May 2022 update

May 13, 2022. | By: Craig McPheeters

The recent update to LuckGrib has several notable changes.

A video has been published which briefly describes these changes.

Heave to

Hopefully, sailors using LuckGrib, who are following good navigation practices will be able to avoid experiencing too much wind (or waves) while on a passage. However, this may not always the case.

If you do encounter strong winds while at sea, what you do will depend on a lot of things. A short list to consider is:

  • the relative angles of the winds and the vessel.
  • the strength of the winds.
  • the wave state.
  • the amount of sea room you have.

Depending on, well, everything, heaving to may be the best choice for a navigator to make. Wouldn’t it be useful if the Weather Routing system could help a little with thinking through this decision?

Traditionally, Weather Routing solvers have not been able to model a vessel heaving to. With the May 2022 update to LuckGrib, LuckGrib now has the ability to help you think about how the decision to heave to will affect the passage.

(I believe LuckGrib is the only isochronal weather routing system that has this ability. If you know of other systems supporting this, please let me know.)

These changes are described in several sections in the site. Also, see the a section in the user manual.

Mac Mouse

When working with LuckGrib, on a Mac, using a mouse, it has been less than ideal to navigate around the map. Panning and zooming was a little clumsy.

With this update, support for mice has improved. There are a few changes that people who use a mouse need to be aware of:

  • A simple mouse click and drag, if done on empty space on the map, will always perform a map pan.
  • Scrolling the mouse will zoom, centered on the cursor location.
  • Context sensitive menus are shown with a right click or a double click.

It is my hope that after a short delay, people using a mouse will quickly learn the new interactions and end up being more productive than before these changes.

This change is discussed briefly in the video referenced above.

GRIB time

On the Mac, if you click and drag around any of the meteograms, the GRIB display time is now altered. In previous releases, this used to move the window around. The window can be moved around by clicking and dragging in the areas inside the window but outside of the meteogram content.

On iPhone and iPad, you can now tap in the displayed GRIB time field, and an editor will appear. This editor allows you to accurately set the GRIB time. Hopefully everybody can figure out how it works after playing around with it briefly.

Offshore data via email

The email delivery of weather data via the Offshore Data system has been deprecated. This service will continue for a time, but anybody who uses it (and there are very few of you) need to transition away from this service to something else.

When the email delivery system was first created, I imagined that it would be very popular among sailors. In reality, since the introduction of support for the Iridium GO and the RedPort Optimizer, hardly anybody uses email delivery. Only a tiny, tiny fraction of the Offshore Data customers use email.

A great deal of work went into creating the email system. Oh well. In doing this work, a great deal of complexity was introduced into the application and the server cluster.

With the low demand for email delivery of data, I can not justify the effort required to maintain it.

Directly downloading data, through your satellite device, from the LuckGrib server cluster is a much better way to obtain the data. Direct downloads are more reliable, faster, have better error recovery and are easier to configure and use than email.


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