The weather Route Planner by Michel Meulnet (Searout)
Aroute planner finds and indicates the sailors the best route to follow in terms of speed and/or safety by taking into account weather conditions and data. The role of a route planner is essential to give the navigators the opportunity to move as fast as possible while avoiding areas that could be dangerous or too calm. The route planner provides weather forecast and route instructions.
Thus, the route planner provides pieces of advice to assist the navigator that are complementary to the weather forecast available onboard.
Why is a route planner useful whereas it is possible to download weather data by satellite?
At sea, the download of data onboard (wind files, charts) is limited by the cost and by the rate of satellite communication. Moreover, these data have to be analyzed in order to get a reliable and precise result. This requires particular knowledge and some time.
The route planner has access to various weather data, in particular thanks to the internet (cartography, satellite images…). He / she has also access to professional tools to analyze data (professional routing module, high-resolution files, wind, currents and waves). He / she also receives in parallel the local information given by the navigator.
What are the different aspects of routing?
The aspects of a weather routing both for offshore races and expedition are of course performance, race strategy, optimization, security…
The navigator needs to have access to clear and precise information. Indeed, it represents an essential part of the completion and success of the project…
For cruising (families, single-handed or non-expert sailors), the focus is on safety, information and comfort in navigation:
- Serenity is ensured thanks to daily information about weather forecast.
- A privileged interlocutor is available for any weather forecast questions.
Weather forecast analysis is complex and always evolving. Thus, the crew needs to be regularly and quickly informed about evolutions in order to have time to react and adapt the route if needed.
What is the cost of a weather routing?
The cost depends on the project (cruising, race…), the route, the period and the navigation area. Indeed, some periods and some areas require more vigilance which means more work. An analysis of these different elements determines the cost of the routing.
Generally speaking, the cost is quite affordable, in particular when the security aspect is taken into account: breaking material because of a gust of wind can be much more expensive…
Ocean weather forecast-Routing
Weather forecast training for offshore sailing
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