Forum: Race Officers

Autonomous marks

P
Peter van Muyden
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • International Race Officer
A major Canadian regatta site is looking at the use of autonomous marks for their events.   I was wondering if anybody who has used such marks could email answers to the following questions to pvanmuyden@gmail.com  :
  • Name of the supplier:
  • What worked?
  • What didn’t work?
  • Were you able to reduce the number of mark boats?
  • Were you able to reduce the number of volunteers?

Created: 21-Jun-11 03:02

Comments

Paul White
Nationality: Australia
0
There’s a useful article with a list of issues and suppliers here https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2021/02/15/robotic-marks-evaluating-the-issues/
Created: 21-Jun-11 03:51
Sen Yamaoka
Nationality: Japan
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
0
Robotic Marks: Evaluating the issues
Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Published on February 15th, 2021 
https://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/2021/02/15/robotic-marks-evaluating-the-issues/

* MarkSetBot (USA):https://www.marksetbot.com 
* RoboMark (Swiss):https://robomark.ch 
* SMark (Swiss):https://www.watersportmarks.com
* SmartMark (Germany):https://mysmartmark.com/ 
* Roboboj (Swiss):https://www.roboboj.com/ 
Created: 21-Jun-11 03:58
Walter D’Auria
Nationality: Italy
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
mail written. Good luck
Created: 21-Jun-11 10:48
Mike Fering
Nationality: United States of America
1
We were one of the beta test sites for Marksetbot 4-5 years ago and agree that the Scuttlebutt article is a good summary of the considerations. I would add one more important one: training and operation. It takes a skilled operator to run these things, especially if you're using several. We have not followed up by buying or leasing one for several reasons including that one. Others: expense, storage, maintenance, transporting to the course, size and weight, and so on. It did not reduce the need for boats or volunteers. We found it was terrific for the pin end of the start line for maintaining a square line in shifty wind in a deep lake and I would still love to have a bot that would work for that purpose for our small club. I think it will happen... someday. For large regattas with top RC and well-trained operators, I think these could be excellent right now.
Created: 21-Jun-11 17:43
TJ Shea
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Block Island Race Week, hosted by the Storm Trysail Club is supposedly using mark set bots for the regatta.  you can inquire at execdirector@stormtrysail.org
Created: 21-Jun-11 19:27
Shannon Wood
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • Umpire In Training
  • National Judge
0
MarkSetBots
Great in deep water, but you cant sell me on their usefulness in shallow water. Did not reduce the number of markset boats; still need them for change of course, especially if the change of course needs to be done QUICKLY. The autonomous marks move slowly (ie, change marks in the later part of the race or between races). Great to use at a gate. Battery life is not optimal for a full day on the water, especially if they need to go a long way to the race course and you need to make a number of changes to the course. Highly recommend towing them out to racecourse to prevent battery from running out. When the batteries fade, the marks tend to go "rogue" and are uncontrollable, including "jumping around" into boats trying to round the mark. Every event I've worked with them has had at least one autonomous mark physically moved and anchored by the RC. I also did not think the weather info gathered from the windward autonomous mark matched up with what other RC boats were reporting. I've heard feedback from both ROs and competitors; both sides of the coin. They still have some quirks to work out. Good idea, but not applicable to, or necessary for, every single event.
Created: 21-Jun-11 20:09
Ed Furry
Nationality: United States of America
0
I have been running regattas and race clinics for over a year now using MarkSetBot’s. They have been great and allowed racing to happen with minimal people. Usually 3 on the RC boat. But more importantly they allow us to run much better courses and make changes quicker and easier. I have also been running races in 100-400’ of water where racing is best but hasn’t been possible. 

There have been some growing pains but nothing that hasn’t been easily fixed. In the end these issues have been eliminated. Where we worried about cell coverage we only had a restart a phone or two at the beginning of the day and then no issues. 

I won’t run races without MarkSetBot’s if I don’t have to. 

For those that don’t know me, I own Sail22 and support one design racing. We now sell MarkSetBot’s but have leased Bots for the winter. We ran events in Tampa, Sarasota, Miami, Annapolis and all over the Midwest. We have more events lined up. J/70’s, Melges 24’s, VXOnes and more. 
Created: 21-Jun-15 19:24
Chip Till
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
  • Fleet Measurer
  • Regional Race Officer
0
I have used the MarkSet Bots for several events as a PRO and DRO and they have performed great!  I've had really good experiences with them in big waves, big breeze and Charleston Harbor currents with great success and plenty of battery life left at the end of the day.  I've heard about some challenges in the early years of the technology however the MarkSet Bot Team has made many recent improvements to their software systems and the actual bots themselves which has significantly increased the reliability of the bots.
Created: 21-Jun-16 01:54
Sen Yamaoka
Nationality: Japan
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Race Officer
0
Please tell me how much you want for marks.
Created: 21-Jun-16 02:19
P
Peter van Muyden
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Judge In Training
  • International Race Officer
0
Hi Sen,

Below are links to the commercial autonomous mark vendors I was able to find:
The costs are listed on their website.

There are at two groups designing marks based on Open Source software called ardupilot    https://ardupilot.org/

I expect that this sector will become competitive in a few years.

Created: 21-Jun-16 02:34
Ulli Scheu
Nationality: Switzerland
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
I've been using autonomous marks since 2017 as our lakes in Switzerland and Italy are very deep and there has been a lot of progress !
The first ones were very heavy and difficult to handle, therefore I was very pleased when the lighter versions appeared.
Last year and this year I have been using the marks by www.watersportmarks.com which weigh about 15kg, but having a keel and 2 engines they are very stable even with very windy and wavy conditions.
Yes, you are able to reduce the mark boats and therefore of the volunteers.
Yes, it makes life much easier if you have to adjust the starting line or if there is a wind shift between races.
The producers are open to special wishes or adjustments and the price is reasonable.
watersportmarks 363 KB



Created: 21-Jun-23 20:33
Peter Schmidle
Nationality: Switzerland
Certifications:
  • National Race Officer
  • National Judge
0
We have been working with these robots since the beginning of the development of the WaterSportMark.
The advantage is great, you need less
 personnel for the course setting. A rubber boat with 2 people is enough. The buoys are very light (7-14 kg, depending on battery type).
One battery charge is enough for up to 8 h. Moreover, the battery can be replaced on the spot on the water, if necessary.
The buoys have now been in use for 2 years, and have already been used in many match races.
Up to four buoys can be transported on one rubber boat.
The buoys stay in place with a radius of 1 meter, even with wind and waves of 25 kn.
The setting of the course takes less than 20 minutes and the buoys are quickly retrieved at the end of the race.
In case of wind shifts, the regatta field can be changed comfortably and quickly via toucscreen on the I-Pad. The starting line can also be quickly corrected if necessary.
The buoys are especially suitable for deep waters.
Due to the low price, even a small regatta club can buy these buoys. The maintenance costs are minimal. 
Created: 21-Jun-25 16:27
[You must be signed in to add a comment]
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more