NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT

A NEW-GENERATION:  ADVANTAGE RACING SOFTWARE -GET DEMO

SPECIAL HALIFAX AND MARION-BERMUDA EDITION OF NEW ADVANTAGE PROGRAM    CLICK HERE

The Halifax Race features strong tidal-currents, which are available ONLY with our software ...

COMPARISON OF "ADVANTAGE" WITH MAXSEA

CAN YOUR SOFTWARE DO THIS ??  CLICK HERE TO CHECK

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

MaxSea performs only 1 tactical computation, weather routing, and by a method that yields little insight into the alternatives and underlying factors. For races under 100 miles, wind files are too coarse for routing but, in many venues, there are significant currents which determine optimal routes. MaxSea cannot do current routing because it has no source of continuous, point-to-point tidal currents. MaxSea offers no tactical information for buoy racing, such as Advantage's "Best Tack" function [for information on this function, CLICK HERE]

PROBLEMS WITH MAXSEA CURRENT FILES

In years past, MaxSea advertised free Gulf Stream currents to its clients for use in the Bermuda Race. Unfortunately, these currents were completely unrealistic. The 2002 file missed entirely the dramatic "U" bend which dominated that race. A similar problem occurred in the 2004 Bermuda Race. Unfortunately for racers, MaxSea representatives do not tell you this.
Those familiar with GS currents in the Bermuda Race have come to rely on our "Local Knowledge" predictions. Local Knowledge has provided high-accuracy digital current modules for routing computations since 1998. Top navigators, including Stan Honey, Mark Rudiger and Ed Adams have repeatedly praised the accuracy of these predictions.

The MaxSea current predictions are very different. The graphic below shows the Gulf Stream flow measured by satellite ocean temperature analysis on 5/5/04. The blue streamers show the MaxSea currents on the same date. Except at the lower left, these miss the shape and location of the actual flow by a large margin (50 to 100 nm). And this is the easy part of the prediction. The currents associated with cold and warm eddies are much more difficult to predict, and the MaxSea currents miss these features entirely.

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Bottom Line: if you want to do accurate routing computations, you have to have realistic data. If you want to have the benefit of the Gulf Stream predictions which have impressed so many racers in the past, you can get them from Local Knowledge. We provide current modules for all brands of racing software.

COMPARISON OF MAXSEA AND ADVANTAGE RACE PROGRAMS

PRICING

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE'S "ADVANTAGE LEVEL 2"

MAXSEA'S "NAVIGATOR"

List $900:  "A2" includes complimentary tidal current region with local charts. Routing, weather and performance functions are standard with this program. List $500: Requires additional "Routing Module" and "Performance Module", each at $495, in order to compare to "A2."Also needs local charts. Total comparable price:  $1490 + charts
Race to Bermuda Package: $900 includes wind and GS`current data to support displays, layline computations and routing. Race to Bermuda Package: $1490 for "Yacht" with above options. This does not include usable current data (LK supplies this data in package).

TIDAL CURRENTS

MaxSea does not offer tidal currents for U.S. waters. Local Knowledge alone has developed hydrodynamic current models for most sailing venues around the U.S., and for numerous international venues. These models permit computation of current at every point and also build in knowledge of shorelines, islands and other obstacles. This is essential for routing computations, accurate headings and time estimates point to point and layline corrections. A2 displays and utilizes current in its routing and "course-solution" functions, and computes and displays current-corrected laylines. MaxSea cannot integrate currents into computations.
WE INCORPORATE TIDAL CURRENTS IN ALL FUNCTIONS. THE VECTOR DISPLAY BELOW SHOWS FLOOD CURRENT IN RED, AND EBB IN GREEN, NEAR THE CHANGEOVER. THE SOLID BLUE LINES SHOW ZERO-CURRENT LAYLINES AT WAYPOINT "14." ACTUAL LAYLINES DUE TO CURRENT CORRECTIONS ARE SHOWN BY THE MAGENTA DOTS. ALSO SHOWN IS A ROUTING COMPUTATION WHICH DEPENDS SOLELY ON CURRENT (ASSUMING CONSTANT WIND OVER THIS SHORT DISTANCE). THE OPTIMAL "RED" ROUTE IS SOME 50 MINUTES FASTER THAN THE "YELLOW."
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BOTTOM LINE: "A2" is useful for local racing and cruising, to save time and optimize sailing, particularly where tidal currents are significant. MaxSea routing is limited to offshore.

OCEAN CURRENTS

Local Knowledge uses current predictions derived from satellite analysis to develop ocean current models valid for the duration of a typical race or passage (typically for up to a week). The PC Gulf Stream model LK developed for the 2002 Newport to Bermuda Race was described as "astonishingly accurate" by navigator Stan Honey on Pyewacket, which set the new course record. LK provides this model in a form that can be used by MaxSea, but MaxSea does not use the information effectively in routing computations, nor in layline corrections. [NOTE: MaxSea has offered "free" Gulf Stream currents in some years, but these are theoretical calculations from a government model and bear little relationship to the actual currents.]
THE GRAPHIC BELOW IS TAKEN FROM A MAXSEA ROUTING COMPUTATION USING LK'S 2002 BERMUDA RACE GULF STREAM MODEL (SHOWN BY ARROWS). THE YELLOW "ISOCHRONE" LINES SHOULD BE SMOOTH CURVES, REFLECTING THE UNDERLYING CURRENT MODEL, BUT INSTEAD HAVE A JAGGED APPEARANCE. THIS UNDERMINES THE OPTIMAL ROUTE CALCULATION (SOLID RED LINE), WHICH AVOIDS RATHER THAN FOLLOWS THE STRONG CURRENT FLOW TO THE LEFT OF NUMBERED ISOCHRONE POINTS 6 TO 12 (DOTTED RED LINE IS THE RHUMBLINE).
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BOTTOM LINE: when current is important (and it is critical in the Bermuda Race), "A2" will produce a much more accurate result to get you there ahead of the competition. The same routing methodology also works for coastal routing with tidal-currents.

ROUTING METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION

MaxSea uses a method called "isochrones," first constructing lines that show where the boat could be if sailed effectively for a given time period, and then using these "isochrones" to compute the optimal route (also shown as a red line). This method does not provide quantitative comparison solutions, which you are left to infer from the isochrone pattern. This is a tough task even for an expert. Comparisons can be very useful in situations where the optimal route is not that much faster than another route - which may have other advantages. "A2" uses a different method that provides both an optimal and up to 5 comparison solutions, and allows you to simultaneously step through the solutions for better decision-making.
MAXSEA ROUTING SOLUTION FOR THE 2002 NEWPORT TO BERMUDA RACE. THE YELLOW LINES ARE THE ISOCHRONES, AND THE CURVED RED LINE MAXSEA'S OPTIMAL SOLUTION. THE TIME FOR THE SOLUTION IS GIVEN IN THE "ROUTE LIST" (POINTS SPACED 2 HOURS APART), BUT THERE IS NO QUANTITATIVE INFORMATION FOR OTHER POSSIBLE ROUTES (NO COMPARISONS).
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"A2" ROUTING SOLUTION FOR THE SAME DATA. THE RED ROUTE IS THE OPTIMAL, AND ALSO SHOWN ARE 4 COMPARISON ROUTES (IN THIS CASE THE RED AND MAGENTA ROUTES COINCIDE). TIMES (IN HH:MM) FOR EACH ROUTE ARE SHOWN IN THE "Best Course Comparisons" BOX.
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"A2" ALLOWS YOU TO "STEP" ALONG AND VIEW PREDICTED BOAT POSITION ON EACH ROUTE SIMULTANEOUSLY, AT ANY TIME YOU CHOOSE. CURRENT AND WIND DISPLAYS AUTOMATICALLY RESET TO THE INTERIM TIME, AS BELOW (WIND VECTORS AT 0223 ON 6/15). THE RIGHT-HAND COLUMN OF THE "Best Course" BOX SHOWS DISTANCE (nm) FROM BLACK DOT TO DESTINATION.
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Bottom line: the "A2" router is easier to use and much more informative.

ROUTING ALONG SHORELINES & AROUND OBSTACLES

MaxSea routing does not take into account shorelines, or obstacles such as islands and peninsulas. This limits effective use to the open ocean. "A2" uses the current models developed by Local Knowledge, which incorporate the land-water boundaries. As a result, "A2" provides realistic routing along shorelines and around obstacles, useful everywhere.
THE MAXSEA ROUTING SOLUTION FROM THE EAST END OF LONG ISLAND SOUND TO A POINT EAST OF MONTAUK POINT, SHOWN BELOW, IGNORES THE LAND MASS AND FINDS AN "OPTIMAL SOLUTION" RIGHT THROUGH THE ISLAND (PROBABLY FAST, BUT NOT VERY PRACTICAL!).
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THE "A2" ROUTING SOLUTION FOR THE SAME SITUATION IDENTIFIES ROUTES WHICH AVOID THE LAND MASS. THE OPTIMAL "RED" ROUTE IS THROUGH PLUM GUT, WHILE THE COMPARISON SOLUTIONS GO AROUND THE END OF ORIENT POINT AND TAKE AT LEAST AN HOUR MORE.
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Bottom line: "A2" can be used for realistic routing anywhere you want to go. After the race to Bermuda is over, you can use "A2" to route local races or for cruising in Long Island Sound, around Block Island and other local destinations. This includes distances too short to obtain differential wind forecasts, but long enough to encounter substantial differences in current. MaxSea cannot route in this situation, but this is standard fare for "A2R."  The examples below show a routing solution upwind from off Gardiner's Island to a point north of Block Island. Note how the current vectors change during the time required to make this passage.
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ELECTRONIC CHARTS

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE'S "CHARTMAKER"

MAXSEA PROGRAMS

"A2" comes with an extensive set of local charts and, in the case of a race package such as Bermuda, charts which cover the race start to finish. Plus, "A2" has a unique "Chartmaker" utility, which converts any screen image into a "chart" that it can use for navigation and tactical displays. The image can be a weather satellite shot, a weather prediction graphic or a weatherfax download, or you can copy a standard chart from a friend or numerous sites on the web- all for free! MaxSea can read virtually any commercial chart. These charts are expensive, but have the advantage of coming in a number of scales that produce a sharp, crisp image as you zoom in close to an object. This is an advantage for close-in navigation, but many navigators prefer traditional paper charts for that. Other MaxSea functions provide additional utility for general navigation, but are of no help to the racer.

OTHER FUNCTIONS

A2 integrates with a GPS and boat instruments and has many unique functions. For example, the "Course Solution" utility applies current, wind and boat performance characteristics to a set of user-defined waypoints. The result is a set of current-corrected headings, times per leg, arrival times at each waypoint and overall time and distance. Define a course to a destination and compare transit times for different dates and departure times. A2 works with standard "grib" weather files and your boat's polars for boat local and ocean routing. A2 also includes the unique "Best Tack" function, which is only available from Local Knowledge.

Use the links below to obtain more detailed information on Local Knowledge programs:

To find out more about Advantage, CLICK HERE  (this program comes with html-Tutorial)

To find out more about Local Knowledge current models, check out the article in Seahorse Magazine from February, 2000,   CLICK HERE

To find out more about different routing methods and software, check out the article in Seahorse Magazine from August, 2001,  CLICK HERE

A DEMO FOR ADVANTAGE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR EVALUATION - FREE!  THIS INCLUDES ACTUAL WIND AND CURRENT DATA FROM A RECEND NEWPORT TO BERMUDA RACE. INSTALL THE PROGRAM, CHECK IT OUT AND SEE WHAT IT CAN DO FOR YOU ...

TO DOWNLOAD A DEMO, CLICK HERE

GOTO LOCAL KNOWLEDGE HOME PAGE

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO