Its built-in GPS functionality, which can record up to 1,000 waypoints, allows the user to create a virtual startline for racing. Then, simultaneously using the countdown mode, the watch will ‘recommend’ the course and speed to ensure the optimal start time.
And once underway, Tack Assist Mode can calculate the optimum tacking angle to show whether the yacht is being lifted or headed. Factor in a barometer, 3-point compass and altimeter, and the Quatix is a one-stop shop for accurate real-time monitoring of race conditions.
But despite Quatix’s positioning as a racing tool, it is equally practical for superyacht crew not engaged in completion. The GPS function can record up to 10,000 tracklog points and can reverse course, based on the trackpoints logged, on demand. It also sense time zone changes as they occur and adjusts its settings accordingly.
An essential consideration of any watch being used at sea is its staying power. Luckily the recharagable lithium ion battery will last six weeks when in watch mode. But as users will purchase this device because of its near-90 functions, the battery life when in GPS mode is closer to 16 hours.
Automatic functions include a Man Over Board (MOB) alarm and an autopilot function that, when activated, engages the chartplotter to adopt the pre-programmed route.
The interface itself is sizeable – for a watch. At 3.1cm it may not be the best for chart monitoring but all of its 20MB data is displayed clearly, and when in use, there is no hint of difficulty.
But from this industry’s point of view, perhaps the most intriguing function of the Garmin Quatix GPS marine watch is its NMEA 2000 integration capability. Through its built-in transceiver the watch can stream data from, and control NMEA devices, allowing remote control of compatible on board navigation systems.
Put simply, for competitive sailors this watch is a necessity, and for those crewmembers whose owners take a more leisurely approach, this is a useful addition to the on board inventory.