Thursday, December 16, 2010

APS Staff Review: Ronstan Clear Start Timer

Watches are a popular gift this season and John Maloney in Customer Service shares a short review on one of his favorite sailing items and why he thinks the Ronstan Clear Start Timer is the best choice in sailing watches...

The Ronstan Clear Start Timer is the coolest sailing watch out there in my opinion. Make no mistake! This is not a watch for “old folks” just because it has a GIANT display (although our predecessors will enjoy it).

As a long time dingy sailor of various boats, my favorite feature is that all of the buttons are on the face! There’s nothing worse than hitting the countdown timer perfectly, relaxing for a second before a start, pulling up to the line to see which end is favored then hearing the 5 second countdown that your watch apparently forgot to sound. Yep, you've hit one of the buttons on the side of your watch by accident with your bulky dry suit cuff or whatever you’re wearing and stopped the countdown. This will not happen with this watch!

If you don't nail the 5-minute horn, you're in luck. This bad boy has the good old sync feature. Simply wait for the 4-minute horn and hit the big sync button and you’ll be conveniently restored to the original countdown at four minutes. For you college 3-minute starters, whatever minute you’ve missed, you can always hit the sync button to get back on track. If you miss minutes 3, 2, and 1, I don’t know what to tell you except use the force.

A diverse amount of applications really make this watch stand out. Thanks to the elastic band it has a liberal range of sizing options. You can wear it over a wetsuit, dry suit, or simply on your wrist although you may look like a junior version of Flava Flav inshore. Another great feature of the band is it can be attached to a mast/spar. My colleague Aaron who’s gearing up for DN Ice Boat season (cold weather expert) has explained he’s got this piece attached to his Laser lower mast and has left it outside in the frigid temperatures we've been experiencing here in Annapolis and it’s still cranking. Attaching it to your mast turns it into an onboard electronic unit just like a big boat!

This is an all around great watch that would make a useful gift for any sailor and it conveniently fits into a stocking!

Thanks for the short review John!

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