Frequently Asked Questions

The most asked MarkSetBot questions

MarkSetBot Product Details

What functionalities does the MarkSetBot app have?

The MarkSetBot app is a robust course-setting toolkit that places course data easily at your fingertips!

  • Course layouts: We have more than 35 popular racecourses pre-set in the app. Don’t see what you need?  Reach out, and our team can help set up your preferred course geometry in the app.  Enter your wind direction, course lengths and select a racecourse and the app will automatically layout your course on the map.
  • Course calculators: The MSB app includes integrated calculators that take the guesswork out of course-setting.  We offer a starting line length calculator and a target time calculator.  Input your desired time length for the race, select your boat type and the MarkSetBot will automatically recommend the precise course length to hit your target race time.
  • Battery status: Quickly see the battery status of every Bot on your course, including overall battery health, current power draw, and the percentage of power remaining.
  • Depth: Our app includes native depth charts so you can easily see depth on your entire course. While setting in very deep water is no longer an issue (no anchors!!), the depth charts are very helpful if you have shallows on your courses.
  • Radar and AIS:  Our maps feature a radar toggle layer so that you can see weather patterns coming your way and plan racing accordingly, without leaving the MarkSetBot app.  We also have an AIS toggle which allows you to see boats with AIS transponders in your area.  This tool has been especially helpful for our Bot Techs at major events like SailGP and the America’s Cup where there are significant spectator fleets.
  • Laylines:  When setting a windward/leeward course, the MSB app automatically draws laylines on the map so you can always be sure you’ve set a perfect course, clear of obstructions and with plenty of depth.
  • Tape measure tool:  This tool allows you to measure any distance on the app map, as though you were applying a tape measure to it.
  • Time to set course: When you’re setting the course or making a course change, the Bots keep you up-to-date on their progress.  In real-time, they share both distance and time so you’ll know exactly how long until they are set again.
  • Wind data: If you have the MarkSetBot wind instrument, you’ll see current wind (speed and direction), a 3-hour average (speed and direction), plus wind rose graphs and plots that help visualize the shifts.  With the high-end, ultrasonic wind instrument we use, we’re able to get accurate wind readings even when the Bot is underway.
  • Horn signals: If you added the MarkSetBot horn system, you can trigger course signals for starts, finishes or course changes from the app
  • Map rotation:  Our maps are scalable, able to be zoomed in, twisted and turned.  We even have a feature that automatically orients the map based on course direction to be “wind up”.
  • Sharing the course: You can easily share the course you’ve set with anyone… other race committee members or even competitors.  This means, competitors no longer have to ping the line!  It’s also awesome if you’re using a mixed course of Bots and traditional marks.  Mark Boats can see exactly where to drop a traditional mark without relying on radio cues.

We have even more exciting features around course automation built into our RaceOS modules – reach out for details!

How does the Bot move?

To move the Bot, the user sets a navigate command via the MarkSetBot app.  The app then commands the Bot to navigate to the proper location and hold position.

We have three in-app ways to move the MarkSetBot – setting and navigating to a waypoint, controlling via “remote control mode” using a joystick function, and programming a route.  We also offer an off-grid remote that controls the MarkSetBot without a cellular connection.

How does the Bot stay in place without an anchor?

Magic!  Well, that and a lot of math, plus many thousands of hours of honing the code.  Our sophisticated anchoring algorithm, developed by a team of Professional Engineers, has been in place since 2014.  Our engineering team has extensive experience in aircraft, military and commercial applications.  Our anchoring code is tried and true – it has been in use in real life applications for tens of thousands of hours.

This algorithm, combined with years of hull testing, has led to a stable mark that holds position in the most extreme conditions.

What kind of conditions can the MarkSetBot handle?
How visible are the MarkSetBots?

MarkSetBot, with its wide base and solid topside, is easy to find on the course.  Our topside is visible at distances up to 2nm (3.704 km).

How portable is the MarkSetBot? Can I move them in my car?

We developed the MarkSetBot with ease of transport in mind, from shipping them around the world to moving them in traditional cars. MarkSetBot is inflatable so it packs quite small. You can fit 3 Bots in most sedans as long as the rear seat folds down. There also are no heavy components, so it’s easy to handle for one person.

When traveling to events, the MarkSetBot team uses a 6×8 foot trailer towed with a truck and can transport 12 Bots.

Will the batteries power the MarkSetBot for a full day?

Yes! Our 100 Ah lithium ion batteries power the MarkSetBot for 24 hours in normal conditions (8-10 knots of breeze, 1-2 foot waves). Battery life is impacted by how much the Bot must move around (course changes, motoring to course), wind speed, waves, and current. In our experience, in windy conditions (over 20 knots), Bots are able to hold position for 16-20 hours… plenty of time for a normal race day. If extended battery life is needed, reach out and we can discuss options.

MarkSetBots report their battery status in the app, including the health of the battery, current power draw, and the percentage of power remaining, so you’re always equipped with up-to-date data.

Can the battery be changed on the water?
How long do the Bots take to charge?

The Bots charge using any 110-240 volt outlet.  With our included charger, the batteries charge at 10% every hour.  Most of our customers use less than 50% of battery in a day’s racing, so they could fully re-charge in approximately 5 hours.  The fastest you could fully charge an empty battery is 1 hour 30 minutes with a super charger.

If you are interested in sustainable power, we also have a solar charging set-up.  In fact, it’s how we charge our Bots at the MarkSetBot factory!

Does MarkSetBot support solar charging? Can it charge while Bots are underway or on station?

Yes. We offer both on-water and on-land solar charging options.  Our on-water solar panel option easily clips on to your Bot and substantially offets battery draw while the Bot is underway and on station.

How long of a course can I set with MarkSetBot?

There are no distance restrictions with MarkSetBot.  Your course can be any distance in length.  In order to use all MarkSetBot features, the area must have cellular coverage.  However, we also offer a command system that does not rely on cellular for remote and offshore course-setting – an SMS-based system and our fully off-grid remote.

How fast is MarkSetBot?

MarkSetBots travel at 4 knots.

Race Committees often are interested in how quickly a course change can happen with a Bot.  Most of the time, the Bots will get to a new location faster than a top-notch mark boat.  Here are a few examples:

  • Shifting the weather mark 5-degrees on a 1 nm leg takes around 60 seconds for the Bot
  • Moving the starting pin 20-degrees takes under 30 seconds
How do MarkSetBots get to the racecourse?

The MarkSetBots are able to navigate to your racecourse autonomously.  But, in high traffic areas or for courses that are more than 1 nm from your club, we recommend towing.

For towing, we have two options.  Our tow line allows you to tow 8 Bots from one boat.  In most venues with average sea state, we recommend towing at 5 knots.  If you are in a venue with flat water and towing a single Bot, you can safely go 6 knots.  If you need to tow at faster speeds, we recommend lifting the Bot on to a RIB.

Is MarkSetBot easy to handle onshore? Any special equipment required for launching?

MarkSetBots are large for excellent visibility on the water, but are lightweight and manageable. No special equipment is needed to launch a MarkSetBot. MarkSetBots can be hand-launched and retrieved from a dock by two people working together.

While they are lightweight enough to lift by hand, we do offer a dolly option to further simplify transport and launching. With a ramp and our dolly, Bots can easily be launched or retrieved by one person.

Can MarkSetBot accept commands if primary data communications are unavailable?

Yes!  MarkSetBot has an offgrid remote function that allows you to control the bots when there is no cell signal.  We also have a SMS-based command system in place. Both technologies extend product range from shore substantially even when 4G and 5G services are out of range.

MarkSetBot on the Water

Where has the MarkSetBot been used?

The MarkSetBot app has been used in 38 countries around the world.  Our Bots are trusted by clubs, sailors and race committees at all levels of events from local weekday racing to major regattas.  Below you’ll find a list of some of the highlights:

  • SailGP Season 1, Season 2, Season 3, Season 4
  • 37th America’s Cup
  • 2023 Pan American Games
  • 52 Super Series
  • 420 World Championship
  • RS21 Worlds and North American Championship
  • RC44 Cup Series 2021 and 2022
  • RS Games
  • World Sailing Para-World Championship
  • Hyeres Olympic Class Regatta
  • Swan One Design World Championship and Nations League
  • M32 World North American and European Series
  • US Open Olympic Class Regattas
  • Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup
  • Windsurfer Class World Trophy
  • US Sailing Pan-American Games trials
  • Rolex Capri Sailing Week
  • St Barths Bucket Regatta
  • Charleston Race Week
  • O’pen Bic North American Championship
  • 18 Foot Skiff European Championship
  • Great Lakes 52 Season Series
  • 5.5 Metre World Championship
  • And hundreds of other events each year!

These events are just a small selection of major events that have used MarkSetBots. If you would like to learn more, reach out to info@marksetbot.com!

How many MarkSetBots do I need?

That’s really up to you.  We have customers who just use a single MarkSetBot and others who Botify their entire course.  One Bot set as the pin end of your starting line can make a big impact, or a windward mark Bot equipped with a wind instrument might be the most exciting option for your race committee.  But it’s incredibly cool to see the entire course rotate on an axis after a shift with the click of a button.  Remember, these marks are dynamic so it’s possible for the starting/finish line to double as a leeward gate.

When we ran the world’s first fully automated regatta, we used just three marks.  Two Bots set the starting line and one Bot was the windward mark.  After the boats crossed the line, the starting line Bots adjusted to become leeward gates and ultimately a finish line. 

 Reach out – we can discuss your racing scenarios and what would be the best fit.

Can I use the Bots for sponsor branding?

The Bots make awesome sponsor billboards!  There’s significantly more surface area to recognize sponsors than on a traditional mark!  From custom Bot pennies to banners to flags to stickers, we’ve seen it all!

Our number 1 recommendation is a custom Bot cover.  Send us your logo files and the MarkSetBot design team will produce a custom-designed, fitted cover.  Our custom covers look sharp and professional.

Alternatively, you can recognize sponsors with a banner.  Every Bot topside has integrated grommets for hanging banners.  Because of the topside design, banners do not create any impact on the performance of your Bot.  Reach out for sponsor banner dimensions.

Cover samples

Does MarkSetBot sponsor events?

Yes! We often sponsor events. And, we are happy to hear that you are supporting technology in sailing! If you’re interested in having MarkSetBot sponsor your event, please reach out at sales@marksetbot.com.

What regulations apply to MarkSetBots?

While every location has its own specific regulations for the use of “remote-controlled vessels”, we are unaware of any region around the world that prohibits or requires a license to use a MarkSetBot.

In the United States, the Bot is treated as a small watercraft without have a combustion engine and accordingly, does not require registration or licensing tags—very similar to a youth kayak.

If you are concerned about regulations, we recommend reaching out to your government or coast guard to confirm that remote-controlled vessels are not prohibited.

MarkSetBot Shipping and Servicing

Do you have a customer support team?

Yes! MarkSetBot offers robust customer support and training. Our customer service team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at support@marksetbot.com or via phone/SMS/WhatsApp at +1 855-627-5738.

Do you offer training for new users?

Yes!  MarkSetBot offers many training resources.  We have two online courses (Bot Master 1 and Bot Master 2) available in our learning management system. These courses include training materials and quizzes to test knowledge. We also have a detailed knowledgebase available to all customers and offer video training materials for software and hardware.

MarkSetBot’s customer service team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at support@marksetbot.com or via phone/SMS/WhatsApp at +1 855-627-5738.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes – we have shipped MarkSetBots all over the world!

MarkSetBots pack easily for shipping and we can put six MarkSetBots on a single pallet. We typically work with UPS or a Freight Forwarding service. We also can work with package aggregators.

Please reach out to us for a shipping quote.

Do you provide a warranty on the MarkSetBot?

Yes!  The MarkSetBot warranty depends on the purchase or rental option you select, but ranges from a one-year warranty (for Bot Ownership) to a lifetime warranty (for Bot As A Service Subscriptions).  We also offer an option to extend the one-year warranty.

See Agreement for details.

What is the lifespan of the MarkSetBot?

With regular maintenance, Bots can have a lifecycle of 5+ years. In fact, the first MarkSetBot we ever made in 2015 is still active on the water.

We’ve also been very intentional about our product innovations being backwards compatible so our latest upgrades are applicable to all Bots.

MarkSetBot software is updated regularly.  Because our Bots utilize a cellular network, they are able to automatically receive software updates anywhere in the world.

What is the annual cost of maintenance?
How do owners access upgrades and new parts?

Hardware upgrades are included in our Bot As A Service Subscription.  They can also be purchased on an a la carte basis for Bot Ownership customers.

How is the MarkSetBot serviced?

We designed the MarkSetBot with ease of service in mind.  The MarkSetBot is built in a modular fashion so it’s easy to replace parts.  The most likely part of the MarkSetBot to need service is the motor.  Rather than building a proprietary motor that would be difficult to service, MarkSetBot partnered with MinnKota because they have a vast network of service and dealers worldwide.  If there’s ever an issue with your motor, any MinnKota service shop near you can handle the repair.

MarkSetBot also has a robust dealer network.  So, while our headquarters is in the United States, we have a network of dealers who can assist with any MarkSetBot sales or service need throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Oceania… and growing!

Where are your dealers located?

We have MarkSetBot and RaceOS dealers in the United States, the Netherlands, Italy, Monaco, France, Switzerland, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Chile.  If you’d like to be connected to a dealer in your area, please reach out at sales@marksetbot.com.

We’re always looking to grow our network.  If you are interested in working with MarkSetBot, please reach out!