Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Leisure 729x90

Interview with Mike Sugden, Instrument Product Expert at Navico

by Mark Jardine 8 Nov 2017 09:00 GMT 8 November 2017
B&G Zeus3 © B&G

We spoke to Mike Sugden, Instrument Product Expert at Navico, about the latest B&G software version 4.5 which now includes full integration with PredictWind, and how advanced start line features - previously only available on the H5000 - are now standard on Zeus and Vulcan chart plotters.

The PredictWind features can now overlay forecasts for the next six hours on your charts as Mike explains, "We have the ability to connect to their servers automatically, download the latest high or low resolution weather GRIB files (which requires a PredictWind subscription) for a pre-defined area, or you can select a specific area manually, such as the whole Solent. These can also be automatically updated, checking the PredictWind servers to see if a newer version is available, making sure you always have the latest weather information in front of you."

The Vulcan chartplotter can connect to the internet by using a mobile phone as a wireless hotspot, any kind of mobile 'mifi' connection, or your marina wifi as and when needed.

One of the most innovative features is on routing, using cloud technology so that the processing is done off the boat on the PredictWind servers.

"We have the ability to talk to the PredictWind servers and services to say: I want to go from A to B, what is the best way to do that?" says Mike. "You put in your start point and end point, pass that information across the internet to PredictWind, they process the information their end and pass back to your Chartplotter a route which can then be displayed on screen using the four different weather models. You then have the option to follow a route, or decide which weather model looks the best to you.

"Taking that further, you can now do Departure Planning, for example: choosing that you want to leave when you can avoid strong winds or a big swell. We send that information to PredictWind and they return the best time for departure, based on your weather preferences."

With anything involving mobile data, the aim is to minimise the amount that is uploaded and downloaded, particularly when signal strength is weak, and B&G have thought about this as Mike explains, "We've implemented a way so that we have the minimum data transfer. PredictWind can pass us back a very small XML file once you've sent them your routing information. It's then processed internally and displayed on the screen."

Watching the system in action is the equivalent of Google Maps on your mobile phone for getting live traffic and routing information for a journey.

"It's bringing the technologies you see in different industries, like SatNav in cars, to the boater."

Another recent addition to the B&G chartplotter software is the start line information, giving a graphical and numerical representation of your final approach.

"We introduced the start line functionality with the release of H5000 a few years ago and have recently made that available to more of the mass market. The Zeus plotters can now do these calculations internally themselves, you no longer need the H5 processor. The plotter takes in all the boat's sensor information, such as wind speed and the current, and the pings* from the two ends of the line. It then works out which is the favoured end and will give you that information on the screen to help you get the best winning start possible. This is now available on the Zeus and Vulcan range of chartplotters."

Find out more at bandg.com/products/chartplotters

* Pings are obtained when you sail up to the Committee Boat end and the Pin End Mark or Boat and capture the GPS position of them both.

Related Articles

Bembridge Illusion Match Racing Championship
Light winds and short courses punish mistakes After some pretty nasty weather earlier in the week, the God's were kind over the weekend for this year's Illusion Match Racing Championship. Posted today at 7:16 am
Remembering HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark
A passionate sailor through five decades HRH Prince Henrik had a big heart for sailing, a committed pioneer who brought the pleasure of sailing life far beyond the sailing community's own reach. Posted today at 7:04 am
RORC Caribbean 600: Bigger than Ben Hur
The fastest and possibly toughest race in the ten year history The 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is likely to be the fastest and possibly toughest race in the ten year history of the Caribbean 600-mile classic. Over 20 knots is predicted for the first three days, with gusts in excess of 30 knots. Posted today at 6:57 am
West Lancs RC Laser & DF65 Winter Series day 4
Just about perfect conditions for the racing With a 13mph breeze, dropping to 9mph later in the day, all from the South East with partial cloud cover, it was looking just about perfect for part 4 of the West Lancashire series. Posted today at 6:44 am
IOM Australian Nationals overall
Paul Jones takes out the tile at Montrose Bay A calm day with a gentle NNW breeze greeted skippers on the last day of competition, replacing, at last, the unrelenting strong winds that prevailed over the first three. Posted today at 6:23 am
Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta at St. Petersburg
Melges 24 fleet winner Team Monsoon named as overall winner After two days of racing on Tampa Bay, light weather persisted Sunday to close the 2018 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design Regatta in St. Petersburg with a day ashore. Posted today at 6:02 am
Rooster announced as RS Games clothing partner
Less than six months until the massive event in Weymouth It is less than six months until the massive RS Games 2018 get underway with RS sailors from around the world coming to Weymouth to race and party. The team from Rooster will be central to the action. Posted on 18 Feb
Noble Marine Winter Championship preview
At Northampton SC on Saturday 24th February The National Solo 2018 season kicks off on Saturday 24th February at Northampton S.C. when competitors from across the country will contest the Noble Marine Winter Championship. Posted on 18 Feb
There's no such thing as cold weather
Get Winter ready with Gill Sun's out, wind's up, it's freezing. Don't let cold weather get between you and the water this season, be prepared with the right kit. The new Gill Thermoskin range was designed specifically for this purpose. Posted on 18 Feb
2018 training dates at Dovestone SC
Experienced instructors set to show you the ropes Anyone thinking of taking to the water in 2018 should look no further than Dovestone Sailing Club. They have a series of dates this Spring where experienced instructors will show you the ropes. Posted on 18 Feb