Raymarine's FAQs for Master Series 



Why do I need a Race Master tactical compass?

Your Tacktick compass has three primary functions:

  • To aid in the detection of wind shifts
  • To indicate the direction of the next mark
  • To help establish bias in the starting line


Establishing the mean wind direction
Launch in good time and allow at least half an hour to determine the mean wind direction, as there may be an oscillating wind-stream with a period of 30 minutes or more. Establish the wind direction by sailing close hauled and noting compass headings, then split the difference between the average port and starboard headings. Alternatively set your Tacktick into its wind-shift mode and keeping an eye on the accuracy of your set-up, adjusting as required until you are satisfied you have the mean direction. The more time you spend at this stage, the more accurately you will establish the size and frequency of the wind’s directional shifts.

The start line may not be set at exactly 90° to the mean wind direction. The crew who position their boat at the favoured end of the line will have an advantage. The digital precision of your Tacktick compass will help you to establish which end is favoured. Consult your user guide to understand how to work with your Tacktick at the start line. Note that a last minute wind shift may appear to favour one end of the line, but watch out! It may still be that the line is square to the mean wind and it will then pay you to start at the apparently unfavoured end, where the line will be less densely populated.

General hints on shifting winds
Discounting extreme meteorological conditions such as thunderstorms, there are four main types of windshift:
1. A periodic shift in an oscillating wind-stream. In this case, success depends on estimating the mean direction correctly, and it is usually best to sail on the lifted tack. Note that it is possible to sail through a small header and still be lifted in relation to the mean wind - at this point you will pass a crew who simply tack on headers. Shifts of this type are often experienced in a variable north-wester in UK and continental waters. Small cumulus clouds are a trade mark of this type of wind-stream.
2. A shift in the mean wind direction due to do changes in the overall pressure system. The weather forecast and weather maps may warn of this; which is why it is all important to be armed with an up-to-date local forecast before going afloat.
3. A ‘bent’wind due to shore effects. A Championship course is supposed to be laid well away from land, but if the wind is blowing diagonally offshore it nearly always pays to work a little way inshore early in the beat as the opportunity allows. Should it then become apparent that the inshore course is favoured, you are in a good position to take advantage of it. Beware of going in too far too soon, or against an oscillating shift.
4. Sea breeze.This may arrive as a reversal of the wind direction, or the wind may swing towards the direction of the sea breeze. Try to ascertain in advance what is the usual sea breeze direction. The basic requirement for a sea breeze is sunshine: as the land is heated the air above it rises, and the colder air is drawn in from the sea. A strong offshore component in the prevailing wind - usually about 15 knots - will nullify the sea breeze. There may be local signs to give a clue as to the arrival of a sea breeze - ask around, but a good rough guide is that for about 20 minutes before hand, the wind will slowly die. Once the sea breeze is filling in, don’t look for oscillating shifts. As it strengthens it will more closely approach is usual direction and later in the afternoon, the process will tend to reverse. The sea breeze will try to flow smoothly inshore and, being a rather shallow air movement will tend to flow around obstructions such as cliffs, rather than over them.

Using the shifts
The basic action required in an oscillating wind system is the opposite to that when meeting major weather system shifts, bent winds or when the sea breeze effect swings the wind-stream.
In the first case, it is necessary to tack on headers, in the other cases it is usually best to sail on further when headed: the further you sail the more the effect is likely to increase and the greater will be the benefit when you finally tack for the weather mark.

And understanding them
If you are working an oscillating system and one of the other types of shift appears - perhaps without warning - be prepared to cut your losses and sail across to the better side of the beat. If for example, you tack on a header and are then freed more and more, identifiably more than for previous shifts, then you should suspect this is happening. Serious winners are most likely to be those who appreciate the art of this subject, and react rapidly to it.


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Can I mount my transducers in hull?

Depth - Yes.

The standard T912 retractable depth transducer supplied by Tacktick can be installed without cutting a hole in the bottom of the boat. The supplied through hull fitting can be bonded to the inside of the hull ( a spacer should be constructed to take up and angle (deadrise) in the hull ensuring that the transducer is mounted vertically downwards). Remove the o-ring seals from the bottom of the transducer and fill the fitted tube with oil before inserting the transducer and securing with the screw cap. If fitted correctly there will be only a very slight reduction of performance compared to a standard through hull installation.


Speed - No.

The Standard T911 Speed Transducer supplied by Tacktick is a paddle wheel device which requires through the hull installation. The standard housing is of a low profile design and is fitted with a valve to reduce the amount of water coming into the boat when the transducer is removed for cleaning. If required a "Flush Mount" housing (T943)is available to keep the housing totally flush with the outer surface of the hull.


Triducer - No.

The T910 Triducer supplied by Tacktick is a paddle wheel device which requires through the hull installation. The standard housing is of a low profile design and is fitted with a valve to reduce the amount of water coming into the boat when the transducer is removed for cleaning. If required a "Flush Mount" housing (T943)is available to keep the housing totally flush with the outer surface of the hull. The T075 Race Master System comes complete with the optional flush housing included.

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I am laying up my boat for the winter. What is the best thing to do with my Micronet Instruments?
It is best to ensure that all the wireless components of a Micronet system are fully charged before storing for the winter. If there is not enough sunlight to charge Displays then connect a 9-24V supply to the terminals hidden behind the small panel on the rear of the display and leave for 12 hours. Ensure that power has been supplied to Hull and NMEA Transmitters for 12 hours before layup. If the mast is taken down for the winter then it is best to remove the Wind Transmitter to prevent damage. Check the outside of the unit is clean and rinse with fresh water then dry it thouroughly before storing safely away. All components can be stored away on the boat or at home for the winter period.

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My Speed reads low or zero. What can I do?
First you should check the paddle wheel is clean and running freely by removing the transducer from the in hull housing and checking carefully for debris.

If the paddle wheel turns freely by hand but no speed is displayed:
Check on the Race Master display in the Setup / Health chapter that the Hull Transmitter is operating correctly. In a simple Race Master System the first page in the Health Chapter should indicate "no2" and the next page should give information under the title HULL.

f the Hull Transmitter is not working check that there is a power supply (battery or solar panel) connected and if there is no change after 6 hours of charging contact Tacktick support by filling in the Customer Support Form.

If the Hull Transmitter is communicating with the Race Master check carefully the transducer connections.

Disconnecting the brown or white wires will change the speed reading from 0.0 to - - -. Connecting a direct link between the brown and white terminals on the Hull Transmitter will change the speed reading from - - - to 0.0 without any other connections being made.

Connection Description

Brown - Temperature Sensor
White - Temperature Sensor
Red - Power to Transducer
Green - Pulse from Transducer
Screen - O Volt reference

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My transducer is very stiff and will not inset fully into the housing. What is wrong?
It is important to ensure that the o-rings on all transducers are carefully greased before they are inserted into the housing.


In the case of the T911 and T912 Speed and Depth Transducers insufficient grease will make the inserts stiff and hard to insert and once in place it may be very difficult to remove the transducer again.



In the case of the T910 Triducer the large yellow o-ring at the top of the Triducer insert will not pass into the top of the housing at all unless it is greased. The hand nut that secures the Triducer will feel tight but the bottom transducer surface will not be flush with the outside of the hull and speed and depth information will be incorrect. In severe cases the valve from the inside of the housing can be broken when trying to remove a Triducer that is not well greased.



All Tacktick Transducers are supplied with a small tube of silicone grease suitable for application to the o-rings.

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Why do my displays show and alarm a " Power no volts" message soon after start up?
Power No Volts will be displayed just once, 10 seconds after the system is first powered to indicate that either Hull or NMEA Transmitter is not receiving good volts - the alarm is a reminder to switch on power or indicate that there is an issue one of the units not receiving charge. An NMEA or Hull low battery alarm/meassage will follow at approximately 30 hours remaining to indicate which unit may have issue. Both Hull and NMEA Transmitters process solely from their own internal batteries for approximately 100 hours back up before the unit will shut down (at safe level for recharge) and any unit perhaps not restarting when the system is switched on should be connected to volts for a period 12-24 hours. For this issue - we would recommend double checking the volts connection remaking the connections as a process of elimination. Please also check that the polarity is correct.

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What are The benefits of a Tacktick precision digital compass?
Tacktick compasses are precise, lightweight, and easy to read, so you can spend less time looking at the compass, and more time thinking through the tactics. They are also portable and straightforward to install, so you can take your Tacktick from boat to boat, and rapidly set up for tactical racing.

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What happens if my instrument will not stay on?
The battery level may be low? All Tacktick Instruments have a battery level indicator, this shows how many hours of use your instrument has with no sun light. If when you turn the instrument on the battery level is low you need to charge your batteries see charging my instrument.


Alternatively if a unit is left and the electronics see no change in data then it will shut down automatically to conserve power. This will not happen at sea but will happen if a unit is left on at home.


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Why are my boat speed values different for each tack?
This is almost certainly due to an offset from the centre line or due to a miss-alignment of the transducer housing in the boat's hull.  


An offset puts the sensor at a different vertical height on each tack, and the flow acceleration under the hull varies with height, hence the problem and it is a common problem with speed transducers when they are not mounted on centre (often you can't mount them on the centre line due to structural issues such as stringers. The simplest "solution" is to experiment with rotating the paddle housing either clockwise or counterclockwise by around 10 to 20 degrees. By doing this, you correct the asymetry with the rotational alignment.



If the housing is not aligned correctly in the hull it may be necessary to twist the transducer to ensure the correct speed readings. In these cases the keyway slot in the top of the housing should be extended using a sharp knife or small file to ensure the transducer can be fully secured and sealed into the housing.


The Tacktick Race Master, Maxi and Dual Maxi displays have a software calibration to correct for tack to tack speed differences.



Always ensure there is a good coating of silicone grease on the o-rings around the transducer inserts. Dry o-rings can cause the transducers to stick and not push fully into the housings. In severe cases damage to the housing and the internal valves can be caused by sticking o-rings.


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Can I use the unit for navigation?
The Race Master instrument can be used for navigation if the compass is swung in set up mode to compensate for deviation. Any magnetic material close to the Race Master Display will affect the internal fluxgate compass and cause it to be inaccurate; completing a deviation correction turn with the unit in setup mode will correct for this affect and allow the readings to be accurate and suitable for navigation purposes. If there are any changes made to the mounting of the Race Master or surrounding items the correction turn should be completed again.

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Will my Tacktick work at night?
Yes. It has battery back up that is recharged from the solar system. It is best to ensure the unit is fully charged if you know that a nightime passage is happening. It is also better to limit the use of the backlighting as this will reduce the total operating time before a charge is required.

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Can the Sail Master and Speed Master be used with other transducers?
Yes they are compatible with the majority of existing transducers. If you look at the cable it should say Airmar along it and this confirms that it is the same and can be used. IF IN DOUBT CHECK COMPATIBILITY

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My Depth reading is blank?
The bar graph goes blank when the Sail Master cannot detect a transducer connection. Check the transducer wiring and connections.

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My unit rattles or sounds as if it has water inside it?
The fluxgate compass fitted to the Race Master and Sail Master is filled with oil and makes this noise.

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Can my Tacktick be used in the southern hemisphere?
Yes. There is no set up required. The fluxgate compass units installed in Tacktick devices operate correctly all around the globe. There are no regional changes to be made and the compass readings will be accurate worldwide.

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What happens if my Tacktick won't turn on?
Your Instrument probably needs charging, place the instrument in bright sunlight on a window sill.


Bright Sun 2 Days

Cloudy Days 5 Days

Dull Days 10 Days


It is not possible to recharge batteries with electric lighting – sunlight must be used

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Where do I mount my transducers?
We do not recommend locations or methods for installations however most boats find that in front of the keel by at least 400mm and as close to the centre line works well. The depth transducer can be mounted in hull or through hull but you will find for best performance through hull is required. Do not mount the depth transducer directly behind the speed transducer as turbulence caused by the paddle wheel may effect depth performance.

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Which oil do I use in my in hull depth transducer?
Castor oil which can be found at most chemists is appropriate and is probably the cleanest and least smelly option.

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Can I buy a discontinued product?
No. It is not possible to purchase discontinued products directly from Tacktick. However, there is often a second hand market for such items. The main reason for a product to be discontinued is that it has been superseded by a new improved version.

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Will my Displays re-charge their battery even if they are switched off?
Yes. All batteries will be charged when off regardless of whether they are Displays left in daylight or Hull/NMEA Transmitters left connected to an external power source.

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Why is my depth reading locked on one depth only?
This can be caused by a keel with a bulb or wing on the bottom. The depth sounder picks up a reflection from the keel and this looks like a fixed depth. Often setting a keel offset will prevent this from happening. It is also possible that a transducer that is not fully inserted into the housing can cause this as the system picks up an echo from the edge of the housing. 

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Is my Tacktick waterproof?
Yes. All Tacktick displays are waterproof. Submersible to 10 Meters although the Micro Compass will float. Unlike many other marine electronics instruments Tacktick products are fully sealed and can be submerged to depths of 10m. There have been reports of displays being lost overboard and then retrieved later by divers several days later to be placed back on board still working.



It is recommended that Hull Transmitters and Speed/Depth Pods are located in areas of the boat such that they are not subjected to direct water spray.

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How long do the rechargeable batteries in my Tacktick instruments last?
The batteries are affected by discharge and the life of the batteries used is not measured in time but in cycles of charge and discharge. In normal operation the Micronet displays operate at a very low discharge level as they are continually charged by daylight. This will give the batteries a life span of well in excess of 10 years.


If the batteries are continually drained flat then recharged again, then the overall life will be reduced but this is not part of their normal operating range. All Tacktick instruments manufactured since 2006 have replaceable batteries so in the unlikely event of a total battery failure a new battery pack can be easily fitted.

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