A Q&A with Andy Mapple on speed control How is Zero Off different from other speed-control systems on the market?
GPS measures the actual speed across the water. With current systems, speed is determined by a predetermined RPM of the boat or with a paddle wheel on the bottom of the boat, which can't make the engine react fast enough. The GPS in Zero Off is reacting all the time.
What about from a skier's standpoint?
Zero Off only applies power when the skier pulls and requires it. When the skier stops pulling, so does the applied power. With an RPM system, once it engages power, it's going to give power for X period of time, whether you're late, early or whatever. GPS is totally sensitive to the skier and where they are, which is a lot like manual driving.
So Zero Off is like having Tommy Harrington driving on his best day. It's been so long since I remember hand driving! But I do believe Zero Off is a lot more like a good manual driver because, if you get in trouble, it's not going to penalize you.
How hard is it to install?
Basically, for '07 boats with an engine-controller system, it's plug and place, totally electronic. We're working on a retrofit kit for older boats, which will be available soon.
What about setup?
Simply go to the entrance gate and hit Enter, then you just blast down to the other end of the course, go through the exit gates, and hit Enter again. But it's not mapping the distance between the gates; it's setting two sets of coordinates. So now every time — whichever direction the boat comes — when it goes past those coordinates, it starts timing. It's measuring the speed across the water, not the speed between the two buoys, so it doesn't matter if the slalom course is long or short in tolerance.
For more information, visit: zerogps.com