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MaxSea TZ – Route planning & re-planning….repeatedly….

This is the fifth post so far on the use of MaxSea TZ on passage.

Previous posts are:

Navigation Software Trials in Biscay 2012

MaxSea TZ – Downloading weather data on your sat phone 1 of 2

MaxSea TZ – Downloading weather data on your sat phone 2 of 2

MaxSea TZ – Displaying weather data by received by email

As I have said before, just so readers get my comments in context, please note that my critique is simply that – it is not a condemnation of MaxSea TZ – far from it, I hope to end this series by making sure I record what I think is so brilliant about MaxSea TZ and why I still rate it as the best planning tool on the market!. But like all products there is always room for improvement and I hope that my comments and observations will be received by the folk at MaxSea with interest.

I and 15 other boats on Rally Portugal are stuck in Falmouth – waiting for the elusive break in the weather that would allow  a trip to Baiona. As a result I have been updating the weather data using MaxSea TZ weather service on a daily basis, and then remodelling the planned route within the parameters that I have chosen.

So below is a glimpse of the two routes that I have planned – Inner and Outer – for crossing Biscay.

In this respect I must say MaxSea is the best software I have used to date. If you have not used it yet it is hard to describe what a pleasure it is to be able to zoom out and in repeatedly so smoothly and without losing your place on the chart. To be able to see obstructions; dangers; currents; winds; wave heights; bathymetric data and any permutation at will so that you can make the complex  decision of what route to take long before you use the “Launch Routing” function that computes the optimal route using the isochron model.

Remember I have access to Neptune Cmap Planner and the very latest Raymarine e125 Plotter. But neither of these options holds any temptation at all when I am trying to plan and figure optimal routes according to the latest weather updates.

The Neptune Cmap Planner comes close to being “very good” since it can calculate optimal departure times; routes; and take into account the latest Grib file data from one of the free services such as Ugrib or zyGrib. But the interface is so clumsy that it becomes exceedingly tedious to use it and just makes you want to shut the laptop and have a good strong drink.

As for the Raymarine e125 Hybrid Touch – well its next to useless for the task at hand. It does not interface to any useful weather service. Yes, yes, I know about the US based Sirius System – but what use is that to me? In any case that requires extra hardware from Raymarine and an expensive subscription based data service from Sirius – very old school thinking! Even if you were in the US and had all the hardware and data at your finger tips the Raymarine software does nothing to help you plan or optimise your plans using the weather data – its all up to you. What is the year?…is it 1912 ? !

So…. back in the real world where good programmers make software actually do useful things….

The following is a screen shot of the two routes that I want to consider in the light of weather data.

MaxSea Route Planning1 The screen shot shows the two routes I am considering across Biscay.

The task every day is to download weather data. This is very simple using the MaxSea free weather data service – so long as you have Wifi…

Then to calculate the impact of that data – wind speeds; wave heights; dangerous routes and so on – on my particular planned route…

 

So the result of running MaxSea TZ “Launch Routing” function is that you get a blow by blow, step by step assessment of the wind, waves etc. on the route….and a suggested better route…

MaxSea Route Planning2

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