The SA 7,000 mile test sail, and TackTick mystery
This is the helm of a Robertson and Caine Leopard 46, sometimes thought of as the Moorings Leopard 46 since this huge charter company is the builder’s main client. R&C is the biggest boat shop in South Africa, 14 hulls under construction when I toured the other day, one being launched every six days (the pressure was palpable). The boat above was just commissioned and may already have left on a 7,000 mile delivery to a Moorings base in the Caribbean. The electronics surprised me in two ways:
* The plotter is the same damn Raymarine RC425 I was disappointed to find on an older Moorings Leopard 42 last winter. I didn’t even think this unit was still available. I guess its presence speaks to how easy it is to navigate where this boat charters, and how unwilling the actual owner is to put better gear in the hands of charterers.
* But that doesn’t explain the TackTick wireless and solar powered instruments (bigger helm shot here). Apparently the Moorings has specified these on all new boats, and no one could tell me why. I think TackTick gear is very cool, but am really surprised that the Moorings would want to deal with another supplier, and more expensive gear at that. Anyone know the story?
Long distance deliveries, by the way, are part of South Africa’s boatbuilding success. The young man on the bow above has logged 35,000 miles already this year, and the hand on the wheel belongs to R&C’s delivery manager who’s talking daily via Iridium to at least two vessels bound to the Caribbean, West coast of Mexico, Med, Australia, somewhere. It’s quite possible for owners to join these trips. In fact, Admiral Yachts, which specializes in cruising cats for Americans, includes with every boat sale a pair of plane tickets to Cape Town, two weeks in seaside apartment while your boat gets launched, and then the services of a pro delivery captain/instructor to get you to the Caribbean. That’s the story in the photograph below, bigger here, as Harlin and Brenda Allen watch their Admiralty 38 Banana Split leave the factory. Look for them in Trinidad in about six weeks. It was a pleasure meeting them, and we all enjoyed the South African expression for “wide load”. Aren’t all boats Abnormal Loads?
I had that same RC425 on a brand new Beneteau that I chartered in Croatia in June of this year. Moorings must have a warehouse full of them. It was a pain to use. But then, Moorings doesn’t charter boats anywhere that you really need to do much navigation.
Here’s the story from TackTick:
Thank you for this opportunity to reply.
The Moorings and indeed Sunsail have chosen Tacktick for it renowned reliability, as we have been supplying some of the harshest environments with the racing yachts and Olympic dinghies over the years they appreciate our product is very durable. As we all know that charter boats get one of the harshest treatments when so many customers are on board every year from all kinds of sailing experience. The boats are maintained well but the gear on board always suffers from all the challenges of such high use and the normal salt water and marine environment.
So naturally Tacktick being sealed for life waterproof and without any cables around the boat offered the charter companies great benefits and reliability, also with all the displays being multifunctional we could specifically set them up in charter mode to simplify the operation and functionality to each companies settings. Then of course when the inevitable happens and a winch handle or the like breaks a screen it is a two minute job anywhere that the boat happens to be on charter to replace the display with another, and you don�t have to be an electronics engineer to undertake such a task.
Well hope that explains why the charter companies are so keen to adopt the world of Wireless Instruments, if not please do send me another e mail.
Some additional Facts
80% of electronics faults are caused by wiring failures
A typical installation can be done in a few hours, no need to cut holes or run wires
Self � Powering
Tacktick displays are solar powered so no drain on your ships batteries
You save weight making you quicker through the water
You can position the displays where you most need them not where it�s practical to run wires
All our products are sealed for life and waterproof to 100mtr
In Annapolis, the Leopard 46 was kitted out like this: http://escapehatches.com/photos/leopard/images/121/original.aspx
Apologies for the crappy picture. It all depends on how the owner’s option them out.