B&G

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B&G, formerly known as Brookes and Gatehouse, is a developer and manufacturer of advanced instrumentation systems for racing and cruising sailing yachts.

Its equipment can be found on many of the world's leading sail racing yachts, including the majority of competitors for recent competitions such as the 2007 America's Cup and the 2008–09 Volvo Ocean Race.

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1956 by Major R.N. Gatehouse and Ronald Brookes who had formed a partnership the previous year to develop and manufacture a new radio direction finder (RDF) for use by private sailing boats. In 1956 the 'Homer' receiver was produced, said to be the first transistorised RDF to be made available to the world's leisure marine market.

Over the course of the 1950s, B&G, then based in Lymington on the south coast of England, extended its activities into echo sounders and in 1960 produced its first speedometer. In 1966 the ketch Gypsy Moth IV, the yacht which earned Sir Francis Chichester his single-handed circumnavigation record, was equipped with a full suite of B&G instruments.

In the 1970s and 1980s the company continued to rapidly innovate, receiving in 1981 a Design Council Award for its Hercules electronic data system, which effectively introduced computers to leisure boating, and continues to do so to this day, remaining the market leader in advanced instrumentation systems for grand prix racing yachts and sailing superyachts, as well as for club racers and blue water cruising yachts.

The company has changed hands a number of times during its 53 year lifetime, and is now a subsidiary of Navico, the Norwegian based leader in the marine electronics sector. B&G however remains headquartered just a few miles from its birthplace, in Romsey, Hampshire. As of 2013. B&G Production has moved to Mexico and the Romsey Production facility has closed.

Products[edit]

B&G produces integrated instrumentation systems that collect and analyse a wide range of data relating both to a yacht's performance and the external conditions in which it is sailing. This information can then be displayed to the helmsman, navigator and crew and/or analysed by integral data processing functions to produce additional information flows that enable the yacht's crew to make informed decisions with regard to performance optimisation and navigation strategy and tactics - particularly in a competitive environment.

Data that is collected may include apparent wind speed, apparent wind angle, boat speed, heading, position (Latitude/Longitude) and depth. By combining and analysing these inputs a B&G system can calculate and display in real time information such as true wind speed, true wind direction, course over ground, Velocity made good, time and distance to next waypoint, and much more. This data can additionally be fed into tactical navigation software such as B&G's proprietary Deckman system and analysed against tidal and current databases, electronic charting and weather prediction feeds to enable the navigator to devise the fastest and most efficient route between two or more points. This information can also be fed into autopilot systems.

In 2008 the B&G product range is centred around the H3000 system, with a wide range of configurations available for boats of all types and sizes. Grand prix racing yachts typically include the ground-breaking WTP2 (Wave Technology Processor) which compensates for the movement of the boat itself through the water via a three axis rate-gyro sensor to give even greater accuracy in data read-outs, and at substantially higher speeds than conventional systems.

Alongside instrumentation, B&G also designs and manufactures self-steering gear for sailing yachts. Their autopilots have been used by many short-handed racers, including Dame Ellen MacArthur during her single-handed circumnavigation race on Kingfisher in the 2000-01 Vendee Globe and her outright single-handed circumnavigation record on Castorama/B&Q.

Products include:

  • Hydra 330
  • Hydra 2
  • Hydra 2000
  • Hercules 690
  • Hercules 790
  • Hercules 2000
  • H1000
  • H2000
  • H3000
  • H5000
  • WTP
  • WTP2
  • WTP3
  • Zeus
  • Triton displays
  • 4G broadband radar

Service[edit]

The B&G Service department is still located in Lymington, Hampshire, England, where B&G was first established. B&G Service can perform service and repairs for all B&G equipment worldwide, including products dating as far back as 1956.

External links[edit]

Official website

References[edit]