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The LuckGrib story
Craig left Seattle, sailing down the West coast of America for the first time in August of 2011. That trip ended up lasting one year, returning to Seattle via Mexico and Hawaii. A second trip lasted three years, sailing from Seattle to Mexico, French Polynesia, Niue, Tonga, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand and then back to Seattle, again via Hawaii.
While out cruising, and using a variety of GRIB viewers on a regular basis, Craig had become dissatisfied with what was available. With a background in Computer Graphics and Computer Science, and with 20 years of professional software development in those areas, he felt that there was a possibility of creating a new, modern GRIB viewer that would be able to be much more informative while being highly responsive.
Craig started work on LuckGrib while sailing on his yacht, s/v Luckness, in New Zealand during December, 2014. Version 1.0 of LuckGrib was released on the Apple Mac App store in early August, 2015.
LuckGrib takes full advantage of the multiple CPUs offered by modern hardware, as well as the high performance graphics hardware they contain, their GPUs. By efficiently utilizing the available hardware, LuckGrib is able to produce high quality renderings of the weather, in real time. GRIB files are loaded almost unbelievably quickly. When stepping between different time intervals in a GRIB file, the changes are animated at a high frame rate, yielding smooth transitions. All of this speed and quality helps you to understand the GRIB file content and how it changes over time.
There have been many improvements made to the app. Some of the highlights are:
- August 2015. v1.0 of LuckGrib available on macOS. Yay!
- March 2016. Introduced initial support for manual weather routing and departure planning (used while the author sailed from New Zealand to Seattle.)
- March 2017. Introduced the LuckGrib server cluster and direct, fast access to many new weather models. These new weather models include high resolution regional models. All of the regional models are displayed on their native grid. (This is a subtle distinction from many apps, and was very tricky to implement. Using the native grid for regional files results in a higher quality result.)
- April 2018. LuckGrib is made available for iOS (iPhone, iPad), along with many other improvements (high resolution images, place names, pressure labels, meteograms, and many more.)
- October 2018. Many improvements to the macOS manual weather routing functionality.
- March 2019. The Offshore Data weather service is introduced. This allows offshore sailors, and other people working in remote areas, to receive weather via email or slow internet. Offshore Data files use the most advanced compression techniques in the industry, resulting in the smallest files.
- July 2019. Added support for downloading weather data via the RedPort Optimizer. The Optimizer allows a wide range of satellite phones to be used to download data. Also, support for sending weather data email requests directly to XGate, UUPlus and SailMail has been added.
- August 2019. Added support for the Iridium GO!
- April 2020. Optimized isochrone weather routing was added to the macOS product.
- July 2020. Optimized isochrone weather routing added to the iOS and iPadOS products.
- April 2021. LuckGrib now has the worlds first constrained isochronal weather routing solver. LuckGrib’s WR solver can now accept constraints in the form of points which are left to port or left to starboard. LuckGrib is currently the only WR isochronal solver which has this ability.
All of the changes and improvements to the application are done with the philosophy of achieving the highest quality available.
LuckGrib has become the premier GRIB viewer on macOS and iOS.
Stay tuned, more improvements to these fine applications are coming!