Are you looking for the best VR tech gadget for a sailor to buy, maybe as a gift?
This year, so many of us have been locked down or sheltering in place, not being able to go sailing and missing the time spent on the water.
Some of us found a way to stay connected to sailing, thanks to virtual reality. For example Pascal from France has been using VR to get his sailing fix at home.. Virtual reality is a truly amazing technology that in an instant can transport you somewhere else.
In our opinion, in 2020, VR might be one of the most practical and impactful gifts a sailor can get.
At MarineVerse, we had a chance to try all of the modern VR devices and here are our recommendations for sailors in 2020:
Best headset for sailors: Oculus Quest 2
Best high-end headset for sailors: Valve Index
Why? Let’s have a closer look at some of the headsets and what we can do with them:
Oculus Quest 2
The recently announced headset from Facebook offers an amazing value at $299 USD.
The best thing about Oculus Quest is that it is a “standalone VR headset”. This means that you only need to buy the Quest; there is no need for an extra phone or an expensive PC computer. That makes Oculus Quest the most affordable amongst the good options and a perfect gift.
The downside of Oculus Quest is that it offers less impressive graphics compared to PC and that you have to keep your hands/controllers in front of you, when using it, because the headset can only track the controllers that are visible to it. This means that you can’t simply “grab a tiller” that is behind you, and instead, you need to rely on a controller’s joystick. To use Oculus Quest, you need a Facebook account.
All in all though, the headset offers an amazing value and most likely will be very popular in this holiday season - it might be wise to order it as soon as you decide to get it.
Sailing apps to try: “MarineVerse Cup” is an immersive competitive sailing experience that is approachable, but authentic.
Valve Index offers the best quality of controller tracking and the best graphics - but requires a gaming PC.
If you don’t already have one a gaming PC, this can add anywhere between $800 to $3000 extra to your costs. If you can afford it, it’s worth it!
Sailing apps to try: “VR Regatta” is the leading virtual reality sailing game. Explore the the immersive, inspiring sailing experience that awaits you on the open seas. Veterans of sailing and newcomers alike are invited to discover the relaxation and exploration at Akalana Islands.
If you never sailed or you want to give a friend or family member a taste of sailing, VR Regatta is a great choice.
( The sailor above is using HTC Vive. HTC Vive, like Valve Index, is a SteamVR headset. Any SteamVR compatible headset will run VR Regatta. )
In this article we focused on the best devices on which you can experience virtual reality sailing. For comparison of other devices see our article from 2018.
All in all, in our opinion the best choice at the moment is Oculus Quest 2. If you have a modern gaming PC, you can also consider the Valve Index.
Hopefully you find this article useful and we wish you many enjoyable hours spent on board of your virtual sailing yacht. If you are thinking of using virtual reality as a tool to enhance your sailing training we hope the results will exceed your expectations.
No matter if you end up choosing Oculus Quest 2, Valve Index or another headset, we hope to see you on the water in the MarineVerse Cup - we have an amazing global community of sailors and we can’t wait to welcome you.
Founder at MarineVerse - Virtual Reality Sailing
PS. You can always find our latest VR headset recommendation here: https://www.marineverse.com/try-virtual-reality-sailing