Feisty!

Vakaros Atlas vs Racegeek D10

Recommended Posts

Does anyone actually have either of these ? What do you think of it ?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a racegeek. After some fiddling it works as advertised except that I have not yet been able to get any nmea data out of it (via wireless) but I'll admit that I have tried that much. The display is excellent with good readability in different light conditions. The app also works well and i like the interface. 

  • Like 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're happy to answer any questions either here, PM, or contact us through our site. Our first round of pre-order Atlases ship in Q3. We're currently doing testing now and through the summer - we'll be posting updates from the sailors helping us do this across various classes.

You can read about our design process on our blog

- Todd & Jake

https://www.vakaros.com

IMGP1509_crop.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's any help Judd Smith paid for his own d10 and Bruno Pasquinelli gave us some very direct feedback. I'm sure you'll get a straight up answer from either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talked to the guys that use the race geek on juds boat, they hate it compared to the velocitek tactic combo. Jud likes the big numbers though. The big problem is that the buttons have a weird delay where you have to time it rather than just hit the button. Apparently when they ping they press the button about a second before the mark then release it when your exactly on the mark. Much bigger problem when working with the start timer because it’s not always apparent when 1 second before the gun actually is. But jud likes big numbers so the guy he’s paying at the front of the boat just has to deal with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This does take a bit of getting used to, mostly because people instinctively expect it to work like a smart phone where as the d10 is set up to work in a wet environment with salt wet sails and ropes flicking off the surface.

The buttons trigger when you lift your finger off the screen. So you get the physical comfort of touching something while you wait for the ping and the accuracy of a lift vs a push and lift.

The actual touch required is 0.3 seconds. If a 1 second error is an issue the 4 minute can be synced to by just pressing the circle again. We did look at adjusting the times based on when the button was pressed, but it didn't actually make a material difference to performance on the water. Based on feedback  trust in distance to line is a lot more important.

The reason we went for touch is that it removes the perishable buttons and reduces the mechanical challenge in terms of waterproofing the unit, which should make it more reliable and last longer.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when's the next batch coming out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sail 22 have units in stock and we will be taking orders on the website imminently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beware ! Sail22 confirmed my order in December for $999, never delivered, and now says the price is $1425.

An interesting way to do business ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got the Racegeek hooked up on my Seascape 24.  I still need to figure some things out, but on its first trip tonight, it was nice.  Real easy to read and responsive.  There were a couple of things that didn't seem to work right, but I think it is more of an issue of getting it set up correctly.  I plugged it in for the first time about 10 minutes before we left the dock.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Extremely envious of the Seascape 24. Nice work!

If there's anything you need help with the best way to get hold of us is via the Help button on the bottom right of the racegeek.ie home page. We're always interested to hear what you had trouble with so we can improve it.

And don't forget to register at racegeek.io so we have contact details for wifi password confirmation etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/22/2018 at 3:36 PM, rgeek said:

d10s now back in stock world wide via www.racegeek.ie

any annapolis boat show specials? :-D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... we are showing some of the new stuff at Annapolis:

Smart Repeater mode (anyone who has updated to v1.3 has this already):

For people who want to use the d10 as a 30/30 + 20/20 repeater for their existing system but still have all the race functionality available for when they are racing.

 image.png.c8ce54f80f90d03ec79b4ecd178a2650.png

Performance analysis (entering beta after we get done with the show):

image.png.e4133fe9bd880fd2229becf90d54e398.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

We're here at Annapolis too! Come check us out in booth F14 and see an Atlas in person! As for reviews, we've been having great feedback from the teams currently using the Atlas: 

“This product is superior to the others we’ve used. The GPS is updating much faster. It really
lets you know where you are, even when you are approaching the line at 20kts.”

-- Morgan Larson
XS Energy


“The instruments are really adaptable to what we’re looking to do: everything from heel angle,
distance to the line, accurate speed and heading. The display is great; you can see it from
anywhere on the boat.”

-- Taylor Canfield
Extreme2


“The Vakaros Atlas updates very quickly compared to other competitive products. It gives you
that extra second to think and respond quicker. It’s a lot more reliable in terms of being able to
trust distance to line especially when accelerating [quickly]. The screen is very good. Being able
to read it from anywhere on the boat is a big advantage.”

-- Ian Williams
REV

We've also been working with Stu Johnstone testing our wireless paddlewheel interface which he's a huge fan of.

We're just getting started, but we couldn't be more excited about what's coming!

https://www.vakaros.com/atlas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They should rename this post; The race boat electronics new wave.

JC said he'd stopped by to say hello.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is how I see it

 

Vakaros:  Great unit but a little too small for anything than dinghies/small sporties, Really great display in terms of readability and angle of view - and NO issues with polarized glasses.  Wonder how well the bracket will hold up in real life - alu with stainless springs - could be great or may need to be replaced on a routine basis.  

Rgeek - Great size but some downsides are:  For use on sporties/dinghies it needs to have a better power solution.  Find a way to get rid of the connector on the back and put a battery that is permanently (or via waterproof connector/ wireless power transfer) connected to make it a self powered unit.  The current version is not suited for the small sporty/dinghy market.  The bracket looks like it was manufactured by Mickey Mouse and does not instill confidence that it will not go swimming

 

For both - get the price to the $1K range

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have been working with the Vakaros team for a few regattas now and even after just the first event with pre production units we decided it was worth it to invest the cash and purchase 3 units. This meant we were not only spending the money on new gear but also setting aside a full set up of our previous instruments and spares. 

Coming from a team that is used to having a bunch of accurate data to not only use onboard but to analyze post regatta the Vakaros was a unique product in the market for the M32. I for one am very excited to see the continual improvement the team at Vakaros has been working on and absolutely stoked to  hopefully get the opportunity to use more of the family tree the guys are working so hard to introduce into the marketplace in the very near future. 

To put our teams experience into a cliff notes version from first impressions onward ....Holding the unit in your hands reminds me of the first time you get a brand new apple product in your hands or like closing the door on a fine German car....It just has a certain finished feeling to it that just exudes quality, Once firing up the display everyone was in aww at the angle of view and the clarity of the displays (we run one display on the bow sprit and two on the side of the rig of the M32), ZERO issue with polarized sunglasses which to be honest with you I am still not sure what kind of voodoo those guys put into the thing as I have used all types of instrument systems and have never had anything close, Start function is actually taking us some time to gain confidence in and not because its not correct its just so much more accurate than anything else we have used on these boats that its hard to remind oneself that we have that tool (and to trust it!!!), and lastly the customization of each individual display both on board or from boat to boat......I know of the 4 teams using these units at the worlds all boats had a individualized set up of what and how data was displayed and even how some of the data was being "reported"...just on our boat alone we had two screens mirror imaged and one other unit with its own set of data displayed all linked and talking to each other to give us different possibilities of even more data we could use.

To say we have been impressed at not only what has been delivered now but more importantly what we think we can do with this system in the very near future for a fraction of the cost of what we thought we would need to spend to retrieve less accurate data would be a understatement. Its safe to say that you can put the Extreme 2 team in the fan boy column. 

    

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeh neither is class legal for dinghies and the d10 too large for foilers, multihulls and the star. We designed the d10 for 20ft wanting to use a transducer up to 35ft as a full function repeater with benefits. So can't disagree. If you want a clip on an instrument for a 20fter then the Novasail has always been the bang for the buck option and a Prism and Prostart is a grand US.

People buying a d10 on its own tend to be buying it as a repeater for something bigger than a VX One. $1,425 vs $2,000 for a pair of GNX120s.

For a J/70 etc. the options are:

Racemaster with transducer inc battery/solar + prostart: $1,640 + $599 = $2,239. You might knock a couple of hundred off that online.

Triton with transducer + prism + prostart + battery + N2K parts option: $949.00 (price on Defender rather than list price) + $399 + $599 + approx $250 = $2,197

d10 + transducer + battery, shipping included from Sail22: $1,425 + $574 = $1,999

Just sayin'

... It's connected to the boat by the cable fella. It's not going anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first one to come up a  nice Expedition style screen showing showing boat, lay lines, marks,  Etc. will get my vote. (purchase)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That won't be us. We believe in people having access to the key numbers at the mast and then getting their heads out of the boat.

The fancy stuff belongs on the tacticians' tablet/phone. And in that respect why not just connect Expedition via the wifi?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, rgeek said:

That won't be us. We believe in people having access to the key numbers at the mast and then getting their heads out of the boat.

The fancy stuff belongs on the tacticians' tablet/phone. And in that respect why not just connect Expedition via the wifi?

 For me a picture is worth a thousand words. The readability of current tablets/phones with sunglasses on in full sun leaves a lot to be desired. Looks like Vakaros may be heading in that direction.

If you had Expedition or an Expedition like program ruining internally in one of these units with a wireless wind and water speed transducer you would have everything you need for most boats at the fraction of the price of what we have in the boat now. You could buy multiple units and have them anywhere you would need them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks for all the kind words, feedback and ideas. Working with Extreme2 and the other M32 teams has been a great experience and a huge help to us in the development of the Atlas. We’ve learned a lot from the pros, and they helped us understand a really important lesson: there isn’t one “right” way to set up an instrument, even for one design boats racing in the same event. They each ran slightly different setups for M32 Worlds with customized display layouts, and damping. The flexibility of the Atlas and the fact that it has a graphic display make easy to customize exactly the way you want. This has been one of our key goals from the beginning--for us, the idea of building a fixed character display in 2018 just didn’t make much sense.

 

A couple other points:

--We love the idea of an expedition-style starting screen, something we’ve been working on. It won’t be the right choice for every sailor or every boat, but we want to provide the option. We’re also working with Nick White on integrating wirelessly with Expedition, for some of the larger boats we’re working with (Farr 40, TP52 etc.).

hQ6V6uvdBmURU99BPqQbKebRmAMTIgYAxkny_zu8XWd9lMVj_AAs5edk4r4UsMeM4-RgNeHFtk9g8eOE635FxY4V3qMra0Yqp3MPrkAhTLTvN4q4TcjE7UBIIyCs4hA1OiOMhMJF

--For sport boats like the J/70, we’re releasing a small, wireless interface box that will plug into most existing paddlewheel transducers. The box has an internal rechargeable battery and can power the paddlewheel for about 6 months--just hook it up at the beginning of the season and you’ll be all set. Stu Johnstone tested a prototype at the J/70 Worlds and loved it. Total cost for an Atlas and paddlewheel setup is around $1500 US, with global pricing (we pay any VAT). Paddlewheel interface will be available by the end of the year. 

h5knK2bKH6HyrVODsRjmD1a-fXA4fRmO1wLz8RdUaqyo-kyTP9GTCZiTWOVqGP01FHqam_BNAh3luSXULEsLdWtSEObpsOjaQi4BVhaf4c5u2W3Mcx7B79ZxPSzyy19457oRZamI

--We haven’t seen any issues thus far with corrosion on the mounting bracket. It's anodized 6061 Aluminum and 316 SS hardware, so we expect it to last a long time. That said, we stand behind the Atlas with a 3 year warranty.

--It was great to meet some of the guys from Racegeek at the Annapolis show and talk about how to push instrumentation forward. To help answer questions about size, here’s a side-by-side comparison (the color of the Racegeek looks more uniform to the eye than with the camera).  The Racegeek does have an impressively large display!

4YaGImSieXXsyf60yN-Qy-tmcyVOi7kTRBza4su8OfN0QjjZJDrknsX3l0XRHjTHpActJsa4x-gJHs_TAJqif_dU5Khipjxi_abHQhdUKhE7Vwu0KSs24GDZDkLJvMtioAWzt6H_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/9/2018 at 9:21 AM, arr4ws said:

any ideas when well be able to order a full paddlewheel setup?

We're working on finalizing pricing and manufacturing now. Expect to be taking orders for the paddlewheel interface before the end of the year. We'll have a special introductory price for all our Atlas pre-order customers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/6/2018 at 4:07 PM, Wang said:

Once firing up the display everyone was in aww at the angle of view and the clarity of the displays (we run one display on the bow sprit and two on the side of the rig of the M32), ZERO issue with polarized sunglasses

    

 

 

Trying to get my head around this. Bow Sprit? 

Maybe I should try this on my V640!   It'll keep it out of the cockpit!

Oh and plus one for the Novasail.  I've been using the 360 for several years now. Very solid and dependable.  Crap mast bracket though.

Curious about using the Vakaros as a Exp repeater for tactician on bigger boats. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Hitchhiker said:

Trying to get my head around this. Bow Sprit? 

Maybe I should try this on my V640!   It'll keep it out of the cockpit!

Oh and plus one for the Novasail.  I've been using the 360 for several years now. Very solid and dependable.  Crap mast bracket though.

Curious about using the Vakaros as a Exp repeater for tactician on bigger boats. 

On the M32 he means just in front of the front beam. There's no jib on those boats so it works pretty well. We'll have more info on our Expedition integration as that feature gets further along. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Vakaros said:

On the M32 he means just in front of the front beam. There's no jib on those boats so it works pretty well. We'll have more info on our Expedition integration as that feature gets further along. 

Oh that M32!! I thought he was talking about the Melges 32!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Hitchhiker said:

Oh that M32!! I thought he was talking about the Melges 32!

Haha, yeah it was always confusing for me too. Funny mental picture to think of it on the sprit of a Melges 32, though it would be a great demonstration of our waterproofing and durability! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, NYBOZO1 said:

Yo Mr. Vakaros!

When are you going to start shipping the prepaid units.  

Thank you!

Pretty soon! We're just waiting on some final items from our suppliers and we can ship the first round pre-orders. Look for an email Monday to all our pre-order customers with a detailed update. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plug & play

d10 hooked up straight to the speed, depth and wind of a stock Tacktick set-up via a T122. No additional batteries and the lowest power draw display technology for low consumption, long life and minimised environmental impact.

Nav with the d10s built-in windward/leeward and fixed mark functions, or a tablet connected to the d10s wifi.

image.png.751d8145fe619a40988cf7344f2c8cdf.png

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the d10 or Atlas compute and or display a current vector if  paddlewheel information is provided? Differential tidal currents East/West shore can be a big factor in Cheas. Bay distance races. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, chuck_SA said:

Does the d10 or Atlas compute and or display a current vector if  paddlewheel information is provided? Differential tidal currents East/West shore can be a big factor in Cheas. Bay distance races. 

Yes, the Atlas can calculate current using a combination of magnetic heading, paddlewheel, GPS and inertial sensor data. Combining the information we get from all of the different sensors helps the Atlas deliver a more accurate current measurement. Thanks to the graphical display, it can be shown as an arrow or number of any size. The Atlas can also show a map of current measurements taken over a small time window--useful in trying to get a sense of how current varies across a race course or in a channel. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If an order is placed today, when will it ship?   Mr. Vakaros... any guidance on this?  My wife wants something under the tree, and this would be perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We wish we could (the Atlas even comes in a perfect gift box!) but we're overwhelmed with demand right now. We're working to expand and automate our manufacturing process as quickly as possible so that we can work through our backlog of orders. The fastest way to get an Atlas is to pre-order and reserve a production slot--current orders will be shipping in Q1 2019. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, pudge said:

@rgeek Any chance the Racegeek can be operated via remote or even phone? 

Yep there's an app all right. Given the wifi on the d10 goes a good 60m coaches have found it handy as well.

https://racegeek.ie/a10

Context-specific remote controls for:

Start timer and distance to line,
Capturing multiple wind bearings pre-start, working out an average and then passing that back to the d10,
Navigating using the waypoint list on the d10, including setting range and bearing for laid marks

The nav section is aimed at around the cans racing. So you can:

Download mark libraries and enter your own waypoints,
Set up a course and store it on your phone,
Select a course to send to the d10

Then you can geek out and twiddle with every setting on the d10 if you want (there is a factory reset!)

Download of the log from the d10 and upload to racegeek.io happens in the background whenever the app is connected to the d10 and you're not racing.

We have a fairly big update on the way for the a10. It will be the next thing we release at the RYA Dinghy Exhibition in early March/in time for Charleston.
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, samsonite said:

60m of range, remote controls, and access for an interested outside party...

We could have gone much further with a stronger wifi antenna but chose this as it makes it completely impractical for an 'interested outside party' to connect to the boat during racing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're going to have to be more precise than that.

BTW There's a version of firmware that removes the nav and wind function and stops communication via wifi while racing. As the d10 can be wired to the sensors it's all good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Streetwise said:

Does the wifi support WPA2/AES?

It does

And we're very open to working with classes to respect the ethos the class wants to maintain. The above firmware came about through working with the SB20 class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK - more precisely Rule 41 Outside Help parts (c) and (d).

It would seem to me that any product marketed with features like 60m of range, remote controls, and access for an interested outside party would fall outside the limitations of that rule.

To streetwise's point an open and unecrypted wifi network, freely available to all boats might be OK under part (c). But that doesn't address part (d) and the coaching remote control.

What technical committee would be crazy enough to allow a product into their class which relies on a software patch to disable these dubious features?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was actually looking at it the other way, being able to secure your network from outsiders messing with your gear. I wasn't sure if you were worried about that, or support boats providing outside assistance. However, I don't think this product creates any new theoretical problems compared to anything else with modern networking, including cell phones.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
True. That line would certainly apply to any wireless device. But in practice, it would be easy to spot 2 boats sailing around the course within wireless range of each other. 60m is enough for a rib to follow a boat during a coaching session but not much use on a race course. Most classes who limit coaching keep them much much further from the race course than that as well.
 
If you follow the same argument you would ban sailcloth on the grounds that it's capable of being cut into illegal sails. I don't know how long it takes to measure sails in but it takes approximately 15 seconds to check which version of d10 firmware is installed. You turn it on, press the left arrow and see if it goes to the wind or tide-depth page. It also helps that there's no way to update the d10s firmware without a laptop, so it can't be updated on the water on the size and style of boat this is a concern for.
 
We discussed a whole range of things with the SB20s, including a bright orange case and Sport firmware that could only be updated to another Sport version. That's all doable and we'd be up for it. In the end, their members decided that the d10 was a cool bit of kit and they wanted to be able to switch the firmware for club/PHRF/IRC racing or when they used the d10 on another boat.
 
We've got a lot of admiration for the Viper class and would love the opportunity to support it and its events.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any update on the paddlewheel/knotmeter options for the two systems?   

Also, will there be a wind option in the future or would it just have to interface with an existing instrument system?

- Stumbling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the d10 you can connect any analogue paddlewheel directly to it. The signet blue cap is the go-to option for performance but we've actually seen good linear performance from bog standard Airmar ST300/800s as well (despite their deserved reputation) Alternately you can connect a DST800 via 0183 if depth is a priority.

We recommend using an n2k t-connector with field fits to connect it all up. The result is reliable, ip68 waterproof and there's no soldering required. $20 solution to a $20 problem.

Wind can be connected in as well. We have customers connecting a d10 to Raymarine Tactick, Garmin gWind, NKE, LCJ CV7 and B&G 508/608/WS310/WS320

For a rip and replace, a d10 with a Triton pack is a super cost-effective way to get out of the gate.

To go the wireless route the d10 can connect to an external wifi router and receive wind/speed/heading/GPS from there. That could be an option if you have an MFD with wifi.

The wind page in the d10 displays True or Apparent wind angle alongside wind speed or boatspeed. Now that we have the analytics up and running we're starting work on calculating true wind on the d10 calibrated from the cloud service.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/26/2019 at 2:19 PM, rgeek said:

For the d10 you can connect any analogue paddlewheel directly to it. The signet blue cap is the go-to option for performance but we've actually seen good linear performance from bog standard Airmar ST300/800s as well (despite their deserved reputation) Alternately you can connect a DST800 via 0183 if depth is a priority.

We recommend using an n2k t-connector with field fits to connect it all up. The result is reliable, ip68 waterproof and there's no soldering required. $20 solution to a $20 problem.

Wind can be connected in as well. We have customers connecting a d10 to Raymarine Tactick, Garmin gWind, NKE, LCJ CV7 and B&G 508/608/WS310/WS320

For a rip and replace, a d10 with a Triton pack is a super cost-effective way to get out of the gate.

To go the wireless route the d10 can connect to an external wifi router and receive wind/speed/heading/GPS from there. That could be an option if you have an MFD with wifi.

The wind page in the d10 displays True or Apparent wind angle alongside wind speed or boatspeed. Now that we have the analytics up and running we're starting work on calculating true wind on the d10 calibrated from the cloud service.

 

Thank you for the update and info!

- Stumbling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

Thank you for the update and info!

- Stumbling

No problem.

BTW the d10 is in stock with dealers worldwide or it can be ordered from our website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As you can see on other threads - Vakaros has produced plenty of marketing noise and taken customers money - but good luck getting a unit or even an email response on the status of your order - either very they are geeks with zero respect for customers or this is a scam - or both....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep...Starting to believe I got taken.  Wondering how or if I can get my money back from Vakaros.  Ordered 10 months ago and have three unanswered emails to them.  Not looking good.  Wonder if Scot got paid for the ads and front page PR pimping.  Racegeek is looking good.  Seems they have their shit together and supporting their customers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lol ill say this out loud...

One of our early stratergy documents says something along the lines of "we make sailing more enjoyable". That goes for what we did and didn't put into the d10, how we handle returns, to who we look to work with. Everything.

If were not helping you win, helping you get better, making your life easier as a boat owner then we are doing something wrong (and we want you to tell us about it)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here’s a few thoughts to provide some perspective on Vakaros, the Atlas, and why deliveries are behind schedule. 

Just as there is room in the car market for Teslas and Toyotas, we think there is room for sailing instruments at all levels, from the Atlas to a Racegeek or ProStart. The design goal for the Atlas was simply to deliver the highest level of performance on the water, by any measurement. We believe it does that. 

Meeting that goal required creating a product that is far more complex than any of its competitors, from the use of a fully graphic display and integrated battery with 3+ full days of runtime to developing sailing-optimized sensor fusion algorithms running on a custom OS. As with any well designed product, most of this complexity will never be seen directly by the end user, but is essential to delivering on all the little details that set the Atlas apart, like superior accuracy at the starting line and a customizable display that is incredibly vivid in the sun. All of this capability is packed into a lightweight instrument that is as easy to install and use as a ProStart.

Have we made mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Creating a complex, tightly integrated product comes with a lot of risks, especially for a small startup. Developing state-of-the-art hardware from scratch and delivering it on a deadline isn’t easy, a fact that companies as large and well-resourced as Tesla and Apple can attest to. The Atlas has taken longer to develop and produce than we expected, the result of many unforeseen challenges that appeared along the way. We’ve learned a lot of hard lessons, and gained experience that will be incredibly valuable going forward, as we develop other sensors and products for the Vakaros ecosystem. 

We are delivering the Atlas to each and every pre-order customer, including the many who we know personally. While the delays were never part of our plan, developing a state-of-the-art sailing instrument was, and we are thrilled to see the production Atlas exceeding even our high expectations for performance. We are proud of every unit we ship out the door, and we look forward to standing behind them for years to come.

See you on the water,

Todd & Jake

Vakaros-Jan-2019-BP.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice marketing response regarding your vaporware product. What about all these folks that have put their faith in you, ordered products and are not getting direct answers to their questions?  378 words and no acknowledgment of the lack of response to customers. You may be building a complex product and having a hard time delivering , but if you don’t get the customer service aspect right,  you are limiting your market and may in fact fail regardless of the sophistication of your product. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/1/2019 at 5:51 AM, Vakaros said:

Here’s a few thoughts to provide some perspective on Vakaros, the Atlas, and why deliveries are behind schedule. 

 

Just as there is room in the car market for Teslas and Toyotas, we think there is room for sailing instruments at all levels, from the Atlas to a Racegeek or ProStart. The design goal for the Atlas was simply to deliver the highest level of performance on the water, by any measurement. We believe it does that. 

Meeting that goal required creating a product that is far more complex than any of its competitors, from the use of a fully graphic display and integrated battery with 3+ full days of runtime to developing sailing-optimized sensor fusion algorithms running on a custom OS. As with any well designed product, most of this complexity will never be seen directly by the end user, but is essential to delivering on all the little details that set the Atlas apart, like superior accuracy at the starting line and a customizable display that is incredibly vivid in the sun. All of this capability is packed into a lightweight instrument that is as easy to install and use as a ProStart.

Have we made mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Creating a complex, tightly integrated product comes with a lot of risks, especially for a small startup. Developing state-of-the-art hardware from scratch and delivering it on a deadline isn’t easy, a fact that companies as large and well-resourced as Tesla and Apple can attest to. The Atlas has taken longer to develop and produce than we expected, the result of many unforeseen challenges that appeared along the way. We’ve learned a lot of hard lessons, and gained experience that will be incredibly valuable going forward, as we develop other sensors and products for the Vakaros ecosystem. 

We are delivering the Atlas to each and every pre-order customer, including the many who we know personally. While the delays were never part of our plan, developing a state-of-the-art sailing instrument was, and we are thrilled to see the production Atlas exceeding even our high expectations for performance. We are proud of every unit we ship out the door, and we look forward to standing behind them for years to come.

See you on the water,

Todd & Jake

Vakaros-Jan-2019-BP.jpg

Hi Todd and Jake,

I felt compelled to write a response. 

I've developed new concepts and products for over a decade and pissed away hundreds of thousand dollars in R&D. That's part of the gig, not all technology survives to become a marketable product. Reality sucks, but it taught me you don't start taking money till you've done 95% of the work. If you do take money earlier than this, NEVER spend it (it's not your money till you deliver a product) before you know the widget is a tangible product.

The minimum amount of work needed means having working samples out there being used, hard costings and contracts for components, manufacturing, insurance, distribution and marketing, and contingency plans for blowouts in any of those critical processes, and importantly you've got QA level written policies and procedures in place.

If you do these things, the business model will be a success, and teething issues preventing scale-ability flesh themselves out ahead of time. Try not to get caught up in how sexy or revolutionary the concept is and use that as an excuse to lose sight of the reality of business. This is intended as advice, not criticism, I think what you guys (and Rgeek too, but I feel he's more advanced than you) are doing should be applauded, but having a cool widget doesn't mean you can shortcut basic business fundamentals.

PM me if you want any advice from a been there and done that, happy to help.

SB

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a good rant, but you shot yourself in the foot with these words:

This is intended as advice, not criticism

Critic is the only advise to which it's worth listening ... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Moonduster said:

It's a good rant, but you shot yourself in the foot with these words:

This is intended as advice, not criticism

Critic is the only advise to which it's worth listening ... 

I might borrow that Moon, that’s very good!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK - I finally got an email - longish - vague excuses about working too hard to respond to emails and bad suppliers - zero specifics on when I might expect delivery. If they are not crooks and not going bankrupt, then they would get much farther with a little direct truth.  Such as:

"we fucked-up and made false delivery promises, doing our best to fix, have shipped X units, still have Y units in backlog - right now we are making Z good units/week.   You are #F in the queue"

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you a customer, cbulger, or an investor?

An investor may reasonably anticipate a degree of risk.

Seems the lines may have become blurred.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 2019 they have become blurred, with things like Kickstarter offering a way to get a product early and support something you are passionate about but you are taking a risk that it may never get delivered.

I personally know Todd and Jake and they are good guys doing their best. I don't think they are trying to scam anyone or not deliver. As a guy who lives and breathes hardware delays can quickly mount up when a supplier fails to deliver. All that being said I do agree it would be best business practice to alert customers as to where they are in the cue and potentially offer an opportunity for a refund if the delay is long enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be scrapping the bottom of barely ethical to inform customers of delays in manufacturing for prepaid orders.

It would be best practices to successfully complete a serious pilot build before taking customer money for production units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duster, great in theory, probably doesn't work in practice. A serious pilot built is generally 1000 units; MAYBE 100 would suffice, maybe. In the sailing world 1000 is about standard for a production run of a higher end electronic device I would think; in the real world 10,000+ is a production run as you surely know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd suggest a good pilot run is about 5% of estimated first year production.

The problem here is they didn't design the first unit until the first orders were on the books.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2019 at 8:54 AM, samc99us said:

In 2019 they have become blurred, with things like Kickstarter offering a way to get a product early and support something you are passionate about but you are taking a risk that it may never get delivered.

I personally know Todd and Jake and they are good guys doing their best.

Maybe the lines have become blurred. But if someone is looking to be completely transparent with a project or idea which could become a product, but isn't quite there yet, they have the opportunity to use a crowdfunding marketplace like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. There is a big difference between using a widely known crowdfunding marketplace and pre-sales or sales on a retail online store to crowdfund a project.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a big difference between using a widely known crowdfunding marketplace and pre-sales or sales on a retail online store to crowdfund a project.

What's the big difference other than the "crowdfunding marketplace" skimming dollars off the top?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One way you're overtly fundraising or building a community around a project or idea, and there is some understanding which comes with these marketplaces that this thing may or may not happen.

The other, you're exchanging money for goods or services.

I understand your skimming dollars point but that is just the way of the world. Sellers pay for marketplaces. Do you use Amazon?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A business doesn't need a community around a project idea, it needs a product and customers with money.

Design by committee doesn't work well for technology development and while end-user input can be helpful, it's only helpful from expert users and those are not the people who swarm to "community projects"; they stay well away.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My experience with Vakaros… First a bit of background. A few years ago I bought a Farr 30 and put on a Tacktick racemaster and was good to go. A few years later I started looking to upgrade to a display that would also help with distance to the line but aside from that feature, the differences from the racemaster just did not justify the investment at the time. When I saw the preorder Vakaros offer I started to get excited as this seemed to promise the next leap in racing technology for a small race boat with a cheap owner. It reminded me of when I saw the iphone for the first time and realized the possibilities. My first hurtle was the size of the unit until I finally figured out it was the size of the numbers that mattered and not the size of the unit. I got in touch with Varkaros, had a great chat with Todd, saw the potential, signed up and started to wait for my Sept 2018 delivery. 

Well as we all know Sept came and went with no sign of the display. As fall turned into winter I put the boat away, got my skis out and forgot about it until the end of March. In March I did a search for Vakaros to see if there were updated reviews on the unit and came across this thread. I must confess to feeling the onset of panic as I read the negative comments and questions as to if the company was still in business. I got on the phone and called Todd for the update. He quickly put my mind at ease. The company was still healthy and working hard to clear up the back log. They had made some mistakes, learned some lessons and were getting caught up. We can all debate the way the product was launched, the preorder before production was in place and reliable, delivery promises that were not met or any number of other issues Todd and Jake faced and are dealing with but we are where we are and in my opinion the fellas are building a killer product that will continue to improve with every firmware update. That feature alone separates it from most if not all of the competition. 

So the good news… The display arrived April 18thas promised, almost a year after it was ordered but really I only missed the fall racing as I was expecting it in Sept 2018. The unit is small but the numbers are as big if not bigger than the tacktick depending on the screen you are using. Already there are features that I am excited about including a digital inclinometer and fore and aft trim for the boat… and the best part… this is just the beginning with many new features to be added soon. The build quality looks awesome! The guys obviously use Macbooks as the Atlas has a similar aluminum body. The buttons have a very firm, positive response. The display is crisp, clear, very responsive and easily visible from the Farr 30 helm and further. If you currently use a tacktick, this will be just as easy to see. My first race is May 1stso I am sure I will have more to say after that, but delivery delay aside I am super happy. Todd and Jake have been really responsive and very open to any questions I have had to date. As time goes on I have every confidence that the delivery  issues they are facing now will be replaced by anticipation for the next feature added to the Atlas or the next addition to their product line. I am excited about their company and plan on preordering the next item in the Altas line. Ohhh… and they are creating jobs in the USA (I hear that’s a big thing down there these days)…! Too bad they are not Canadian! 

IMG_1586.jpeg

IMG_1587.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hah...Sadly that was pretty much the response I was expecting and perhaps why I only have one post. The purpose of my post was to share my experience and hopefully answer some concerns of buyers who are still waiting for their Atlas. I ordered mine a year ago and just got it so my experience would suggest that although production is delayed, units are being made and shipped. I was hoping that sharing my experience would put other buyers concerns to rest, nothing more. I am a cat 1 sailor and have nothing to do with making money from sailing or selling sailing products. Other than my conversations with Todd about the Atlas and when I could expect it, I have never met these guys in person nor do I know them or anyone who knows them. Just because that was my first post that does not mean I don't have a lot of sailing experience nor does it mean that I don't have anything to say that perhaps might be able to help another sailor with the same questions I had about this product and the shipping delay. My first impression with the Atlas is that it is a very well made unit with lots of features and more to come... but don't believe me, take a look at the reviews from the pros, I am sure they have way more insight. Not sure if this helps other buyers with similar concerns that I had, but my order number was 00079 and it was placed Apr 14, 2018.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a tracking number and UPS promises to deliver late this week.

Ordered on May 30, 2018.  #0090.

Looking forward to trying it out.

ps....after much fear and trepidation, I do believe they are for real!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/3/2019 at 5:48 PM, TBone said:

Are you a customer, cbulger, or an investor?

An investor may reasonably anticipate a degree of risk.

Seems the lines may have become blurred.

 

I thought I was a customer... but when the response to delayed orders is "not our fault, we are undercapitalized" - then the reality is I'm a creditor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, if I understand correctly.. people ordered and paid for these instruments.., in full knowledge of the fact that the company was new, had never delivered a product to market, and basically only had a prototype of the product they were ordering...

and they somehow thought this was a riskless proposition?

now they are surprised that the product has taken longer to deliver than originally advertised?

It seems to me that everyone ought to be pretty happy; there is a good chance that everyone who ordered one will get one.., it seems like the product is at least as good as was promised.., and it seems like there is a good chance that firmware updates will make it even better in the future.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a long chat with these folks before I gave them any $.

Yes, I knew exactly what the risks were and asked some hard questions.

Downside I could have lost my $1k.

Upside....unit (per UPS) will be delivered (finally) tomorrow.  First thing I will do is take it to my favorite sail loft and brag that I have one and they don't!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am excited to get mine. 

I am curious about deliveries.  In the Vakaros thread, Clockwork had received his and said he was order #150.  Then above OMT was #079 and NYBOZO1 is #090.  This seems more in line with what they have been saying, a production rate of 2 per day.

I just want mine a couple weeks before the M24 nationals.  I don't really want to be learning how to use it on the fly that week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that i have used it in anger yet... there really does not seem to be much to learn! The units are pretty basic and straight forward at this point making them easy to use. Things will probably get a bit more complicated when the firmware is updated and more features are added. I read in an earlier post from one of the M32 guys that the biggest issue they were having was  actually trusting the unit as they were not used to a display where the GPS refreshed as quickly as the Atlas... Seems like a good problem to have. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

image.thumb.png.4c1be7041e4a77c50891504c826447b5.png

The seasons well underway for the racegeeks!

Series 1-2 in the Winter series in Caiscais. 1-2-3 in the J/70 class at the Barcardi Invitational. SB20 Youth Champion down in Tazzy. Success in the J105 class in Texas. A special shout out to Buddy Cribb snagging a podium at Charleston. And with the boat we just put the double stack on there is likely more to come.

The set up for the double stack is particularly cool. The bottom d10 is locked to speed an heading using the d10s repeater mode, then the top d10 is used for the prestart and then switches over to heal and wind angle. All that's needed for a complete set-up is a speed transducer and masthead unit (we're testing connecting a B&G WS310 direct to the d10 latter this week).

Pure performance from 20-60ft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Moonduster said:

Heal?

Its like heel angle only 10 times better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finally got a chance to take the Atlas out for a race last night. The first hurtle I faced was there was no way to attach the Atlas to my tacktick bracket so a quick solution was required. My solution worked, it was not pretty but worked for last night. I am also a bit nervous about the fitting supplied to attach the display to the boat. It is solid being made out of metal, but there is not much hanging on to the unit. I suspect my fears will prove to be unfounded, but I definitely used the safety loop supplied just in case. It did seem solid once attached.

I raced with the racemaster on top and the Atlas below. Despite the size, the Atlas was super easy to see to the point where I rarely even looked at the racemaster. I think you can get a sense of that with the pic below. Admittedly this may have been in part to my having fun with the new toy, but the Atlas is just really easy to see and draws your attention to it. After pinging the line, we had a few test runs... the first was not very accurate but soon proved to be the fault of fat fingers and a slow push rather than the display... Once properly pinged, the Atlas was very accurate. I have raced with a lot of pro tacticians and navigators who have all the toys in the past, but having distance to the line on my own low budget boat proved a treat and huge confidence boost for the start. Once we started, the display immediately switched to my default page that showed, course, speed over ground, trim and heel. Prior to getting the Atlas, I really only had feel and boat speed for feedback on how the boat was going. One of the features I was really looking forward to was the inclinometer and I was not disappointed. It was easily seen at the back of the Farr 30 and really helped me maintain a more constant heel angle. That feature alone I believe will help me sail the boat better. The unit came with a 3/4 charge. After playing with it while waiting for the first race, and about 2 hrs on last night, it still looks like there is a 3/4 charge so I suspect this is not a power hog but it is too soon to say with total confidence.

As mentioned above, my partner and I have a very limited budget and we are really just trying to enjoy a cool old boat with a bunch of buddies and have a few beers along the way. My pro friends laugh at me when I tell them the age of the sails we use. When I spend money on the boat I want to maximize the value and benefit I am getting from the purchase. In its most basic format, the Atlas has delivered and I am sure there is more to come. Yes it took a while getting here, yes perhaps things could have been done better, but speaking only for myself, I am really happy with the purchase and excited about the updates that are said to be coming.

IMG_1630.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, OMT said:

I finally got a chance to take the Atlas out for a race last night. The first hurtle I faced was there was no way to attach the Atlas to my tacktick bracket so a quick solution was required. My solution worked, it was not pretty but worked for last night. I am also a bit nervous about the fitting supplied to attach the display to the boat. It is solid being made out of metal, but there is not much hanging on to the unit. I suspect my fears will prove to be unfounded, but I definitely used the safety loop supplied just in case. It did seem solid once attached.

I raced with the racemaster on top and the Atlas below. Despite the size, the Atlas was super easy to see to the point where I rarely even looked at the racemaster. I think you can get a sense of that with the pic below. Admittedly this may have been in part to my having fun with the new toy, but the Atlas is just really easy to see and draws your attention to it. After pinging the line, we had a few test runs... the first was not very accurate but soon proved to be the fault of fat fingers and a slow push rather than the display... Once properly pinged, the Atlas was very accurate. I have raced with a lot of pro tacticians and navigators who have all the toys in the past, but having distance to the line on my own low budget boat proved a treat and huge confidence boost for the start. Once we started, the display immediately switched to my default page that showed, course, speed over ground, trim and heel. Prior to getting the Atlas, I really only had feel and boat speed for feedback on how the boat was going. One of the features I was really looking forward to was the inclinometer and I was not disappointed. It was easily seen at the back of the Farr 30 and really helped me maintain a more constant heel angle. That feature alone I believe will help me sail the boat better. The unit came with a 3/4 charge. After playing with it while waiting for the first race, and about 2 hrs on last night, it still looks like there is a 3/4 charge so I suspect this is not a power hog but it is too soon to say with total confidence.

As mentioned above, my partner and I have a very limited budget and we are really just trying to enjoy a cool old boat with a bunch of buddies and have a few beers along the way. My pro friends laugh at me when I tell them the age of the sails we use. When I spend money on the boat I want to maximize the value and benefit I am getting from the purchase. In its most basic format, the Atlas has delivered and I am sure there is more to come. Yes it took a while getting here, yes perhaps things could have been done better, but speaking only for myself, I am really happy with the purchase and excited about the updates that are said to be coming.

IMG_1630.jpeg

Thanks for feedback.  trying to get a feel for when mine will arrive.  What was your order number?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites