Gear Box: Garmin quatix 5

A watch for sailing and living

Garmin quatix 5Courtesy of the manufacturer

A naked wrist is a lousy excuse for a bad start. Now, there are watches good for sailing and watches purpose-built for sailing, but the Garmin quatix 5 ($540 retail) is a watch for sailing and living. Two button presses get you to its sailing functions, and press three more to ping the line using the internal GPS (it'll get your distance-to-line close, but don't depend on it). It's simple to sync, change minutes and restart a new sequence. After the start, find tacking angles, speed over ground, course over ground and more. Bluetooth to a Garmin instrument package and open a trove of options.

While I’ve yet to tap its arsenal of sailing tools, the quatix 5 has also made me a believer in the fitness-tracker fad. Pages show my heart rate, my steps, the weather and my stress level. It even tells me to get up and move if I’m idle at my desk for too long. I can log my races, runs, bike rides and ocean swims and analyze the heck out of them using the app on my phone.

There’s a library of free apps to load to it, but those that come with it are good to keep me honest, active and peeling off the starting line on time. You can stop searching for the best sailing watch because this is the one.