LuckGrib is being used by many offshore sailors, all over the world. There are a number of details that those sailors will want to pay attention to, as they prepare to leave shore, as well as after they return.
Before you leave:
Practice using your satellite device for downloads.
Before leaving shore, you should be familiar with the app itself, as well as how to download your weather files through the satellite device you plan to use (Iridium GO or RedPort Optimizer.)
Run a test to ensure that your data plan (SIM card) for the device is working.
Become familiar with how to update the region you are downloading weather data for, as you will be doing this frequently while on passage. You can, of course, create new GRIB requests for each file you download. However, it is often easier, once you have chosen the GRIB model, resolution, parameters, forecast hours and size of download, to slide the region along with you as you travel. This can be done in several ways, as outlined in the Offshore Data site.
You may want to save some content from the offshore.luckgrib.com site to your device for later reference.
Download the weather routing site to your device.
Before leaving shore, you should download the content from routing.luckgrib.com to your device. This is done by tapping the button with that name in the Weather Routing settings window.
The first time you tap that button, the application will ask if you want to download the content from the site. Once the content is downloaded, you can later open it up again and read through it. You are also able to search for keywords, using the search field in the window which opens.
Before leaving, you should be familiar with weather routing, however as it is a large topic you will likely be learning as you go. As you use the system, you may want to review the topics in the manual, and refine how you use the system.
Make sure you have paid.
There are 14 day free trials for each of the three components of the application: the app itself; offshore data; weather routing.
Before you head offshore, make sure you have paid. If you are using a free trial which lapses while you are sailing, you will not be able to use the part of the app related to the expired trial.
The way to ensure you have paid, is to open the In-App Purchase Store, then tap on the View Receipt button in the lower right corner. The receipt file is updated by Apple in response to App Store changes.
At the bottom of the receipt, you will see lines such as:
The receipt records that 'Offshore Data' has been purchased. The receipt records that 'Weather Routing' has been purchased.
Look through the receipt for verification that you have paid. If your trial expires while you are at sea, I will not be able to help you - all purchases must go through the Apple App store, which requires high speed internet.
Test each of your devices.
Many sailors are running LuckGrib on iPad, iPhone and Mac. It would be a good idea to ensure LuckGrib is working on each of your devices.
For example, if you have recently paid for the app on your iPhone, be sure to restore the purchase on your iPad in order that its receipt file is updated.
Enjoy your passage!
This is most important. Have fun out there!
When you return:
Switch back to high speed internet.
The GRIB models on the LuckGrib server cluster change from time to time. The LuckGrib app is able to keep its list of the remote GRIB models, parameters, forecasts and other information, up to date by downloading a special file describing their content. This update is performed only if the application is set to use high speed internet as its download method.
After returning to shore, it is a good idea to switch the app back into its high speed internet mode and download a weather file. This will cause the app to update its local copy of the available GRIB model details, if they have changed.
When changes to the app’s copy of the GRIB models occurs, a short description of the changes is presented to you.
Please provide feedback.
After having used the application out in the real world, on a passage, if you have any thoughts on what can be improved, your positive and negative experiences, please pass them along to me.
Your feedback is appreciated.