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Old 26-09-2012, 18:52   #1
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PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Some time ago I promised to look through my archive to find PCSail, an Excel sheet that go through the calculations from the Delft reports and Larson's book about yacht design to calculate the boat speed as a function of true wind speed, true wind angle and the hull and sail characteristics of a boat.

Unfortunately I can't find the thread...silly...I know.
I hope those interested in this will find this...was it maybe rgleason?

Anyway, the problem with the excel sheet, developed by a student and presented at the Chesapeak Sailing Yacht Symposium about ten years ago is that it was made in Excel2000, making heavy use of macros for that particular version of Excel. I have never used it in newer versions of Excel than that, and have not used Excel2000 for several years now.

If anyone can make it work in a new version (preferably OpenOffice or LibreOffice) please post it somewhere again!

To unpack the files, remove the .doc ending and unpack with some unzipping software.

Regards
Jonas
(VPP in this context stands for "velocity prediction plot")

A nice paper that investigates the accuracy of PCsail can be found here. It is really quite good. The authors have compared the calculations with simulations with model yachts in a water tank testing facility.
http://www.usna.edu/Users/naome/phmiller/MTcombo.pdf
Attached Files
File Type: doc CSYStemplate Revised Jan 8 2001.zip.doc (358.0 KB, 1078 views)
File Type: doc PCSAILstudnt.zip.doc (222.9 KB, 1046 views)
File Type: doc USERMANPCSAIL.zip.doc (95.3 KB, 776 views)
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Old 29-09-2012, 19:10   #2
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Thankyou, I've tried PCsail several times:
1. Enable macros or not? I tried enable.
2. Circular references? I tried cancel.
3. Freeware user agreement - Just hit Enter (actually it says hit 'escape' I believe)
That got me in. -Don't dismiss the Freeware notice by hitting X!!
Is this the correct way to get into it? - I'm using excel 2003.

I'd like to use this to develop a Polar.
I can get to the HullInput and SailInput tabs.

Also attached as a doc is an xls spreadsheet is another VPP and here is a link, scroll down: pkboatplans.com Yacht Design Blog: Sailboat Velocity Prediction Program

If anyone has successfully used this spreadsheet to develop their boats polars please advise. The documentation you gave us seems to indicate that it is reasonably accurate which is encouraging.

Thank you for sharing this Jonasaberg
Attached Files
File Type: doc 06_VPP.xls.doc (252.5 KB, 1219 views)
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Old 29-09-2012, 19:41   #3
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Here is another VPP on sourceforge, don't know anything about it.

gvpp - Velocity Prediction Program | Free Science & Engineering software downloads at SourceForge.net

http://gvpp.sourceforge.net/
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Old 29-09-2012, 19:54   #4
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

In another thread Maitai suggested

Quote:
There is a free windows program named polauto Polaires auto

The forum is in french, I don't know if there is an english version for this. Seems to work well, and if you ask surely the developer can make an english version for that.
I can't seem to find the download, but Maitai is certainly active in the forum.
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:12   #5
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel
This guy/lady here describes the process of collecting the data and making the polar:

Create Polar Diagram - Oppedijk.com


Good descriptive process. Also has a link to many useful ORC polars (pdf) but the data is there and looks to be thorough. Bristol was not listed in the many boats unfortunately... maybe yours is Nieuws - Noordzee Club
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Old 29-09-2012, 20:17   #6
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

From this link above Create Polar Diagram - Oppedijk.com
you have to calibrate your instruments first, but then he shows how he records a nmea data stream and then manipulates to filter out inconsistent data (big waves, etc).

This is also a good link describing what data is in a polar table: http://www.oppedijk.com/zeilen/polar-table

So there are two ways to get a polar started.
1. Theoretical with a VPP.
2. Measured practical using a program that captures and stores a Nmea stream maybe with some filtering tools for help.
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Old 29-09-2012, 21:01   #7
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

It looks like we have a good start in Opencpn.

Search | Official OpenCPN Homepage

VDR or Voyage Data Recorder
v0.3, released 2012-05-28, supports OpenCPN 2.6 and later Save NMEA stream to a file. Replay NMEA stream previously saved.
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Old 30-09-2012, 08:19   #8
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Sailfish Yacht Analyzer is a great simple program Techsail - Sailing Yacht Performance Analysis which will develop Polars for your boat -similar to the PCSail.xls but without the flexibility and complexity of the spreadsheet. I used it many years ago for sizing some new head sails and adjusting to PHRF ratings, and I had forgotten about it. My serial number still appears to work and there is an update to the program. For developing VPP polars this site has an easy solution.

To confirm the VPP some real world recording of Nmea data from calibrated instruments is needed. Possibly Sailfish can help (I have not used this), click on "Nmea 32 Activex Control" for "writing programs against your instruments" and for integration in other software -(interprets some Nemea sentences from a PC comm port and generates events with data.) It says the compiled code can be downloaded and used with your serial number, I believe from the analyzer, to unlock for free. The source in VB6, is available for a fee.

Also there is the more expensive route ORC VPP Designer's Version under software on the ORC website
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Old 30-09-2012, 09:07   #9
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Also for help with the basic boat parameters, try Carl's Sail Calculator Pro (v3.53) which has many of the more common production sailboats in the US. Sail Calculator Pro v3.53 - 2500+ boats
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Old 30-09-2012, 11:06   #10
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Yea, I have used Sailfish Yacht Analyser a lot too. Wrote long bug testing reports and sent to them for version 1, 2 about ten years ago or so.

I don't think it is actively developed. They stopped replying to feedback mails several years ago. The newest OS in the bug report form is Windows XP (if you disregard Windows2003, guess not too many are using that one) No option for vista or Window 7.

That said, it is really easy to use.

I have a long list of yacht description files for techsail if you need. It used to be on their web page so I guess it is free to use. Mostly European yacht data I think. PM me if it is of interest.

I have also collected a bunch of polars for different yachts, maybe 100-150 different or so. A lot of these were uploaded to a file sharing site by Sinbad/Tore about a year ago. Maybe Tore can repost the link?

/Jonas
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Old 30-09-2012, 17:09   #11
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Jonas, I looked for those polars as an attachment in the forum, but could not find them. Will send you what I have created from Sailfish,etc. I can't understand why the developer lost interest. Its a good effort I think. I wrote him anyway and hope he'll respond.

This thread was interesting: Polar Generation
Quote:
The issue is its polar doesn't allow you to build it up over time, export the data and then smooth the curves (to my knowledge).
And a response was,
Quote:
At one time, Nobeltec had a sailing add on package to their software that constantly monitored all ships data and created polars out of it....go sailing while software running. ...don't know if they still have this functionality.
It seems like we could use the functionality of Techsail - Sailing Yacht Performance Analysis to start, and a real world recorder which would also allow comments about sea state, sail changes etc to be inserted easily.

Since my version of Sailfish is still working, I and I have the serial number, I might be able to move it over to ProgramFiles(x86) under Win7... but what about others?
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Old 30-09-2012, 17:31   #12
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Maybe we could get something like Sailfish on the website, to get a boat started with a flat sea polar,

Then find or build a nmea recording utility that allows comments for sea state and sail changes. I tried the new vdr plugin with 3.1.919 and preferences was kind of greyed out, but that plugin might be the answer, it says it records to a file, or perhaps make a little utility with the Sailfish Nmea32 ActiveX, ...but it seems likely there are other flexible programs like this I've overlooked. Then editing would be by hand at first.
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Old 30-09-2012, 17:44   #13
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

I guess a bunch of you already know this...

Android Nmea recorder -small, low power, how to get Nmea as wifi or bluetooth at great cost?

NMEA Logger - Support - GpsGate.com

Brookhouse hardware Nmea data logger - with good information about recording depths.
See Hydrographic Survey Plugin

Also Hyperterminal was suggested and just copy the stream.

But the best one might be OpenCpn
VDR or Voyage Data Recorder v0.3, released 2012-05-28, supports OpenCPN 2.6 and later Save NMEA stream to a file. Replay NMEA stream previously saved.
Which I need to try.
There must be others that are open source...
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Old 30-09-2012, 23:30   #14
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

NavMonPc would be a fine tool for recording the data, it has data strips, has comments and controls for frequency, etc.

I don't believe it has filtering tools.

In some of the forums that had topics on recording polars, I read that that the unknowns and anomalys are a challenge. One suggestion was to do intentional recording runs with the instruments calibrated, rather than just sail and record.
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Old 01-10-2012, 00:37   #15
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Re: PCSail - Excel sheet to make VPP for Sailing yachts

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
NavMonPc would be a fine tool for recording the data, it has data strips, has comments and controls for frequency, etc.

I don't believe it has filtering tools.

In some of the forums that had topics on recording polars, I read that that the unknowns and anomalys are a challenge. One suggestion was to do intentional recording runs with the instruments calibrated, rather than just sail and record.
NavMonPc does have filtering, but it doesn't modify the raw NMEA data being recorded to the logfile. The programmable filtering does smooth the data being recorded to the "spreadsheet log", and you can enter notes in this log as well. The spreadsheet log is saved as a tab-delimited textfile, and the logging interval can be as short as one second, so this could be used as an input for a polar-creation program.

The filtering is simple low-pass filtering for the individual parameters, and is really only useful for reducing the random noise in the raw data. For polar creation you would want to have filtering that takes into account multiple factors, allowing you to automatically discard the data being recorded during changes in course / speed / wind, etc. This could be done in a second post-processing pass (by another program) on the spreadsheet file.

NavMonPc is not open-source, but it is free for non-commercial use.
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