Create, add conditions and optimize a transatlantic route – Part 1

The TIMEZERO software program provides all the resources for preparing and organizing your trips out to sea exactly as you like. The advanced features multiply the possibilities, all while providing more safety.

The Weather Routing module is an optional feature. The most direct route isn’t necessarily the best route and that is why a feature such as the Weather Routing module is so interesting.

There are numerous factors that should be considered during the creation of a route, notably if you are planning a long trip that takes multiple days. While there is not a perfect way to create a route, there are a few tips that we will present in this article.

Context : Diego de Miguel, TIMEZERO Ambassador and head of the Sailing living lab project

The Sailing Living Lab is an innovative project and quite unique. The Acrobat is a real laboratory of the seas open to companies and institutions interested in new maritime technologies. The boat is capable of sailing in the most difficult and farthest flung zones of the planet. On-board, the captain Diego de Miguel, creator of the project and a sailor since he was 7 years old! The team is made up of engineers, reporters and scientists that together carry out tests, studies, research and discoveries.

After two years of navigating at sea in the Mediterranean, the project is taking another direction as a transatlantic crossing looms. Starting from the Canary Islands, they must travel to the Caribbean before travelling up the East Coast of the USA, carrying out studies.

To carry out the transatlantic voyage, our TIMEZERO Ambassador Diego de Miguel presents us with his strategy for such a trip. He depicts with precision, the features of the Weather Routing module available for TZ Navigator v3.

From downloading weather data to the creation of a route, discover the different steps for preparing a transatlantic voyage safely and efficiently with TIMEZERO, under the guidance from an experienced professional.


Step 1 : Create a route between the Canaries and Cape Verde

To create a route with TZ Navigator, you have to start by downloading the weather forecast data from the “Update” workspace. The first step is that you have to select the type of weather data that you want to get. In our case, we chose wind, waves and currents. For the number of days, we selected a duration of 7 days. Knowing that on average, you will need 5 days to cross the Atlantic. With an internet connection, the software extracts the files and integrates them automatically.

From there, we go to the “Planning” workspace to create the route. It’s from the workspace that we can see the weather data displayed as a layer over the chart and we can see the evolution over time by using the time bar on the bottom of the screen.

The tool bar is located on the left side of the screen. You just need to select the tool “Launch Routing” to create the Weather Routing module feature with a departure point (the Canaries) and an arrival point (Cape Verde).

The software calculates the best itinerary based on the meteorological weather data that you downloaded and the unique features of your boats sail performance (polars). The boat polars should be pre-entered from the “Polars” workspace.

With TIMEZERO, you can access simply and directly the polar files in order to adjust them based on the state of the sea, the wind speed, and the different sails. The polars of your boat are provided by the boat manufacturer but TIMEZERO has a library of 150 different types of polars to choose from as well. You can then adjust the polar percentages in the software program to get the data as precise as possible which can change in function with unique factors that effect every boat (age, weight, modifications, etc.)

Watch the video which demonstrates using the Weather Routing module to sail from the Canary Islands to Cape Verde:

Step 2 : Create a route between the Canary Islands and the Caribbean using the Weather Routing module

In this simulation exercise, the Weather Routing we created was from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean. A crossing that takes multiple days, around 2 weeks give or take. The TIMEZERO software offers the ability to download up to 16 days of weather forecasts. To ensure that the route is reliable, the weather data has to be reliable. For the sake of simplicity, we are going to make the assumption that the weather data is reliable to the full extent of its duration. After all, this exercise is primarily about seeing the power of the algorithm within TIMEZERO.

Once the weather data has been downloaded from the “Update” workspace, we can draw a route between the Canary Islands and the Antilles. The software calculates and draws the optimal route. This time, the presented route is not what you might personally view as the correct way to go and this is because the software program might indicate that a heading to the west while you would personally have the notion to want to head south. The route will most likely have a zig-zag pattern. This is so as not to have the wind directly behind the boat otherwise it is too slow. You always need to angle against the wind.

Watch the video which demonstrates using the Weather Routing module to sail from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean:

In part 2, discover how to set conditions to the route you created. Furthermore, our TIMEZERO ambassador Diego de Miguel unveils how to optimize the download of your meteorological data, notably for a multiple day crossing on a budget.

If you want to find out more about the Weather Routing module available for TZ Navigator, go to our website: