Home Forums Pebble App (Beta) My first sail with RaceQs watch app

  • Creator
  • #285360

    Dear fellow tech sailors,

    My tactic was broken so I though maybe I can download an App and use my phone as temporary tactic. In that way I found this great app. This easter weekend no shops were openend. Lukily I found a second hand pebble watch for sale 2 km from my house for 55 euro’s. I would like to share my findings and provide feedback about my first 1,5 days sailing with raceQs.

    First of all, it works great!! I used it as an Helmsman on a F18 catamaran in 20 knots breeze with 1.7 meter waves. As a Helmsman you cannot look on your watch for more than 3 seconds, so I think i have to give the watch to my crew.

    At the first start I noticed that my glove “folds up” when I raise my hand and that makes it to push the buttons all the time. Maybe it’s a good idea to long press buttons all the time?

    I know the memory on the pebble is limited, but can’t we use the phone’s memory? I would like to see a log of what happend on the race course, in that way sailors can learn and we can provide detailed feedback to the app maker.

    Speed & heading screen
    Flashing of Sog/COG is unnecessary, show me speed/heading variances all the time.
    Time is not useful for me. Maybe show VMG instead?

    Cog variance is currently determined over a periode of 60 seconds. I’m sailing a F18 catamaran, so 60 seconds is to long. Can this number be lowered, or can you set it as user?

    Navigation screen.
    Not usefull for me, i would like to switch it off.

    This is the best feature! I seemed to ignore the header vibrations because I know I was in a header but I wanted to sail to lay-line. So maybe it’s handy to have different vibration types for different notification. Some suggestions
    OCS –> super long vibration
    Header/Lift –> vibrate 1 time
    Layline–> Vibrate 3 times
    Mark set–> semi long vibration

    General questions
    Can we have more settings? like Boat length and width! (It is in the user guide but I cannot adjust it.
    Maybe we can use more settings to adjust or disable displays and the cues?
    Is current taken into account?

    My track can be viewed here:


  • Author
  • #285958

    Thanks for the post Pieter. All suggestions have been received and being included in out development plan.
    Re Adding entries to the settings page; Yes, that’s definitely in our #TODO list:

    We are thinking of

    • importing your boat from the raceQs replay site, with its length and performance category,
    • having an input of bow offset (GPS behind bow)
    • Options to enable/disable specific cues
    • Access to pages showing details of your race: TWD changes, tacks, W/L Marks etc.

    But we need to squash more of the bugs and get this version stable first

    And regarding current. We are detecting your GPS speed over the ground (SOG) and Course over ground(COG) , so that the combination (vector addition) of your speed and course through the water and the current set and drift.


    Hi Alan,

    Nice to see see the hard work and continuous updates, I’m already looking forward to the next version. A page showing the TWD’s would be very nice to analyze the race afterwards and spot over-the-day wind changes.

    I found this version pretty stable! What is the best way for us, as sailors, to spot bugs? I haven’t seen any yet. Maybe a log will help, than I will place it next to my raceQs recordings.

    Regarding current, I know that a GPS takes current into account. But if the TWD is caculated based on COG without taking current into account, the TWD isn’t true. Changes in current, changes the TWD. As developer and amateur algorithm maker, I know that correcting for current is a nearly impossible task without knowing the magnetic course.

    My next regatta is 28&29 may on a lake, than I will post my updates again. Would you like me to put some special attention to specific things?


    Page showing the TWD’s over the day for post-race analysis? It’s already there… The Settings option from the raceQs app in the pebble app on the phone displays the TWD changed over the day. But you have to look for them before 10:00 the next day when they are erased (for the next day’s race).

    Shows time, header (H) or lift (L), Current tack (P)ort, (S)tbd, Wind direction change in degrees, -(left) to new TWD

    Delighted to hear you’re finding it stable – not everybody is getting the same result. Are you iPhone or Android (Android seems more stable).

    Yes, you’re quite right, we are unable to correct TWD for current. Not until we can capture compass heading and speed through water (log).

    We don’t want to prejudice the purity of testing(!) by suggesting where to concentrate. We’re interested in how it works for you on the water, things like  accuracy, usability, reliability are what we’re looking for.

    It’s good to get some familiarity with the app before sailing by playing with it in your garden or on a playing field.

    Keep up the good work



    Ah. I will check my phone next time for the Tack Analysis. Since it’s not allowed, I have yo sail to a quite area:)

    I’m Using android 6, the latest version.

    Main issues for me are

    Setting the header/lifter check interval. whish it was more like 20-30 seconds

    Accidentally pushing buttons (My glove folds up, see picture). I think i will wear my pebble on my right wrist.. During starting my right hand is free te move.


    I wanted to test the new version today but I noticed i cannot Seem to enter the settings menu from the Pebble app. The app starts on my watch but it cannot load.


    You must be logged in to view attached files.

    Addendum to previous post,

    The screen with the polar seems to be limited to speeds of 10 knots. Can this be extended to 20-25 knots since my boat reaches that speed?

    If i want to reset the timer, the screen app closes

    The App said that I had an OCS when there were 30 seconds left to start. On zero, when i was over the line, it didn’t tell me I had an OCS.


    Lots to talk about. Let me try to address each point.

    Tack analysis requires that you are “racing”(the timer has run down to zero) and acquired a steady course after tacking  I have noticed that sometimes the tack analysis cue doesn’t appear because the header/lift cue is generated at the same time and overrides the tack analysis. I’ll look into prioritizing the tack analysis over the header/lift cue.

    There is no “header/lift interval”. it reports every time it detects a header/lift of 5 degrees or more. Are you seeing more header/lift cues than you expect?

    Glove pressing buttons. Hmmm, that’s a difficult one! Maybe use the other wrist?

    Problem loading the Settings screen. I see from the screenshot that you had WiFi, so I assume you had internet access, which is required, so don’t know what the issue might be. Does the issue persist?

    The polars screen speed scale. It is fixed at the moment at 8 knots, but we are considering ways of adjusting the scale to the actual speed. Maybe that needs to move up the priority list.

    App closing on timer reset. There was a bug that caused that which should be fixed in v 1.64, released last Saturday. Please advise if it persists.

    The OCS alert will only appear if you are OCS in the last 20 seconds, and then, it will only display once per start. We don’t reset the OCS identification if you get behind the line again before the start. Maybe we should?

    Thanks for the reports, we really appreciate the feedback.





    thanks for adressing the points.


    Major issue is that I Cannot enter the settings menu of raceQs on my phone, as you can see in the attached picture.


    I had no problems so far that cues were interfering. I have no time the check my tack analysis after a tack, maybe when I’m training. Prioritizing tack analysis has no added value for me personaly

    About the header/lift interval of 60 seconds. I’ve read that in the User Guide.

    I will try my other wrist. My right wrist is free during starting, so that is fine.

    Adjusting the polar screen will be a huge added value for me.

    About closing timer.. My pebble auto updates app’s. I reinstalled the app, but the problem persists.


    About OCS within 20 seconds.. It’ oke for me. I know there are regattas where you can dip the line.. The setting is ok like this.




    Forgot my previous post. I had another Go with pebble this evening.

    What works good now :)

    • Header/Lifters are correct!
    • I Can thee the header/lift analysis on my phone. I had to be in race mode :)
    • Resetting the timer works



    1. I have made 5 tacks (on my bicycle) but only one of them showed the analysis.

    Most important things for me

    • VMG +variance and cues (can be shown instead of time
    • Header lifters / COG variances

    Hi –

    I tried to use the pebble app in a long distance race this last weekend – 24 miles and it took about 5 hours.  The problem I saw as the the app kept turning off and the watch would just go back to showing the time.  I had to restart the app probably 10 or 15 times.  This didn’t happen in a previous short race of an hour or two.

    One other issue I saw was the it seemed to report big headers and lifts when there were no obvious wind shifts.  I think it may have been just bad driving though…not sure.

    One suggestion would be to make it very obvious when each end of the start line is pinged.  Currently it just shows the time each ping happened.  Also, after pinging both ends the display still says something like “line not set” even though it is and it works ok to show distance to the line during the start.

    The app show a lot of promise and I look forward to new releases.

    iPhone iOS 9.3.2

    Jim Heumann, Port Townsend, WA, USA



    Pieter, I have just discovered the bug that is causing the settings page to fail. Stand by for a fix in ver 1.65. Just as soon as I can complete the validation. It crashes if you go to settings without any pinged or W/L marks.

    I’ll have to check the 60 second Header/Lift reference in the user guide.

    Can you walk me through your problem with closing the timer please?

    Jim, thanks for your post. I note your point about the app turning off (sounds better than crashing!) Food for thought and more testing.

    Headers and lifts – we have worked hard on getting them right. Did you record your race in raceQs? We could take a look at your track.

    Happy to add more info to confirm the line ends have been pinged. We added recording the time to that end.  What would you suggest. You’ll get Line not set if you haven’t yet set the wind. Maybe that was the issue?







    You said “<span style=”font-family: signikaregular, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;”>You’ll get Line not set if you haven’t yet set the wind” – how about you change that to “wind not set”? That would make it more clear.</span>

    Regarding the headers and lifts, all the races I’ve used the watch in have been either light and fluky or strong and gusty, and not strict windward/leeward courses, so not the best for really detecting those.  I’ll report as I get more data.

    Regarding the app quitting, I did a shorter races last night and did not have the problem.

    One question:  the the Pebble app depend on the raceQs app running or are they independent?




    The Garmin Quantix watch has a feature where you can ‘lock’ a given screen, by pressing two buttons simultaneously. Then random presses of other buttons do nothing.


    All received thanks.

    Unfortunately the pebble firmware doesn’t support simultaneous button presses.

    No, fir the beta version, raceQs doesn’t have to be running. Later we are planning to integrate the watch into the phone app to get lots more functionality.


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