Bluewater Racing is designed to help sailors make long passages or compete in races like Sydney-Hobart or Transpac. You can:
- Plan your route on a graphical chart-based interface.
- View boat performance data (polar charts).
- View weather forecasts (GriBs).
- Optimize your route using performance and wind data.
- Analyze how much flexibility you have to choose different fast routes.
- Track competitors.
- Interface to your GPS.
- View NOAA charts in BSB format
- Make your own charts from any digital image.
Bluewater Racing Advantages:
- Routes are easy. It’s easy to build, display, and edit multiple routes. You can work with multiple routes for your own boat, plus track the routes that your competitors are taking. Each route has its own polar data. Routes, waypoints, and polar data are stored as simple text files that you can examine and edit directly with NotePad, or your favorite text editor. You can export or import route and waypoint data to or from other software (such as Google Earth) in many different formats. You can build routes from Race Committee position reports. When polar and wind data are loaded, the program automatically calculates how long it will take to sail each route.
- Powerful route optimization. Like any good optimizer, ours will give you a best route, based on the input wind data. But you also get additional information, such as a “routing tree”, which tells you the best time to all the points in your travel region, and a “sensitivity analysis,” which gives you an idea of how far afield from the best route you can sail, and still arrive in close to the fastest time. Use it when you are considering issues besides minimal travel time, such as tactics against competitors, safety of navigation, or uncertainty of forecasts. You can view the forecast time it will take to sail any given route you have constructed. Most other programs will only give you one approximate “best route,” and won’t tell you how long it will take to sail a different route of your choosing. (This is because of the nature of their optimization algorithm
- Powerful support for weather data: You can work with multiple Grib files simultaneously, to generate a complete wind picture that combines extremely accurate, short-range, small-scale forecasts at the start of your race, with long range, larger scale forecasts for weeks later at the end of your race. Grib data can be viewd as barbs, contours, color maps… The display options are highly editable.
- GPS support: Bluewater will grab position information from your NMEA or Garmin protocol GPS unit, and display it onscreen. For Garmin units, you can upload and download routes and waypoints.
- Motor Sailing: Boat polar files can include performance data for motor sailing, allowing travel time estimation for power boats, or yachts that will use power when the winds are light.
- Chart support: Bluewater Racing includes a built-in highly-detailed global planning chart, based on the Global Self-consistant Hierarchical High-resolution Shorelines database from the University of Hawaii. It also supports digital BSB-format charts; NOAA’s complete set of official paper charts is available for free in BSB format. Arbitrary digital images can be converted into charts after the user “geocodes” them with latitude/longitude information.
- No proprietary commercial data. Bluewater Racing uses high-quality, free, publicly available data from academic and government sources, including: the Global Self-consistant Hierarchical High-resolution Shorelines database from the University of Hawaii; GriB format weather files available for free from multiple sources, such as Saildocs, NOAA, and sailflow.com; magnetic declination data from the World Magnetic Model, developed by the National Geophysical Data Center at NOAA; BSB format charts available for free from NOAA.
- It’s free.
What Bluewater Racing doesn’t do:
- Provide real-time tactical assistance (time to lay lines, etc) for buoy racing.
- Provide moving chart services, radar, or AIS display.
- Use any propriety information from various commercial services.
- Claim to be the greatest yacht-racing software available, used by the world’s best professional racers. For that, you should try Expedition, Deckman, or Advantage.