INTRODUCING THE WORLD’S FIRST ROBOTIC MARK.
The future of racing is here.
Introducing The World’s First Robotic Mark.
Now you can set up your course faster, easier and more accurately than ever before. MarkSetBot is self-propelled and uses GPS technology to zero in on a specific location and stay there until you tell it to move. Best of all, you control everything with your smart phone.
Check out our FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions.
The Future of Racing Is Here.
Benefits and Features.
Faster course set-up
Perfect placement of starting pin and mark
Mobile GPS Technology
No anchor needed
INSPIRATION BEHIND THE IDEA
Founder and creator Kevin Morin conceptualized MarkSetBot while racing on Cass Lake (Michigan) at the Pontiac Yacht Club, where he was a member. Cass Lake is a challenging place to do Race Committee work, as the wind is very shifty and there are many areas that are too deep to set an anchor. Often the Race Committee is forced to set a course that isn’t ideal, because it’s the only location where a mark can be set. Additionally, every racer at the club must volunteer for Race Committee twice a year. Kevin figured if he could replace the mark set boat, each racer would only have to volunteer once a year, which would mean one extra day of racing for everyone!
Kevin gives credit for his inspiration to continue the project to a retired engineer and old family friend, the late Bill Margolin. Bill had a way of dissecting problems, and during the months before he passed away, they talked about the concept for MarkSetBot. While he was fragile, he still loved to solve problems, so Kevin brought a prototype to the hospital one day. Bill suggested ditching the preliminary prototype and creating a way to provide thrust via a propeller on a pivot. At the time, Kevin thought he was crazy, but several weeks later, when he saw a GPS-based trolling motor he knew that was the way to go.
In 2014, the first functional prototype was developed. In 2016, ProNav Marine of Houghton, MI and MarkSetBot teamed together to improve on the initial prototype. This led to a beta at 6 clubs in the summer of 2017.
The Solution for a Common Race Problem.
Set up your course faster, easier and more accurately than ever before.
Self-propels and uses GPS technology.
Don Glover, May 2017
“I was very impressed with MarkSetBot on Saturday. The mark seemed to hold position very nicely, in what I thought were challenging conditions of winds nearing 20 mph early in the afternoon and seas that were 4-5 feet. In such conditions, an inflatable mark tends to move around on the wave face, whereas the MarkSetBot did not seem to be tossed around like an inflatable. I really liked that the RC could quickly adjust course length between races without a mark boat.
Before the race, there were many doubters in the crowd, but MarkSetBot worked out just fine. I would have absolutely no reservations about using it again.”
Mike Ferring, September 2017
MarkSetBot convinced a lot of doubters at the Arizona Yacht Club this weekend! With wind in the 15-20 range, MarkSetBot calmly played its paddle-like-a-duck game, spinning its prop underwater while calmly sitting still up above.
“Awesome,” is how PRO Paul Liszewski summed it up. “I had my doubts,” he said, “but it did an excellent job.” It was a day when normal, anchored marks went adrift (one getting beached on an island), but the robotic mark just treaded water at the end of the start line, not moving. Same on Sunday, when PRO Roger Butterwick said that he too was a doubter, not believing the mark could remain motionless for hours, but he was sold by the end of the day’s racing.
Charley Rathkopf, October 2017
The story for this year’s Big Boat Pacific Coast Sailing Championship (PSSC), put on by CYC Seattle last weekend, has a lot more to do with mark sets than mark roundings. Principal Race Officer Charley Rathkopf was beta testing the MarkSetBot. Robot marks? Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
This self-propelled floating mark can be instructed via computer through the web, to hold a GPS position. It’s electric trolling motor, autopilot and cell phone work together. “Once you get it in the water and all connected, it worked great” Rathkopf reported.