The Departure Planning tool is the perfect tool for yachts and powerboats to decide which day to depart on a trip. It is designed for trips as short as 15 Nm or for long offshore passages of 9 days or more. Using the Weather Routing algorithm, the Departure Planning Tool will perform an optimum route for departing on Days 1 to Day 4. A summary table is provided so you can quickly compare the differences for leaving in the next 4 days. In addition you can graphically see the boats leaving on the different departure times to see how the weather situation affects your passage. You can shorten the comparison period from 1 day down to 1 hour in the settings page.
To begin your departure plan, select ‘Departure Planning’ under the ‘Tools’ menu.
Select between the PredictWind Models (PWG/PWE) or the GFS (Global Forecast System from NOAA) / ECMWF(European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts). The PredictWind models (PWG/PWE) are initialized from the GFS/ECMWF observations, but run our proprietary forecast model. In most cases you will get a more accurate forecast using the PredictWind models due to the higher resolution. The GFS/ECMWF models are provided as a comparison, being used by many other weather sites.
The start time is the time that you intend to depart on your voyage, but you will be comparing the four days after that. You can click on the ‘Now’ button to use the current time, and ensure that you have the correct time format.
Simply click and drag the start (green) point and the destination (red) point for the desired trip. Please make sure your start and destination points are in the water, and not on the land.
You can also add waypoints along the Departure Plan. Simply click on the ‘+’ button in the add Set Waypoints pop out box on the top right of the screen. Waypoints should only be added if absolutely necessary as they constrain the route to go to the waypoints. The land avoidance (in Standard and Professional Accounts) will keep the boat clear of land.
The waypoints appear as white dots and can be dragged to the desired position, or alternatively you can enter the Lat/Long position or search for closest city. Please remember to keep all waypoints in the water.
When your waypoints have been set, click ‘Plan Departure’ to determine which day it would be best to leave for your next trip.
The optimal route is calculated between the start and destination points by using a computational mesh between these points. If the destination point is in a bay, you may need to extend the mesh area by adding another waypoint.
Note: The objective is to use the minimum amount of waypoints so the algorithm is free to find the optimal path.
How to use Departure Planning Results
Select 'Tables' from the Maps/Tables buttons next to the Departure Planning download box to show the weather information and track information for both forecasts and allows you to quickly compare 4 trips for departing from Day 1 to Day 4. Alternatively you can look at shorter intervals. The map will also show the boats departing at the different times and travelling along the route in relation to the selected weather model.
See below the wind angles we use to define upwind/reaching/downwind.
% time upwind = True Wind Angle is 55 degrees or less.
% time reaching = True Wind Angle is between 55 degrees and 135 degrees.
% time downwind = True Wind Angle is 135 degrees or more.
Please click here for more How to use Departure Planning Results