Last summer Raymarine rolled out the beta version of the new Lighthouse software for their Axiom multifunction displays that was created specifically for sailors who cruise and use their MFDs for laying out laylines, starting lines and tacking angles. The new Lighthouse Bermuda now has 260 different hull designs embedded in the polars database which means that you are very likely to find a design that is just like your boat. With polars, you can then really optimize how well you are sailing your boat in a wider range of conditions. For racers, this is paramount. For cruisers, the information will make sailing more fun and will help you make faster, safer passages along the coast or offshore.
Raymarine has partnered with Predict Wind, so you can download weather maps via wi-fi, satphone or SSB and overlay the forecasts on your digital charts. The forecasts usually go out seven days so this is a great tool for finding a good weather window, planning your route and adapting to weather conditions as they change while on passage.
The racing functions will be self-explanatory for those headed out on the racecourse. The starting line function lets you set up the actual start line on the screen with two touches of your finger and then will take the wind data and show you the favored end of the line. The timing function will count down to the start and will get you to the line right on the gun.
When you have the positions of the course marks entered, you can use the tacking angle and layline functions to sail the shortest and fastest route taking the best advantage of wind shifts. Even if you are not racing and are simply sailing from one harbor to the next, the ability to enter waypoints and then use the tacking angle function will help you sail the shortest and fastest route.
We have used the touch screen Axiom MFDs with Lighthouse software extensively and like it very much. The new Bermuda update for sailors is a great step in the right direction and will make sailing more fun, faster and your time on the racecourse or on passage more successful. Read more.