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Ockam Fellows

Kudos – these people deserve mention for their achievements in sailing and with Ockam instruments.

MikeRuhlandMike Ruhland

The yacht ‘Dolphin’ and its crew are folk heroes around the Great Lakes. Despite her 35 years, this one-off Mull 54 has finished in the money 11 out of the last 18 Bayview Macs amongst many others. Mike is her tactician and speed-king, and applies his business analysis and technical problem-solving skills to the art of winning sailboat races.

In 1987, after attending an Ockam U, he sold his dad and team patriarch on the ideas and the need for new instruments to implement them. Then he bought and installed an Ockam system himself and trained the crew in its use. They are still using that same system.

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it. A thorough characterization of the boat’s performance is responsible for our success. We’ve stayed competitive for the last 20 years by continually refining everything: our technique, deck layout, tuning, sail design, and sail trim. Collecting higher quality data has allowed us to make higher quality decisions and focus our limited resources for maximum benefit.

Accurate, real-time information is provided in a layered fashion to crew members, based upon their function. Here-and-now information is provided to the driver and trimmers to validate the feedback provided by the boat, keeping him focused upon managing boat speed. Tactical and strategic information is delivered to the brain trust without distracting the boat speed masters.

Knowledge and teamwork are necessary, but not sufficient, to win races. The development, execution, and evaluation of race-winning strategy also requires an outstanding measurement system, like Ockam, to enable performance characterization, timely feedback, and the synthesis of complex data into usable information.”


PeterIslerPeter Isler (‘Pedro’)

Peter needs no introduction. He has been afterguard in four America’s Cup campaigns with 2 wins, coached the Olympic sailing team, commentated on ESPN, been top ranked in the PMRC for 5 years and has published 3 books on sailing.

“Even though I grew up as a dinghy sailor, somehow I have developed a real affinity for sailing instruments. I love the challenge of instrument calibration and the process of making your data and instruments work for you – both real time on the race course, and when trying to figure out how to go faster when you hit the dock. Ockam instruments were on the first real high end racing boat I sailed on back on Long Island Sound when I was a kid – and they have been on board each of the four AC campaigns in which I have sailed. Things have changed a lot over the years in the back of an AC boat, but one thing has not, and that is Ockam’s strong backbone that provides weekend sailors with what they need from sailing instruments.. yet still has “headroom” at the high end for an AC level type program. The Ockam system has certainly evolved with the times – so I rarely get to see those little chips with the magnets on them any more. Over the years, a lot of us sailors have learned how to sail our boats a lot faster and make better decisions on the race course thanks to Ockam.”

MattGregoryMatt Gregory (‘Smithers’)

A graduate of University of Michigan’s Mechanical Engineering program, Matt has participated in two America’s Cups, with expertise in navigation, electronics and project management. His recent article in Sailing World magazine explains how to use instrumentation and knowledge of your boat’s polar data to sail smarter and faster. He is currently perusing a graduate degree in business administration.

“Ockam is my recommendation for anyone who wants to add an instrument system to their boat. Ockam is the only ‘truly’ scalable instrumentation system that does not sacrifice reliable output in its most basic configuration. Even at the Americas Cup level, we are using the same core Ockam Wind Solution technology that a Mumm 30 with an Ockam system uses. The only difference is that we ‘bolt on’ components to further enhance our data capturing, communication and analytical abilities.”


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