Thursday, 8 April 2021

Sailing with Smartphones

 

We all know that smartphones are remarkable devices that bring enormous benefits to their owners. And we know that the stuff they can do is increasing all the time. SailEvent is part of that trend bringing paperless, contactless technology to the sport of sailing.

But what we know less about is exactly how sailors interact with their phones during a sailing day. So we asked a representative sample via an online survey and this chart summarises what they told us.



If you happen to be a statistician you may question the validity and reliability of online surveys but these results look reasonable and tally with anecdotal evidence. 

The chart shows that a healthy majority have their phones with them during the important signing to go afloat phase. Half take them with them at least some of the times they are on the water.  Most reach for them soon after they hit dry land so they can complete that equally important sign ashore.

It would be good to see more phones afloat as the following true and cautionary tale illustrates.

One afternoon a few weeks ago in mid February, father, son and dog were kayaking up a muddy, tidal creek. They capsized. Dad and dog ended up on the mud. Son managed to get ashore, had his phone with him and dialled 999. The inshore lifeboat, Coastguard helicopter and mud rescue team all went to their aid.  The RNLI brought dad and dog safely ashore - happy ending.

There are lessons to be learnt from this incident and one of them is the importance of keeping your lines of communication open. If son had not had his phone it could have been a very different story. So there are valid reasons for having your phone with you at all times just in case the unexpected happens. The RNLI sells a handy waterproof bag.

And if you do take your phone with you while sailing it is easy to turn it into a GPS tracker* and register it with SailEvent. Then people can see where you are, on the race course or on the mud.

Sail safe.

 

*Just install the Traccar Client app. It’s free, light weight and available for both Android and iOS. More information.

 

 

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