solar powered) die at night. I hope they have improved the units, otherwise you will be very disappointed.

  2. Duncan says:

    I have recently installed a full set of the TackTick s on an X-35 One Design racer. I should have some real world reports soon. As far as autopilot integration goes, TackTick has a nice NMEA interface that seems to work well with an RS-232 output to boot.

  3. I to have a Tack Tick set on my boat. It does not work in the harbour where live. Tack Tick do not have a legal frequency in our country, so they use a frequency that is operated by some other party. Mast head unit has failed twice in less than 3 years. Our local agent could not get the interface working with my Simrad and B & G pilot.
    Be cautious if considering, the idea is good, but in my case it is useless for day sailing in the Harbour and broke when I took it out to sea.

  4. RobH says:

    The only issue I have had with the Tack Tick is getting the masthead to stay on and transmitting. Part of the issue is the mushroom shape of the wireless signal and having a center cockpit that’s fairly forward and close to the mast. I solved that problem by placing one of the units aft in the owner’s cockpit. Having a center cockpit also required wiring the power to the 12V bus since the solar panels are not in the sunshine. The units all seem to work best out in the ocean away from possible interference from other signals. I wonder if these units had used Bluetooth instead things would have been better?

  5. RobH says:

    Forgot to mention that I have a Simrad AP21 with J300X interfaced to the Tack Tick NMEA device. This allows the autopilot to wind steer and the AP21 screen acts as a data repeater. On top of that, the Tack Tick NMEA is wired to a ShipModul BlueTooth repeater, which is wired to the MillTech AIS. All this data is wireless talking with the PC running Nobeltec and a Garmin 545S plotter at the helm. The issue I have had from time to time is the Tack Tick wind doesn’t update as fast as needed or skips a signal or two, causing the Simrad AP to fault during wind shifts while in steer-to-wind mode.

  6. Cosmo Little says:

    I have been involved in the Marine Electronics Industry for many years, and have designed a range of radio and radar devices. I was recently asked by someone what I thought of TackTick. I said that I was unfamiliar with them, but was suspicious of anything complicated at the top of the mast, especially if it used rechargable batteries for backup power. My last boat used Stowe wind instruments. This used a sine/cosine potentiometer with a DC synchro for the display. This worked perfectly for 20 years. Attempts to calculate how many movements the potentiometer had made in that time produced an answer with a lot of zeros!
    My current boat came with a [email protected] system with a much more complicated wind sensor, with a fluxgate element for the wind direction.This has not failed yet,however I was advised by a [email protected] service agent that I should carry a spare.
    The TickTack website has no technical information as to the transmit frequency used, or the data rates for the windangle/speed information. Manufacturers that are reluctant to provide proper information always put me on “technical alert” as to the viability of their products.
    Cosmo Little ( Ex tech director, Lokata Ltd)

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