How do I work with a .vtk file?

.vtk is a binary file format compact data logging. .vtk files work with ChartedSails and SailNjord.

You can also transform a .vtk file into .csv or .gpx using this application:

Does the new ProStart fit the classic ProStart mounting cradle?

Yes. The new ProStart  and the classic ProStart use the same mounting cradle.

What is the update rate of the ProStart?

The new ProStart's GPS updates at 18 Hz (18 times per second).

 The new ProStart's LCD updates at 4 Hz (4 times per second).

The GPS in the classic ProStart updates at 4 Hz (4 times per second).

The classic ProStart's LCD updates at 2 Hz (twice a second).

What determines the conditions where I might use different damping levels on my Prism (0, 1, 2)?

Selecting the appropriate damping level is a personal preference usually based on the wind and water conditions.

For example, in steady wind and flat water, no damping (level 0) is necessary. However, in high wind with lumpy water damping will eliminate large heading variations that can make judging a wind shift difficult.

Does the Makai have track storage?

At this time, the Makai does not have on board GPS data storage which can be downloaded. However, the Makai does store the data from your session and recalls it in Results Mode. At the end of a session, when you press the button on the Makai it enters Results Mode and it displays the max and average speeds, distance traveled, and elapsed time of your session.

To access results mode press the button at the end of your session and the data will come up on the screen.

Many of the elite paddlers and trainers who use the Makai tell us they take this data and put it into a workout journal or spreadsheet to track their progress.

Why no VMG?

Velocitek created the world's first GPS-based VMG tool back in 2006. VMG was also a prominent feature on the Velocitek SC-1, the ProStart’s direct predecessor. When several other companies around the world tried to copy the SC-1’s success they also included a VMG feature on their products. Velocitek’s tag line even used to be “Velocity. Made Good.”

The reason why we decided to drop VMG as a feature on the ProStart is that we couldn't find any professional sailors who used this feature while racing. The main reason the pros don't like to look at VMG when they are racing is that the boat's momentum makes it difficult to use these measurements to find an optimal heading.

As an example, imagine this:

You are on a broad reach and then you decide to try pointing lower. Initially your speed will not change very much because of your boat's momentum. The indicated VMG will jump up (same speed as before, better angle). You are happy; the instrument seems to be telling you that soaking low was a good idea.

As you hold your course steady at this new angle, your speed will eventually drop and, as you are falling off a plane, the instrument will finally come around to telling you the truth: this new, deeper angle was, in fact, a very bad idea.

The trouble is that by now you are losing boats like crazy and you're going to have to head way up to get planing again; the damage is done.

The above notwithstanding, these measurements can be useful for training, especially when you don't have other boats to sail against. A GPS VMG instrument can help you figure out what the optimal settings and angles are for your boat in different conditions. It's just that these things need to be figured out before you are actually racing.

Our goal with the ProStart was to make an extremely easy to use instrument that only incorporated the features that pro sailors use when they are racing. There is definitely a good justification for selling a VMG product as a training tool but the feature did not fit with our brief for the ProStart.

How do I update the firmware on my Velocitek device?

Contact Velocitek technical support for firmware update instructions.

How do I download the tracks off my Velocitek device?

To download tracks of your new ProStart you connect the device to the computer via the USB cable and the ProStart will appear as a USB mass storage device. The files can be opened from the ProStart or dragged and dropped onto your desktop.

To download the tracks off your ProStart Classic or SpeedPuck you need to download and install Velocitek Control Center. Velocitek Control Center is available for download from our software page.

Where can I download Velocitek Control Center?

Velocitek Control Center is available for download from our software page.

How do I use the bow offset on my ProStart Classic?

On the ProStart Classic, we recommend zeroing out the bow offset and ping when the bow of the boat is on the line. When pinging it is helpful to approach the line with a consistent speed (slow) and angle, this will allow for the most accurate ping. We also recommend you hard mount the ProStart on your boat for the most consistent measurements possible. When you ping this way, you must approach the committee boat and pin from below the line.

Pinging with the bow offset works when you can approach the line with a consistent speed and angle. However this not how real world starting conditions usually play out. Drastic changes in speed and direction as you jockey for position are more normal. Using the bow offset adds your course over ground (COG) to the distance to line solution. Because of this, aggressive pre-start maneuvering can make the distance to line calculation with the bow offset less accurate.

Zeroing out the bow offset and pinging when the bow is on the line means your distance to line measurement is a simple position calculation and relies on the fewer variables.

The new ProStart solves this problem with the integration of a magnetic compass. In short, COG is a bad substitute for magnetic heading for locating your bow in the prestart.

Why does my ProStart Classic or SpeedPuck read so differently than my compass?

The ProStart Classic and SpeedPuck will show slightly different numbers from a magnetic compass, even when you have the magnetic declination setup perfectly. The reason for this is that the ProStart Classic and SpeedPuck display course over ground (COG) which is the direction you are moving. A magnetic compass shows the direction you are pointing. Even in the absence of current, these two numbers will not be exactly the same due to leeway / sideslip.

How do I find my local magnetic declination?

This website, provided by NOAA, will allow you to look up the magnetic declination for your sailing area:

Is my local magnetic declination positive or negative?

Paraphrasing Wikipedia:

Magnetic declination is most often given as the size of the angle between magnetic and true north, and the direction from true north to magnetic north.

For instance, "10° W" would indicate that magnetic north lies 10 degrees counter-clockwise from true north.

When declination is described by a signed number without a direction, a positive angle indicates clockwise from true north and a negative counter-clockwise. For example, "-10°" would indicate the same as the "10° W" just discussed.

Bottom line: if your local declination is East, enter a positive declination angle into your Velocitek device. If your local declination is West, enter a negative number.

How do I attach a lanyard to my Velocitek device?

The ProStart has a lanyard loop on the back of the device and a corresponding loop on the cradle.

The SpeedPuck lanyard attaches to the post at the bottom on the device.

The Shift has a post at the bottom corners of the device for attaching a lanyard.

What are the dimensions of a Velocitek device?

The Shift is 100 mm tall x 158 mm wide x 47 mm thick

The ProStart is 120 mm tall x 175 mm wide x 40 mm thick

The SpeedPuck is 115 mm diameter x 27 mm thick

The Makai is 130 mm tall x 80 mm wide x 30 mm thick

Where do I return my broken Velocitek device?

Please fill out this form with the details of your broken Velocitek device and we will reply with return instructions:

Where do I find the serial number of my Velocitek product?

The serial number for the ProStart is etched onto the back black fascia.

The serial number for the ProStart Classic and SpeedPuck is located inside the battery compartment above the USB port.

The serial number for the Shift is located in the gray trough on the back of the product between the debossed Velocitek logo and the blue Shift logo.

The serial number for the Makai is located under the USB charge port lid.

The serial number for the Prism is etched into the border of the orange back plate.

What type of fasteners are used in the Velocitek Mast Brackets?

The stainless steel fasteners are all M4 x 0.7 pitch.

Where do Velocitek products ship from?

All Velocitek products ship from our fulfillment warehouse in San Leandro, CA (near San Francisco).