"Our Atlantic Gear Test is the most comprehensive ever undertaken. With 85 ARC skippers returning our detailed three-page questionnaire, our road test, equivalent to over 400,000 nautical miles of sailing, is based on yachtsmen's own assessments. If you are thinking of fitting out your yacht for extended cruising and want to know what works and what doesn't, what's indispensable and how like-minded yachtsmen rate a particular piece of equipment, you cannot afford to ignore the results of our survey.

How the data was compiled: The questionnaire asked specifically about new equipment bought. It is not an exhaustive list of equipment available, but it does show the most popular current choices and rates their performance.
After any failures or breakages were recorded, marks were awarded by each skipper for six key areas:

  • reliability
  • ease of use
  • ease of repair
  • clarity of the instruction manual
  • after sales service and
  • value for money

Skippers may only have experience of a particular make or model, so the questionnaires were carefully analysed for any consistent grumblings or praises, and only then did these contribute to the end results.

Reliability and service support played key roles, as the true test is the ease with which a skipper can effect repairs way from home base. Windvanes gave unlimited help with no power drain. Most can steer comfortably in conditions where other aids will give up. The WINDPILOT Pacific Plus was rated so highly by those who fitted it (almost 60%), that we awarded it our GOLD MEDAL for overall performance. In particular, WINDPILOT owner Peter Förthmann's after sales service was highly praised."

Design Prize 1988

The exciting new Pacific and Pacific Plus designs made waves afloat and ashore and won a spell in the German Museum for Art and Design as well as several other awards.