Create, add conditions and optimize a transatlantic route – Part 2

A few days ago we presented Sailing Living Lab, their project and their current plan to cross the Atlantic. Find part 1 of this article here. Their Captain, Diego de Miguel explains how he uses TZ Navigator on-board their boat, the Acrobat. After having spent time sailing across the Mediterranean, the team feels it is time to raise the anchor and set sail for Central America.

In the first part, thanks to the video demonstrations, Diego de Miguel tells us how to prepare and carry out a transatlantic route. In this second article, we will see how to download your weather forecasts that are optimized.

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We give you the answer to the 5 most Frequently Asked Questions

The TIMEZERO Frequently Asked Questions gather all the questions that you wonder about the marine navigation solutions with their answers. Divided in two categories (TIMEZERO for PC and TIMEZERO for iPad), the FAQ answer to a wealth of requests: software function, type of connection, differences between marine charts, compatibility with navigation hardware, …

Some of the request are more reluctant than other, so we have decided to concentrate the 5 most Frequently Asked Questions in this article. Find out all the answers about main subjects consulted in TIMEZERO FAQ.

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4 Safety Tips for How to Avoid Sunburn Onboard

In the warmer months of the year, boaters can enjoy the sun and spend time relaxing out on deck. However, the sea surface reflects sunlight and can intensify the rays’ strength as a result. The last thing you want is to suffer bad sunburn or worse, sunstroke while as sea. In this post, we give you some sun safety tips for how to avoid sunburn onboard.

  1. Apply the right sun screen for your skin type

This goes without saying but some boaters tend to use an SPF that is too low for them. This is dangerous as it can easily lead to bad sunburn.

This chart gives a quick and easy guide to the factor you should be using for your skintype.

SPF Chart
Source: Ocean Potion©
  1. Understand how “resistent” your sun screen is
  • Waterproof Formulas – After getting into the water, these types will protect your skin for up to 80 minutes.
  • Water Resistant Formulas – After getting into the water, they will protect you for up to 40 minutes.
  • Sweat Resistant Formulas – Protect up to 30 minutes with continuous heavy sweating. Nice!
  • Children’s Sunscreens – Make sure to use maximum SPF (50) and re-apply regularly throughout the day. Do not use sunscreen on infants less than 6 months old.
  1. Choose the right sunglasses

You don’t need a particularly expensive pair. Just make sure the ones you get are polarised (to cut the glare), and protect against UVA and UVB radiation.

Polarized sunglasses

  1. Keep your head covered

It’s strongly advised to wear a hat when out on deck in sunny weather. This will help you avoid heat exhaustion and protect the delicate skin on your face. After all, you don’t want to wrinkle that precious mug!

5 Tips for Buying a Boat

Buying a boat is a big investment, so you have to be sure of your decision. This month, we list the 5 most important things to consider before buying a boat.

• Your navigational requirements

The first thing is to make sure that the boat will suit the owner’s plans, and the plans of the owner’s family, if they’ll be aboard too. It is very important to define the boat’s sailing program. What will you actually be doing with the boat – Running, cruising etc.? You must also assess the skills of the crew.

Depending on the size of the boat, an annual budget should be prepared to cover maintenance, handling, antifouling, deck hardware costs, berths, etc. The annual budget is approximately 8% of the purchase value.

buying a boat

• The rigging status

Some insurance companies will only ensure a boat if the invoice of the rigging is less than 10 years old. Changing the rigging is a costly job. The state of the sails should also be considered: changing them is a big expense, especially if the goal is high- performance sailing.

• Osmosis

This is a natural aging process of polyester: you should base your buying decision on the progress of the osmotic state. If the hull has too many blisters, you will need to set aside budget of around €600 per meter for repairs. Also, the boat must be hauled between 6 and 12 months for drying and peeling.

The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

• The state of the boat’s motor

It is important to check the number of hours that the engine has on the clock. An analysis of the oil and a compression plug will be needed if the engine has more than 3,000 hours. A good engine check is essential. Again, changing the engine would incur considerable costs so it’s best to avoid this.

• The berth

Availability is not the same across all geographic areas. In general, the English Channel / Atlantic sector is more accessible with waiting periods of 2 to 3 years, as is the case in Lorient for example.

During the waiting time, interim solutions exist such as temporary contracts, moorings or dry ports.

If you have any tips of your own for what to look out for when purchasing a boat, simply leave a comment below!

We would like to thank our partners Team Jolokia, for writing this article. Team Jolokia is a truly unique racing team that promotes diversity. The team is made up of 25 men and women from different walks of life: seniors, young people, disabled or able-bodied.

Learn more about Team Jolokia.

5 Simple Tips for Improving Boat Safety

Sailing and boating are wonderful pastimes, but it can also be a very dangerous environment and needs to be given respect. Whether you are messing around in a dinghy or racing across oceans – safety always has to be paramount. Champion sailor Alex Alley gives us 5 simple tips on how to improve boat safety.

“When I was learning to sail, I remember my father once said to me about the sea – ‘it makes a good servant, but a bad master’. It took me a while to understand what he meant, but I soon realized what he was talking about.

Safety has to be top of the list when boating. I once had to fill out a risk assessment form for a corporate sailing trip. It seemed that serious risks were everywhere, from falling overboard to being hit by the boom.”


By following a few simple rules, these risks can be easily reduced:

  • One of the top ‘rules’ for me is simply common sense – don’t mess around. If you run around the boat you are more likely to slip and fall – potentially over the side! The last thing any crew wants is a man overboard situation. It is one thing picking up a fender and a bucket during a drill – it is completely different picking up an unconscious person out of the water.
  • Alcohol and boating don’t mix very well. It impairs your decision making and can upset your balance and judgment. Although in the UK there is no specific law against drinking and sailing – it is a foolish skipper who does. Save the drinking for the bar once back ashore.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. That includes the weather and what to expect. If you are crewing onboard a boat, don’t always assume the skipper has seen everything around you. Make them aware of nearby boats and obstructions – they probably have seen them, but don’t presume that they have. There is nothing worse than running in to a buoy hidden behind the jib.
  • Sail within your limits. Often people get in to difficulty when sailing beyond their means. Too much sail up in strong winds makes the boat hard to control and likely to broach, which can in turn send crew and equipment over the side. It isn’t a fast way to sail the boat – generally boats are much quicker if they are more upright. It’s also safer and more comfortable.
  • Maintenance. It may not seem an obvious safety point at first, but worn or damaged kit can cause a lot of problems. Worn out equipment usually breaks when it is least convenient. A faulty spinnaker pole topping lift for example can cause the pole to drop on unsuspecting crew. Poorly maintained lifejackets and lifelines speak for themselves. Regular maintenance is the answer – prevention is better than cure.

Sailing is a great sport and past time and is there to be enjoyed by everyone. By using common sense and following a few simple rules it can also be enjoyed safely.

Learn more about Alex Alley, champion sailor and MaxSea partner.

If you have any tips of your own for what to look out for when purchasing a boat, simply leave a comment.

10 point safety checklist

6 Tips for Fighting Motion Sickness Onboard

This month, world champion sailor Alex Alley gives us his tips for how to fight motion sickness onboard:

“One of the things I get asked about a lot when I am taking people out sailing for the first time, is sea sickness. Possibly the most debilitating thing that can happen to otherwise healthy people at sea.

 It is real and it can sap energy out of the most upbeat person – however, the advice I would give is – don’t worry yourself about it, it can happen to the best sailors.”

My 6 top tips for fighting motion sickness:

  • There are many types of medication on the market, a popular one is Stugeron. There are pills, wrist bands and patches. Each have their fans, however some also have their drawbacks in that they can sometimes make you sleepy.
  • You can help yourself by not going out for a big meal with lots of alcohol the night before you sail.
  • There are also things you can do onboard if you start to feel a bit queasy. Firstly, keep warm, most important. Once you get cold, your body starts to shut down and you then can’t help yourself.
  • DON’T go down below if you can help it. Once you lose sight of the horizon, it tends to make people feel ill. I’m told it is the mix of signals to the brain. Your eyes tell you nothing is moving (you’re inside the boat so have no reference), but your ears are telling you that you are moving (the fluid in your ears gives you balance). This conflict of information confuses the brain and makes you feel unwell.
  • Try and eat something plain, such as a ginger biscuit (ginger is supposed to help) or a piece of bread.
  • Finally, the best piece of advice I can give is to occupy your mind. Maybe take the opportunity to take the helm if you feel confident and someone can guide you. This focuses your mind and stops you thinking about being ill.

It is not simply the movement of the boat that makes you sick. Many people say they get motion sick in a car as a passenger, but not as a driver. Tthe motion is exactly the same – so some other process must surely be at work! Perhaps it is driven by anxiety, or the feeling of not being in control?

I’m not a psychologist so I can’t say with any authority what the cause may be. I do however spend a lot of time sailing and I’d like to finish this article by referring back to my first piece of advice – don’t worry about it, anxiety will only increase the chances of you feeling ill, in effect you will make yourself feel sick!

Embrace the experience of sailing, learn about it and try and understand it, that way you will know what to expect, you will feel less anxious about it, you will have fun and trust me, you won’t be sick…

We would like to thank Alex Alley, MaxSea sponsor for sharing this advice with us. Alex is a round the world yachtsman, inspirational speaker and world champion. Learn more about Alex.

If you have any tips of your own for combatting seasickness, simply leave a comment!


MaxSea TimeZero Free Weather Forecast Service

4 Tips for Choosing Marine Binoculars

Visibility while boating is obviously very important, but can be difficult due to reflections on the water surface. A good pair of marine binoculars is very useful onboard but what should you look for when purchasing? Here is a quick guide to choosing the right marine binoculars.

The magic numbers: 7×50

Binoculars are classed according to magnification power and the diameter of the front lenses. Higher magnification is not always better, as high-powered binoculars are harder to hold steady on target because they show a smaller section of the landscape. A 7×50 binocular is optimum for marine use.


Image-Stabilised Binoculars

The second most important thing to look for when it comes to marine binoculars is image stabilisation. The mechanics of these marine binoculars keep your image steady and help you avoid getting seasick.

It should however be noted that a set of marine binoculars with an extra-wide enough field of view won’t necessarily need image stabilisation.

Light Transmission and Coatings

Light is lost as it passes through binocular optics – sometimes as much as 50% in less expensive models. High-quality binoculars on the other hand will transmit between 80 and 90% of light.

Lenses are sometimes coated, typically with magnesium flouride, in order to increase relection and pass more light to the user’s eye. Avoid “full-coated” products and try to opt instead for “multi-coated” or even better, “fully multicoated”, sometimes abbreviated as FMC.

Field of View

This is the area you’ll see through the binoculars, expressed either in degrees or in the width of the area seen at a one kilometre range. A field of view of seven degrees (or about 115 metres) is usually considered optimum for general marine use.

Extra features

Some marine binoculars feature “extras” such as a

  • built-in rangefinder
  • compass
  • reticle

These features can help you find magnetic north, and properly judge an object’s size and distance when the open sea can make it difficult to understand in relation to yourself. It does require practice to learn how to use these features correctly. However, once you do, you’ll need less gadgets on the boat with you.

Get more tips on how to choose the best marine binoculars for you.