Why use a marine navigation software to prepare a route, a journey, or a marine expedition?

Marine navigation software has become an indispensable tool in the world of offshore racing. It is critical for race directors to ensure the most accurate preparation and conduct of a competitive race.

Route in the Baltic Sea MOD70 European Tour 2012 by Gilles Chiorri
Above screen shot shows a route section of the Baltic Sea MOD70 Step # 1 MOD70 European Tour 2012.

The question of whether to install electronic chart software can arise for coastal navigation (cruises or racing) and for offshore trips, so it is very important to identify the merits of using this type of tool….

If a reminder was necessary, the sea is of course, a formidable environment. It requires accurate planning, both on land and at sea. This anticipation is needed in order to fully understand, prepare and carry out navigation with good seamanship.

The following factors affect each and every route navigated: the distance and time needed to cover it depending on the boat specs, the type of coastline and its dangers, weather and sea conditions, tidal currents, the ports or shelters along the route etc.

Nowadays, a navigation software installed on a laptop such as TimeZero developed by MaxSea, allows integration with, and quick and easy access to all of the above elements in just a few clicks of the mouse.

Whether you are at home in the preparation phase, or in live navigation mode, course preparation is made extremely comprehensive, and also allows a high level of interface customization.

The TimeZero software features a wide zoom level on charts, (which is identical to SHOM charts, and should therefore remain “familiar-looking”) which is the equivalent of having a wide portfolio of paper charts immediately accessible. Thus the tools zoom-in and zoom-out then allow you to have a good visual picture of the desired navigation area.

TimeZero allows you to overlay satellite photos on your chart, so that you can visualize specific places in advance, and plan a correct approach to the area!

Route in Denmark by Gilles ChiorriIn addition, the “divider” tool (bearing/distance) can be used to quickly segment the route, or measure distances and position themselves in relation to geographic points of interest. It is possible to simultaneously create a course outline using the “route” tool and to start live navigation. With just a few clicks along the way, you have your route, distance and direction (true or magnetic option) between each waypoint, as well as the cumulative distance. You can name each waypoint, and insert or move a waypoint at any time during navigation of the route.

Preparing a route becomes fun and you can always refer back to your navigation logbook. By making all the possible adjustments, a basic route gradually transforms into a detailed course, corresponding with your expectations such as your safety criteria in relation to distance from shore or a shoal, a place that you want to see up close etc.

All data created in the software can then be saved with the route name, and even assigned to a specific layer, which as its name suggests can be displayed or hidden according to your wishes. Once activated, this route can be exported to your GPS for rapid access to route information.

Once the software is integrated with onboard navigation hardware (GPS and other suitable instruments) TimeZero is transformed into an even more powerful navigation aid. Your boat is symbolized by an icon to scale that moves in real time on your screen, as simple as a video game.

Route in Marseille MOD70 European Tour 2012 by Gilles Chiorri
Above screen shot: Marseille and landing zone changes MOD70 in Marseille (source MOD70 European Tour 2012).

After importing the marine weather forecast file (commonly known as a “GRIB” file), you can launch the routing function to optimize your route by integrating the effects of weather conditions on your route. You can also calculate the ETA on the next waypoint or decide the fastest route to reach your end point. The routing function and comprehensive weather of TimeZero opens the door to anticipation, and accurate planning.

In conclusion, after many years at the chart table equipped with a Cras Ruler, a handheld compass and dividers, with an eye on the GPS, it now seems essential to have TimeZero onboard, whatever the intended sailing, inshore or offshore, whether racing or cruising!

Happy navigating to all of you this summer.

Gilles Chiorri

Race Director – Navigator

Gilles Chiorri - french sailorGilles Chiorri is a French sailor and Merchant Navy officer with an impressive background as a skipper.

He is the new race director and race manager of the MOD70 European Tour and other major ocean races.  He works also as OC Events Director and Yachts Consulting Executive Director.

Chiorri won the Mini Transat in 1987, the Jules Verne Trophy in 2002 (with Bruno Peyron) and finished second in La Solitaire du Figaro in 2002.

Gilles Chiorri is currently using MaxSea TimeZero marine software, nautical charts and modules as a sailor and race director.


Isabelle Joschke tackles the 2012 Solitaire du Figaro with MaxSea

Isabelle Joschke sponsored by MaxSea -2Isabelle Joschke, skipper in the Ocean racing team Absolute Dreamer, will participate at the 43rd La Solitaire du Figaro race aboard Galettes Saint-Michel Figaro boat.

MaxSea International is glad to be the official technical supplier of this great yachtswoman, philologist, benevolent at the Glénans sailing school and sports coach.

The French-German boat racer will face as of June 24th her 5th Solitaire du Figaro along with another 36 skippers in a 3-leg race totaling 1432 nautical miles:

La Solitaire du Figaro race - 3 legs

We wish Isabelle the best of lucks!

Follow Isabelle Joschke on:

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La Solitaire du Figaro 2011 : Un amour de Solitaire

Jérémie Beyou (BPI) : « C’est un truc de fou, un truc génial. C’est une ambiance sur l’eau, à terre, que tu ne connais nulle part ailleurs. Des gens comme Claire de Crépy à terre, Jacques Caraës, le Docteur Chauve en mer, c’est de l’or en barre. La Solitaire du Figaro est extraordinaire, c’est MA course préférée. Il y a des épreuves plus prestigieuses, différentes mais celle-là, c’est MA course de cœur. »

Fabien Delahaye (Port de Caen Ouistreham) : « Cette course est dure car il y a quatre étapes, qu’il faut les enchaîner et gérer son état de fatigue pendant tout ce temps. C’est la seule course dans le genre où il y a autant de bateaux sur l’eau. On enchaîne le côtier, le large, le grand large, c’est super intéressant. J’aime tout. La confrontation sportive, les paysages que l’on croise. On a vu des super couchers de soleil, on a vu des baleines, on est passé dans les orages et par tous les temps. Tu passes de l’été à l’hiver, au printemps….C’est peut-être pour ça aussi qu’on fait ça. » Continue reading

La Solitaire du Figaro 2011 : Jérémie Beyou winner and overall leader in Dún Laoghaire

The 2005 Solitaire du Figaro champion crossed the finish line Dún Laoghaire not only to win the second leg but take the overall lead in the four-stage sailing race. Nicolas Lunven, the 2009 champion was second with Adrien Hardy, who won the stage to Ireland in 2010, third. Morgan Lagravière, was top rookie in 6th. The first of the four British sailors, Phil Sharp, was 23rd, just over an hour behind the leader.

The pewter grey skies cleared briefly to let some bright sun through to spotlight the first Figaro on the horizon and reveal the breakaway leader of the 46 solo sailors competing on the second of four legs that make up La Solitaire du Figaro race. The second leg, 440 miles from Caen to Dún Laoghaire close to Dublin on the East coast of Ireland, set off last Sunday and took just over 65 hours for the winner to complete. Jérémie Beyou (BPI), blew his spinnaker in the shifty breeze just a couple of miles from the finish, but had been surfing downwind at a blistering average of 14 knots, whilst keeping a close eye on his pursuers as he helmed his boat to victory at 10:15 in the morning. The successful and experienced French solo sailor, averaged 6.7 knots over the 65 hours and 25 minutes and 16 seconds. He was both jubilant and exhausted upon arrival. Continue reading

Quelques mots de notre partenaire Isabelle Joschke

Bonjour à tous,

En pleine préparation de la Solitaire du Figaro qui partira ce dimanche de Perros-Guirec, je vous écris un petit mot pour vous donner quelques nouvelles de ma saison 2011.

Après le retrait de Synergie cet hiver, il m’a été difficile de trouver un budget complet pour participer une quatrième fois aux courses du circuit Figaro Bénéteau. Grâce au soutien des Galettes St-Michel, ainsi que de mes partenaires Julbo, Panasonic, Distinxion, Plastimo, Maxsea et VOR, que je remercie pour leur fidélité, j’ai néanmoins décidé de participer à cette Solitaire du Figaro pour laquelle je me suis préparée et entraînée toute l’année. Continue reading

La Solitaire du Figaro 2011 : Perros-Guirec bursting with activity

The picture perfect town of Perros-Guirec in Northern Brittany has been a hive of activity since the Solitaire du Figaro race village opened and boats arrived last Saturday. The marina is full with the skippers making final preparations to their boats and the Race Village is bursting with activity. Final security and measurement checks are being made, moments of rest and concentration for others as they plan ahead to the Eric Bompard Cachemire Prologue race, scheduled for Friday 28th at 17:30. Continue reading

La Solitaire du Figaro 2011 : Ça s’active sur le port de Perros-Guirec !

Perros-Guirec vit au rythme de La Solitaire du Figaro depuis samedi 23 juillet. Les 47 concurrents sont désormais tous présents sur le port et peaufinent leur préparation tandis que leurs partenaires animent les stands du village de la course. Au programme : contrôles des bateaux pour les uns, repos et concentration pour les autres, tous ont entamé la dernière ligne droite avant le Prologue Eric Bompard Cachemire ce vendredi 29 juillet à 17h30.

Côté course

Ils étaient tous présents hier pour le briefing d’accueil au Club des navigateurs, habitués du Circuit Figaro Bénéteau et bizuths, les 47 skippers ont ensuite démarré les contrôles des bateaux et la chaine d’inscription. « Déjà une vingtaine de contrôles effectués, 13 génois et 11 Solent stickés » annonçait ce matin Michel Perrouin, jaugeur de l’épreuve… Les 9 bénévoles et les 3 contrôleurs d’équipement de course au large ont encore un programme chargé aujourd’hui : une cinquantaine de points de sécurité à vérifier sur les 47 bateaux en lice, le stickage des voiles d’avant (Génois et Solent) aux couleurs d’Eric Bompard Cachemire, et la vérification des moyens de communication (VHF, AIS). Jaugeurs, organisateurs, techniciens, tous travaillent en étroite collaboration afin d’assurer la sécurité des skippers et le bon déroulement de la course dont le départ sera donné dimanche 31 juillet à 11h. Continue reading