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Old 08-10-2011, 18:31   #1
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MaxSea Weather Routing

Does anybody use the MaxSea Weather Routing feature when setting sail?
If so, what is your experience with this.

Obviously the accuracy will depend on the grib file accuracy. Assuming the grib file information is accurate, do you find MaxSea Route Calculating to be reliable, accurate and worthwhile? Or would you choose a diffrent route than the one determined by MaxSea?
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:52   #2
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

I do not have first hand experience. However, close friends of ours that sail a sister-ship to ours ("Ocean Angel"), have used the MaxSea routing module for the past several years on their travels to and through the Bahamas and most recently on a trip from Tampa Bay to Tortola where their yacht is now sitting out Hurricane Season and they swear by the system. They down-load GRIB's daily via a GlobalStar phone connection and use these to plan their routes. Steve has made quite a science of it and managed to make his latest trip without difficulty and with very little windward work.

I have not yet bought the system as our travels have been much more limited but will do so when we're getting ready for the Bahamas and south.

FWIW...
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Old 09-10-2011, 14:22   #3
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

Thank you for your response.
I went to the website and wrote them an email.
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Old 09-10-2011, 14:34   #4
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

I have used MaxSea for about 7 years on trips to and from the Caribbean. I would use it in preference to professional services. I update the gribs twice a day or more using a Globalstar phone.
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Old 09-10-2011, 16:22   #5
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

Quote:
Originally Posted by MooseMoney View Post
Does anybody use the MaxSea Weather Routing feature when setting sail?
If so, what is your experience with this.

Obviously the accuracy will depend on the grib file accuracy. Assuming the grib file information is accurate, do you find MaxSea Route Calculating to be reliable, accurate and worthwhile? Or would you choose a diffrent route than the one determined by MaxSea?
In addition to the grib file, the routing accuracy depends on having accurate boat polars (its speed at different wind angles and strengths).

Regarding programs - I prefer Expedition to maxsea - easier to use.

Regarding routing - the gribs are terrific and while the routing is fun to play with, I honestly usually don't get that much value from it. Usually the fastest course is a straight line and if it's not it's usually obvious (eg if the GC is dead upwind) and the gribs are not all that accurate past 3 days in any case so you need quite a bit of human input into planning for different weather scenarios.
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Old 09-10-2011, 17:24   #6
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

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In addition to the grib file, the routing accuracy depends on having accurate boat polars (its speed at different wind angles and strengths). .....
Unfortunately, my yacht does not have polar tables.
I will have to use the MaxSea features to create one.
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Old 09-10-2011, 18:27   #7
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

If you have a set of accurate polars, if you get the gribs often enough then it is a great tool. I think the newer MaxSea routes for speed or for comfort - up to you.

Of course you should chose a different route if there is a reason to do so, e.g. when the calculated route takes you across land or towards a things that you do not want to meet up close and personal.

There is a couple of alternatives, I think Deckman is one and then there are others.

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Old 09-10-2011, 18:29   #8
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

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Originally Posted by MooseMoney View Post
Unfortunately, my yacht does not have polar tables.
I will have to use the MaxSea features to create one.
MaxSea creates polars? Which version?

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Old 09-10-2011, 18:44   #9
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
MaxSea creates polars? Which version?

b.
I know its mentioned on their site referring to the latest version.
automatiq creation of polar
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Old 09-10-2011, 19:02   #10
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

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MaxSea creates polars? Which version?

b.
MaxSea v12.4.6.1
I also saw this in earlier versions of MaxSea v12.xxx.
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Old 09-10-2011, 19:09   #11
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

I have used both maxsea's and expedition's routing quite a bit, and I will say again that generally on a cruising boat I find it a fun toy but not greatly valuable. The plain fact is that we (cruisers) don't generally go fast enough to be able to play with weather systems and have many options.

Its quite different on e - w passages than on n - s ones. On east - west passages you can go a little north or a little south but basically the weather is going to come over you no matter what you do. On north - south passages you have more leverage on the weather systems and can choose to go in front or behind or a pattern crossing below you so the routing analysis is a bit more useful here, but you need to be careful because the multi-day gribs are often not so accurate and you don't want to make a big routing bet and then have the weather do something completely different. Most of the world cruising routes are of the east to west variety with only a few common north to south ones (fiji to NZ comes to mind)

I can only remember two passages where I did something slightly different because of computer routing than I would have done just looking at the gribs with my eyes. On a passage from NZ to Polynesia I tucked in behind a low pressure than was coming down from over the top of the North Island a bit later than I would have done on my own and it minimized the time we had headwinds (but did give us stronger ones for that time), and in a passage south from Iceland to the Canaries I again tucked in behind a low, this time turning winder than I would have on my own. But mostly 95% its pretty obvious what a cruising boat should be doing - just plodding along toward the destination.

In any case . . . someting fun to play with . . . but better to first take your time to understand the level of certaintly (sometimes high but often quite low) of the forecast and the possible alternate senarios that might occur and then you can know if you want to place a tricky routing bet or not.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:31   #12
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I have used both maxsea's and expedition's routing quite a bit, and I ................................ possible alternate senarios that might occur and then you can know if you want to place a tricky routing bet or not.
Thank you for all this info!
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:08   #13
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Re: MaxSea Weather Routing

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
In any case . . . someting fun to play with . . . but better to first take your time to understand the level of certaintly (sometimes high but often quite low) of the forecast and the possible alternate senarios that might occur and then you can know if you want to place a tricky routing bet or not.
Totally agree, Evan. This is how we use it as well. I can think of more than one occasion that the Maxsea routing calculator suggested something that I had not thought of.

Regarding the question about Polars, Maxsea provided with our installation disc a file named polar.xls. This workbook allows you to create a spreadsheet which creates a polar for your boat. It has been a while since I did this, but I am certain that the procedure is included in the Maxsea Manual.

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