Voyage to the
Atlas 2

How SEACOMP & Vakaros navigated testing challenges to launch an inventive sailing tablet. 

The Lay of the Land

When Vakaros sought an experienced manufacturing partner to help them launch an improved V2 of their (already successful) sailing tablet, we were all in. The requirements presented exciting challenges: the tablet needed to withstand rough elements that sailors and their equipment are often exposed to, like salt water and harsh UV rays. Iterative testing and close communication between teams would be essential.

Vakaros began as a passion project by two avid sailors—Jake Keilman, an electrical engineer, and Todd Wilson, a software engineer. The pair saw an opportunity to better gauge their performance out on the water, and their backgrounds in both engineering and sailing empowered them to design their product. What resulted was the Atlas 1, a sailing tablet designed and assembled by their team in-house. 

Met with high demand, Vakaros knew they wanted to partner with a manufacturer on the Atlas 2. Armed with decades of experience, and full-service teams all under one umbrella, SEACOMP offered them the right fit.


SEACOMP is an electronics design and manufacturing services provider. Additionally, our two brands, Displaytech and HDP Power, support your component needs through embedded LCD displays and AC DC power supplies. 

We help innovators deliver awesome products and find happiness in the making.

Bringing the Right Partner on Board

Vakaros founders’ engineering backgrounds made it possible to launch the V1 product themselves. But they realized that in order to grow, this set-up was unsustainable. They sought a manufacturing partner that could launch their V2 product at scale and match their demanding testing requirements. SEACOMP was excited to work with such a knowledgeable team. The Atlas 2 project was about advancing the product design while also expanding their ability to scale.

“When we were looking for a manufacturing partner, we were looking for someone who both had [the] skills, and who could bring a lot to offer in terms of helping us advance the design, make it easier to manufacture, more efficient to manufacture, but also someone who was going to be able to look at what we’ve already done and take in some of those lessons as well.”

– Jake Keilman, Co-Founder at Vakaros

Facing the Head Winds

The Vakaros sailing instrument gives users a detailed account of their journey on the water. The tablet provides situational awareness, measuring velocity and orientation with precise accuracy so that sailors can reduce error and interference. With waterproof speakers and a sunlight-readable display, users can configure their tablet to provide real-time feedback when they need it most. Whether the user is a hobbyist or a professional, the tablet is designed to benefit all skill levels and boat sizes. 

“One of the things that I really appreciated, and that I think has paid dividends over the whole program, was the work that SEACOMP did in understanding our Atlas 1 product,” said Jake Keilman, Co-Founder at Vakaros.

"That work really carried forward and helped with the development and the design of the Atlas 2, and allowed SEACOMP to give us great insight and advice and suggestions on places where we could tweak or improve the design, either to make it more reliable, or easier to manufacture, easier to test, and I think that really helped set us up for success."


The Requirements: Product Design & Components

Cost was an important factor for this project. Vakaros wanted to deliver the Atlas 2 at an accessible price point so that as many sailors as possible could use it. The project relied on securing materials in a cost-effective and dependable manner, made more challenging by Vakaros’s lack of an established supply network.

The three primary components of the product were:

      • The Battery
      • The LCD Screen
      • The Internal Sensors

Battery Considerations

      • 100 hours of battery life to withstand multi-day races or events 
      • Wireless charging capabilities 

LCD Considerations 

      • Complete waterproofing 
      • A rugged casing to withstand the elements (salt, wind, water)
      • High-contrast displays that would be readable with glare from the sun, and when wearing polarized sunglasses, to provide real-time feedback to sailors in any weather 
      • Low-power-draw LCD technology to extend battery life 

Internal Sensor Considerations 

      • Compass with a state-of-the-art magnetic sensor to stay steady even in the roughest conditions 
      • Dual band L1 + L5 GNSS reception 
      • Testing with a GPS connection 


Navigating the Waters

With all the considerations laid out and initial research complete, it was time for phase 2 in our NPI process. SEACOMP’s New Product Introduction (NPI) process covers all aspects of defining, developing, manufacturing, and distributing a new or improved electronic product. Our team has refined and optimized this process over the course of 30 years of successfully bringing electronic products to market.

      • Roadmap Creation 
      • Engineering, Prototyping, & Design for Manufacturing
      • Production Preparation
      • Scaling to Volume Production 
      • Production Process Optimization 
      • Logistics & Distribution Support

Among many other benefits, SEACOMP’s NPI process gives our team the power to identify challenges and defects early on—saving our clients both time and money. 

Given the Atlas 2’s environmental considerations, unique testing was required. Each component presented its own testing difficulties, but our team was up to the challenge. SEACOMP’s complete vertical integration ensured the Atlas 2 hit the target production deadline and avoided any delays, while also delivering an instrument that could withstand the harsh conditions on a sailboat. 

Let’s dive into the details.

Full Speed Ahead

LCD Screen

The biggest challenge with assembling the LCD screen was ensuring the screen was waterproof. During the initial prototyping phase, a limited batch of about 50 units was produced without any apparent issues. It wasn’t until the production preparation phase—where approximately 500 units were manufactured—that a problem surfaced. The appearance of yellow spots created a defect rate of 2.5%. This underscored the vital role of every step in our NPI process, by exposing issues that might not surface during prototyping. 

This process involved applying pressure for an extended period of 12 hours, and the team identified the adhesive curing process as the root cause of the issue. They then engineered a solution by adjusting the process to apply pressure only to the components of the casing that didn’t come in contact with the screen itself. This strategic shift allowed us to salvage the majority of units previously considered defective, and to implement a refined approach for subsequent production. 


The battery’s charge needed to last for 100 hours. Given its substantial size, overheating, leaking, and explosion were all safety factors to consider. The battery underwent comprehensive testing to evaluate both its reliability and safety:

      • Electrical Performance: This test entailed assessing its charging capabilities and capacity, monitoring temperature performance, and determining its cycle life.
      • Environmental Reliability: This series of environmental tests helped us evaluate the battery’s performance under varying temperature and humidity conditions, as well as exposure to vibrations and shocks. We also performed a drop test to simulate real-world scenarios.
      • Safety Protection Performance: Multiple safety features were also tested to ensure overcharge, over-discharge, and short-circuit protection.

Strict safety standards were key to the success of the process, with a specific focus on UL and IEC compliance. The battery was rigorously tested to prepare for transport as well, guaranteeing safety to the UN 38.3 standard. This comprehensive approach ensured that the battery exceeded both safety and performance requirements.

SEACOMP’S Certifications

The products we design and manufacture need to meet high standards. Beyond standard safety and compliance certifications, we go the extra mile to help our customers’ products excel in quality and reliability.

ISO 9001:2015




ISO 13485:2016



Sensor Calibration

The process of calibrating the sensors presented its own unique set of hurdles, requiring several iterations along the way. 

The compass calibration required a stable GPS signal with minimal interference. To mitigate potential interference from metals, Vakaros recommended performing the test on a wooden table. They also noted that the calibration should be done in the middle of the table, away from any metal fasteners. We sourced a mortise table specifically for the test, which is connected with pieces of wood rather than metal, and operators were asked to refrain from wearing watches or metal jewelry. 

Finding the right testing location took some experimentation—the team sought a location where there would be no disruptions from metals within the room (i.e., pipes and vents), but there would still be a GPS signal accessible. With iterative testing and collaboration, we were finally able to pinpoint the ideal calibration conditions.

Anchors Aweigh

Within 12 months of the kicking off the project, SEACOMP and Vakaros were able to bring the product to market. Vakaros’s goal of scaling the reach of the Atlas 2 was a success—they now produce and distribute up to 10x the volume of units compared to the first iteration of their product. Where the Atlas 1 production reached 1,000 units per year, the Atlas 2 now reaches 10,000 units per year.

Today, Vakaros has even expanded their product portfolio to reach a new market, targeting kite surfers and windsurfers with their Atlas Edge.

“The ability to scale is something new for us, and it’s something we’re now capable of because of SEACOMP. Before, we just couldn’t really build fast enough, and it caused a lot of problems for our business. So now, to know that we can produce in really whatever volume is necessary, that is really encouraging for us and for our business.”

– Todd Wilson, Co-Founder of Vakaros

Todd Wilson

"The Atlas 2 is a high-performance product that operates in one of the harshest environments for electronics with so many factors working against the design. In the face of these challenges, we're thrilled to have helped Vakaros bring this innovative product to life."

- Terry Arbaugh, VP Sales & Marketing at SEACOMP

Watch the Full Interview

For more information about our collaboration with Vakaros, watch this episode of our Innovator Interview series led by Derek Jackson, Senior Account Executive at SEACOMP.

To learn more about the Vakaros and the Atlas 2, head to their website.

Find Exhilaration in the Making with SEACOMP

If you’re ready to start your own product development journey, we’d love to hear from you. Tell us more about your project and we’ll connect for an initial discussion.

Help Me Launch My Product