FastSeas is a weather routing and passage planning tool. It will calculate the fastest route to take you from point A to point B given the current NOAA GFS weather forecast , current oceanic currents , the performance of your vessel, and your comfort criteria.
Feel free to look around, but before you can actually run routing calculations, you'll need to log in . Logging in allows FastSeas to remember your polar and comfort criteria. You can log in using various social login options. I have taken this approach rather than having you register with a username and password because it's less work for me and safer for you - as I don't have to deal with passwords. There is nothing nefarious going on here. FastSeas is not going to be reading your posts or creating posts or any such thing.
You need to teach FastSeas about the performance of your vessel. You do that using the Vessel Performance tab. You only have to setup these performance settings once. FastSeas will save these settings and use them next time you come back. There are instructions on the Vessel Performance tab, so I won't repeat them here. The amount of data you have to enter on the Vessel Performance tab can look intimidating, but it goes pretty quickly.
Before FastSeas can calculate a route, you need to tell it where you are starting from and what your destination is. You do that using the Routing tab. On the Routing tab, you'll see a map with an "S" marker and a "F" marker. These represent your start and finish points. They can be positioned by dragging them on the map. Or if you prefer, you can enter the Lat & Long into the fields.
You can now run weather routing calculations by clicking the Calculate Route button on the Routing tab. After the calculation is complete, the route will be displayed on the map. You can also look at the details of the route on the Route Positions tab, and summary stats on the Passage Stats tab.
You can specify your comfort criteria on the Routing tab. You can enter the maximum wind speed in knots that you are willing to tolerate beating (forward of the beam), reaching (aft of the beam), and maximum gust conditions.
Note that you can run multiple calculations, perhaps with different departure times, comfort criteria, or destinations, and have all of these routes displayed in the same map.
You can also get routing solutions from FastSeas via email. This is particularly useful when underway or cruising - when you don't have access to a high bandwidth internet connection. It is designed for use over satellite (e.g. Iridium) and HF/Pactor (e.g. Winlink and Sailmail) links. To use the email service, send an email like the one below:
To: email@example.com Subject: Bonaire-Porlamar SEND ROUTE:12.0N,68.3W,10.9N,63.8W
are the coordinates of your departure point (in decimal degrees) and
are the coordinates of your destination. The subject is not consequential - you can make it whatever you like. You can also specify coordinates
in degrees and minutes if you prefer as shown below:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Bonaire-Porlamar SEND ROUTE:12-0N,68-18W,10-54N,63-48W
is 12 degrees 0 minutes North, and
is 68 degrees 18 minutes West.
A few minutes after sending your email, the automated email responder will send you a reply containing a Google Earth KMZ file which contains your routing solution. Each of the pushpins in the solution can be double-clicked to see the routing details at that point of the passage.
If you prefer to get a GPX file instead of the standard KMZ response, add a
switch to your request as shown below:
To: email@example.com Subject: Bonaire-Porlamar SEND ROUTE:12.0N,68.3W,10.9N,63.8W,GPX
The automated email responder will respond to the email address you registered with, or to any email account you setup in the Account tab - where you can authorize your Winlink, Sailmail, and Iridium email addresses. The KMZ file is typically very small (2-3 KB) and therefore very suitable for low bandwidth HF or satellite acccess. GPX files are larger.
If you would like to receive a compressed GPX file (zipped), then use a
If you would like to limit the number of days included in the route mailed back to you, then add a
switch, substituting the number of days you wish to receive:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Bonaire-Porlamar SEND ROUTE:12.0N,68.3W,10.9N,63.8W,GPXZIP,DAYS=2
You can optionally include parameters to adjust your comfort criteria. To set the maximum wind you are willing to tolerate forward of the beam,
(e.g. 20 kn). Use
to set the maximum wind you are willing to tolerate aft of the beam. Use
to set the maximum wind gust you are willing to tolerate.
You can also optionally include parameters to adjust your polar performance and motoring criteria. To set the polar performance adjustment, use
(e.g. 90%). Use
(e.g. 3 kn) to set the boat speed at which you will start motoring. Use
(e.g. 7 kn) to set the speed at which you motor.
You can also get departure planning results from FastSeas via email. To get departure planning results, send an email like the following:
To: email@example.com Subject: Bonaire-Porlamar SEND DEPARTURE:12.0N,68.3W,10.9N,63.8W
FastSeas is free and supported by your voluntary donations. Your donations help cover the web server hosting costs and will ensure continued availability and development of this tool.
If you find FastSeas useful, please consider supporting it .
A polar diagram is a common way of depicting vessel performance in various wind conditions. The diagram plots boat speed at various true wind angles and wind speeds. The true wind angle is indicated around the edge of the semicircle. Boat speed is then plotted at various true wind speeds - different color lines representing different true wind speeds. The boat speed is indicated as the distance from the center of the circle. Concentric circles indicate boat speed starting at zero in the center of the circle and extending out at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 knots boat speed.
Edit the polar diagram for your vessel by entering boat speed values in the table below. In this table there are four columns for different true wind angles. True wind angles measure the direction of the win relevant to the bow of the vessel. A true wind angle of 0° represents wind coming directly from the bow, and 180° represents wind coming directly from the stern. Sailing vessels should enter the closest point of sail in the first column header. The table has six rows for different true wind speeds (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 knots). In each cell in the table, enter your boat's speed in knots for the given true wind angle and true wind speed. The polar diagram will be automatically updated as you enter this data. Your polar will be automatically saved in your account for reuse on your next visit.
Use this option to import a polar created elsewhere; or to create a more complex polar than is possible using the Edit option above; or to export and save your polar for safe-keeping or for re-use in some other routing application.
|Elapsed Hours||Date/Time||Latitude||Longitude||Heading||Speed||COG||SOG||Wind Speed||Gusting||Wind Dir||TWA||Ocean Current Speed||Ocean Current Direction|
Departure planning will calculate estimated route statistics based on the departure date/time, start location, and finish location that you configure on the Routing tab. It will calculate these stats on one day departure intervals starting with the departure date you specify on the Routing tab. These stats are rough estimates and intended for comparison of potential departure dates.
|Statistic||Plan 1||Plan 2||Plan 3|
You have imported custom polar data. If you edit it here, your imported polar data will be modified and likely significantly simplified in order to fit the data entry screen.
Are you sure you want to proceed?
When switching between "Sail" and "Power", FastSeas will generate a new "Simple" polar and your existing polar will be replaced/lost.
Are you sure you want to proceed?
FastSeas is created by Jeremy Waters. Jeremy is a lifelong sailor with extensive cruising experience spanning the Western Mediterranean (Costa del Sol, Balearics, Algeria), Eastern Caribbean (Virgin Islands through Trinidad, Venezuela, and Bonaire), throughout The Bahamas, US Gulf and East coasts (Florida through Chesapeake), and a transatlantic.
If you have feedback, suggestions or questions, please email them to me.
NOAA publishes GFS model data four times a day. The approximate times that FastSeas acquires these new data are shown below: