AWA & AWS in Distance & Planning
cgwynne | Premium last edited by
Distance and planning is such a great tool but it's missing some simple calculations that could make it one of the greatest tools for sailors; Apparent Wind Angle and Apparent Wind Speed (relative to your boat, based on your boat speed and direction).
The Distance and planning tool currently displays Wind barbs which can be shown as "left to right, bottom to top, and north up". The first 2 are not very useful unless you are heading in exactly those South to North or West to East directions. But as the Distance tool already knows the boat's bearing at each waypoint and you can input the boat speed, it should be easy to have Windy, which already knows the forecast True Wind Speed and True Wind Direction at each waypoint and time stamp then calculate the Apparent Wind Angle and Speed relative to the boat along the route of the Distance and Planning tool
Currently, I use an online Apparent Wind Calculator (https://questeria.info/aw/index.html) for each step of my route but I'm just manually entering data Windy already knows. I use this to see if there are wind angles or speeds that are just not possible to sail or to get an estimate about where it's going to be really rough or require using engines and burning diesel.
Here's the math to calculate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apparent_wind#Calculating_apparent_velocity_and_angle
It would also be great to see the wave direction relative to the boat's bearing as there are some sea states that are no go but it's quite tedious to calculate it all manually at every step. And it would be a really useful extra benefit if we could select both Wind Waves and Swell 1 just to see how confused the seas will be at different parts of the trip. For example, at this time of year, the weather systems heading SE from Greenland or E from North America create large swell along the western facing coasts of North West Africa and Western Europe. Many of the thousands of yachts trying to get out of the Med to head towards the Canary Islands or cross the Atlantic at this time of the year are watching this. But it takes swell a few days to hit these coasts and subside and often there's another system just behind a few days later that is coming from a different angle. The combination of these systems is where it gets very uncomfortable and even dangerous for yachts.
These additions would make Windy one of the most incredible navigation planning tools for sailors and certainly, I'd be willing to pay extra for this functionality. I'm certain other sailors would jump on this as well.
Nevertheless, I want to thank the developers, Windy, as is, has been such an invaluable tool in the last 2 years of living on a yacht during the pandemic, I use it every single day multiple times a day. It is the first app I open in the morning to see what's changed in the forecast. I've sailed over 8000 nm solo in the last 2 years and Windy has been essential in every one of those miles. Additionally, it's probably saved my life more than once in helping me prepare for incoming lightning and storms such as the storm that hit Corsica in August of 2022. Thanks, everyone!
About the way to show the wind direction reference, you say …."left to right, bottom to top, and north up". The first 2 are not very useful unless you are heading in exactly those South to North or West to East directions "…
Even if you are not heading exactly in these directions, these settings are useful. They are currently used by aviators, and they can be explained for sailing too:
Using Route planner for sailing, these wind direction references can also be used specially " Bottom to top ", if you imagine your boat heading the top of your screen, you get the angle of true wind with your course:
A first step for me would be to display as an option the true wind direction in degrees not only as arrows. Then apparent wind speed/angle if you like. But as the boat speed is the averaged speed for the whole trip, I am not sure that AWA and AWS would be really precise. Or the polars of boat/sails should be included.