« I don’t pay attention to water any more, not even to salt »

INTERVIEW

LALOU ROUCAYROL

Lalou Roucayrol, an experienced skipper and founder of the Arkema Lalou Multi Team, is much more than a well-known sailor. A specialist in offshore racing (winner of the 2017 Transat Jacques Vabre, ranked 2nd in the 2014 Route du Rhum… ) he is also active in performance development and likes to pass on his know-how. He owned CROSSCALL smartphones before even becoming an ambassador to them and is now an experienced user and a precious tester of these phones. Let’s check out some feedback from a passionate sailor!

« First of all it’s important to explain to the general public that smartphones have a big role to play on a racing boat, even when you’re offshore and the network is nonexistent. They act as remote screens to begin with, so that we can keep an eye on all the data provided by the boat’s electronics.

start quoteThe screen’s readability and contrast in the sun are simply great end quote

This way I can use my ACTION-X3 as a remote control for the sailing software which provides me with all the data relating to the boat (speed, wind, direction etc.). It doesn’t have a SIM card but it’s constantly connected – via Wifi for the piloting software, Bluetooth for all the other electronic devices of course, and with constantly active location for GPS services.

I place it either in the side cockpits or in the solo (the central cockpit) using the X-BIKE mounting support so it can follow me everywhere and stay fixed. The screen readability and contrast in the sun are great and it works well when you tap the screen with wet fingers.

start quoteI can go easily 25hrs staying connected the whole timeend quote

During long sails the voltage is weaker on the boat so I recharge all devices beforehand and can go easily 25hrs while being constantly connected (Bluetooth, GPS, Wifi). The one thing I try to be careful about is keeping the brightness of the screen low at night as it’s what uses up more battery. If I need to charge my phone quickly I use the X-POWER external battery which is also waterproof.

My second smartphone, TREKKER-X3, is connected via Bluetooth to an Iridium GO, a device that allows you to make calls, send SMS’s and pictures via satellite when you can’t reach the 3G/4G signal in open waters.

Very practical in emergency situations or to keep in touch with relatives and get racing directions. The fact that I can prepare my messages and contents on the phone really offers great functional comfort.

I also use it as a « spare » with a few apps like Baromètre Pro, Marine Traffic or Vessel Finder to locate boats around us. What’s great with this model is the inductive charging that means all waterproofness issues can be avoided.

start quoteI’ve even happened to step on itend quote

These days I don’t even pay attention to water, nor salt, which is a real issue. It damages all devices and scratches screens. Generally speaking these are the first phones that I’ve kept for such a long time. I’m not particularly careful. It’s a piece of equipment and, like the rest, I don’t use them sparingly. I throw them in the cockpit, I’ve even happened to step on them or drop them. I mean, they have to work and I must admit your phones are really awesome! ».

Photo : Vincent Olivaud.

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