An introduction to this software and its features. A tool for planning long distance sailboat races and voyages using digital weather data.


BLUEWATER RACING is a set of tools for tactical and strategic planning of long-distance yacht racing and cruising. With the software you can:

What the program isn't:


Routes, waypoints, and polar data are stored as XML files or text files that you can examine and edit directly with your favorite XML or text editor.

You can view the forecast time it will take to sail any given route you have constructed.  Most other programs will only give you one approximate “best route,” and won’t tell you how long it will take to sail a different route of your choosing.

Besides giving you an estimated best route, the Bluewater Racing optimizer gives you additional information, such as a “routing tree”, which tells you the best time to all the points in your travel region, and a “sensitivity analysis,” which gives you an idea of how far afield from the best route you can sail, and still arrive in close to the fastest time.  Use it when you are considering issues besides minimal travel time, such as tactics against competitors, safety of navigation, or uncertainty of forecasts.

You can work with multiple Grib files simultaneously, to generate a complete wind picture that combines extremely accurate, short-range, small-scale forecasts at the start of your race, with long range, larger scale forecasts for weeks later at the end of your race.  The Grib display options are highly editable.

Boat polar files can include data for motor saipng, allowing travel time estimation for power boats, or yachts that will use power when the winds are pght.

BLUEWATER uses high-quality, free, publicly available data from academic and government sources, including:

The GUI is written in Tcl/Tk, a popular and powerful scripting language.  If you have some programming skill and inclination, you can directly manipulate GriB and Route files via simple Tcl scripts, using a command shell connected to BLUEWATER.  For example, you can construct a new Grib file that averages the values in several existing files, or construct a Grib data set at lower density and then take a look at it with the program.

Curious about the competition?  Check out Expedition, Deckman, or Maxsea.