Routing & Tactical Software by "Local Knowledge"

Our software and data modules are based on years of experience as a world-recognized authority on currents, wind and tactical/routing software:   SEE OUR REFERENCES


Routing software combines boat performance characteristics (boat "polars"), wind forecast data files and current forecast data files to predict the quickest route from point to point. Local Knowledge programs simultaneously compute alternative routes, for quantitative comparison, and take into account shorelines and obstacles (such as islands) which affect routing.

Routing computations are essential in offshore sailing, and can also be very useful in short-range coastal cruising and racing, particularly where there are significant current variations. Local Knowledge specializes in the development of annual tidal-current forecast models for most U.S. and many foreign venues, and develops both ocean current and wind forecasts for ocean racing and cruising. "LK" routing programs are designed to take maximum advantage of these forecasts and can also use standard "grib" weather files.

LK has demonstrated from a day-to-day analysis of the last Volvo Ocean Race, the last several Transpacs, Pacific Cups, etc., plus user results in the Fastnet, Bermuda Race, Sydney-Hobart, Stamford-Vineyard, and others, that the routing advice of the program can equal that of the top professional "rock star" navigators.

Tactical software includes additional capabilities useful offshore, and many other features necessary for competitive buoy racing, such as current-corrected laylines (and computations which compare time and distance to these laylines), current-corrected headings and times, starting line functions and other functions which monitor instrument data and boat performance and enable numerous interactive displays during a race.

All Local Knowledge ("LK") programs include a facility to define marks and waypoints and combine these into courses, and other standard navigation program features, and come with plentiful Help and a FAQ topical list of functions. The programs go well beyond these capabilities, however, as follows:

LK offers an entry-level program, "Advantage Level 1," which does not do routing and provides only minimal tactical features (such as display of current-corrected laylines), but does display LK current models (including many options to display and study currents) and incorporates these currents in course heading and time computations. Advantage Level 1 links to the GPS to display boat position onscreen and comes complete with charts for the tidal-current model region of the purchaser's choice. The user can then add additional regions to suit.

For primarily offshore sailing, LK's mid-level program "Advantage Level 2" includes our unique routing engine (featured in the August 2001 edition of Seahorse Magazine, the "bible" of technical sailing), course computation functions which also draw on wind and current data and boat polars, and the ability to read and display a variety of wind, boat and current data. It also comes with LK's Chartmaker utility, which can be used to convert a screenshot or graphic image into an electronic "chart" which can be used for navigation and data displays. Advantage Level 2 links to the GPS and also reads boat instruments, enabling automatic deadreckoning when required, computes both rhumblines and great circle routes, includes a wind model facility, converts wind grib files and much more. It is ideal for a race such as the BBS, Newport-Bermuda race or the Pacific Cup. Like Advantage Level 1, Advantage Level 2 comes with an extensive web-browser-style Tutorial which illustrates and explains all of the key functions.

LK's top program is "Advantage Level 3," which is a complete tactical program with every conceivable feature for buoy racing and competitive ocean racing, including many functions which are unique in the industry. It includes all the features of Advantage Level 2, but the router has more options and can be optimized for short-range routing such as upwind or downwind to a mark. It includes a "stripchart" facility to monitor observed wind and current data and compare to forecasts, check boat performance vs. polars, etc., a starting line function which computes the favored end of the line and the current-favored side of the course, and route-optimization functions which range from a single beat to an Atlantic crossing. There are literally dozens of interactive displays, many of which are unique, with a user-friendly interface and superior graphics. Advantage Level 3 also comes with LK's new "WindMaster" utility program, which enables the user to compare, create and edit wind models (and wind gribs) and compare to observed wind during a race.

You can download a fully operational model of Advantage 1-2 from this site with a sample current region and, for a limited time, you can download complete demo packages including charts and wind and current data (tidal and, where applicable, ocean) from recent major races, such as Newport-Bermuda and the Pacific Cup. Advantage Level 3 evaluations can also be arranged upon request: CONTACT US