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Spinlock's DAME Award winning Sail-Sense: We talk to Ash Holmes

by Mark Jardine 22 Nov 2018 12:00 UTC
Spinlock Sail-Sense © Spinlock spoke to Ash Holmes at the METS 2018 marine trade fair, about the DAME Award that Spinlock have just won in the marine electronics category.

Mark Jardine: 'Sail-Sense' itself is just a small device that sits on a sail - a little blue box - so the first question people are going to ask is, what does it do?

Ash Holmes: Sail-Sense is the latest in our range of Sense devices for enhancing on the water performance and data management. The small sensor attaches on the crew of the sail, as soon as you open the sail bag, Sail-Sense wakes up and starts logging the amount of time the sail is being used. During use Sail-Sense logs the amount of Flogging the sail goes through, from leech flutter to heavy flogging as well as measuring the number of tacks or gybes that sail has done through its lifetime. UV is an important factor with regards the life of a sail and Sail-Sense also logs how much sunlight is being exposed to the sail, displayed in a simple High, Medium, Low format. All this information is stored on the Sail-Sense device until it is in Bluetooth range of the user's phone or tablet, the information is then sent into the Sail-Sense App. The App, available for Apple or Android devices displays the information for each individual sail and boat. As well as the sails history, the App uses the phones location to Geotag the location of the sail, ideal for a racing yachts and teams with multiple sails stored in locations such as on the boat, container or Sail loft. The App also includes a race and passage feature which captures the data at a faster rate for greater analysis over a shorter period.

By using Sail-Sense, we are providing owners with and passport and health score for their sails, allowing them to understand how much they have used their sails and perhaps can learn how to take care of their sails better. Whether that's by keeping the sail in the bag until it's ready to be used minimising UV damage, or by limiting the amount of flogging the sail does. It also has several benefits for sailmakers as they can extract detailed information about their customers sails and understand how the sails are being used.

Mark: So, an analogy might be like a home's smart meter, plugged into a sail? You can see what has been used, and how.

Ash: Yes, just like a home owner is interested in knowing how much they is spending on energy. Our device allows owners to see what is happening to their sails. If they spot a lot of flogging or UV exposure, they might change their behaviours to look after the sail better, increasing the life of the sail and ultimately saving money.

Mark: Spinlock is a company with a history of innovation, and this isn't the first time you've been nominated or won a DAME Award. What does it mean to have another under your belt?

Ash: It's fantastic! The DAME Award is very well known in the marine industry and receives a lot of attention at the show. We are extremely proud of the whole team, it takes a lot of effort from every department to get a new product to this stage. To win the DAME Award is great accolade for Spinlock and a great start for the product.

Mark: Congratulations to all of the Spinlock team; it is fantastic to see you winning yet again and innovating yet again.

Ash: Thank you very much!

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