Reviewing the Garmin Quatix
We were invited aboard the new Clipper 70 to put the brand new Garmin Quatix marine watch through its paces. This really is an impressive piece of kit that can’t be fully appreciated until put on the spot out on the water.
Garmin are really pushing the ‘power of simple’ and they certainly don’t disappoint with the Quatix. Though packed intensely with huge amount of features, it’s amazingly simple to use. Think Nokia 3310 simple. The navigation is via the up, down, back and select buttons, which even self confessed technophobe Sir Robin Knox-Johnston found childs play.
Greeted with a Quatix each and a bacon sandwich to go, we got suited up and headed out in the Solent. The weather was less than favourable but the large buttons allowed us to keep our winter gloves on and get stuck in.
Whilst motoring out to the Solent, our friends at Garmin were able to give us a quick run down of the Quatix’s unique features. After turning on the watch’s GPS feature, it immediately displayed course over ground, speed over ground and some nifty tidal information.
With just a few button presses, we were then streaming NMEA 2000 data via the Garmin GNT10 wireless transmitter; being able to view depth, speed through water and wind information on your wrist whilst being mobile around the boat is such a powerful feature that really puts the Quatix ahead of the rest. It will soon become indispensible for single-handers. Another feature that’ll prove invaluable for the single-handed sailor is the ability to control a Garmin autopilot from your wrist. And if that’s not quite enough, wirelessly connect with an iPad®2, iPhone® 5 or iPhone 4s for use with BlueChart® Mobile. How did we cope before?
The Quatix really started to show off with its virtual start line technology. After some impressive maneouvering under motor by our skipper, Ben, in a full flow of tide, our crew of 18 all pinged the two startline GPS waypoints to provide the watch with a virtual startline. The experienced Clipper bowman, Tom, gave the boat lengths to the startline with correlated to our watch startline distances within a foot or two which gives testament to his capabilities and showed the watch could hold its own. After crossing the startline, the watch automatically switches to tack-assist mode.
We didn’t get to put it to the test (no willing volunteers), but the MOB detection is a feature that will send an alert to the chartplotter if if a crewmember wearing a Quatix falls overboard. Once home and dry, the watch can be charged by USB, and with With HomePort™ marine planning software (sold separately), you can plan or review your adventures from your Windows® or Mac OS® computer. Create your course and download it to quatix, compare your previous races and analyse your performance.
As well as these features we chose to highlight, there are many more such as: automatically calibrating altimeter and barometer, 3-axis compass, temperature sensor, hunt and fish calendar, sun and moon information, tide tables, area calculation, base map, 16hrs battery life, waterproof to 50m, custom points of interest and up to 1000 waypoints. We’re just disappointed it won’t butter our toast.
Many thanks to Clipper Ventures and Garmin for treating us to a fantastic day out aboard the clipper 70, a was a brilliant opportunity to get to know the brilliant Quatix. The first leg of the Clipper Around the World Race starts this August. The Garmin Quatix Marine watch is available at Force 4 now.
Hannah Wardle & Leigh Jacobs.