It was time to upgrade the Electronics package on Moonwave as it has been a while since B&G stopped software upgrades for their H3000 system. This time, we installed a full B&G H5000 package with integrating some of the original equipment like the radar aft and other. Some of the original equipment was taken off as it had not proven itself useful on board during the last years of navigation – the fwd radar and cameras were some of those.
We use B&G as it is important to have a good calculation and high performance processor with the rotating mast to have correct wind indications. And also because the B&G screens and layouts look sleek and are functional. The different screens and pieces of equipment fit well in especially due to the great design integration of Christophe and the beautiful work of carbon by Jim. The new Helm Station is definitively an eye catcher. Will share more details about this piece of art later.
The B&G autopilots are also well performing – the autopilot is often the “third” crew member and it’s important to be able to count on it.
The installation and set-up of the B&G system has been done by Diverse Yachts – thank you for your work and for playing the game of a neat installation also where not visible.
In addition to the B&G chart plotters and navigation CPU, we use Maxsea on a laptop primarily for passage planning and weather routing. This is also a good back up in the event of failure with the B&G.
For passage planning, it is important to have good weather data but also the right performance data of the vessel, also called sailing polars. Instead of using what we call the VPP which are the theoretical values given by the builder or naval architect. We decided, a couple of years ago on one of the trips down the East Coast from the US to the Caribbeans to make our own lines of code to create a small software program to record Moonwave’s performances under sail in real time and converted this into live polar values. Olivier our programming “Guru” was a tremendous help to succeed in this mission. This was a very interesting exercise to develop the algorithm and push the exercise to our limits but ‘come on’ there are people out there that do that for a living. And this time, instead of making our own piece of software again, we got “inspired” by the record breaking French sailors that we met during our time in Brittany. We acquired a Software called Adrena. Most of the high performance monohulls and multihulls in France use Adrena to log their performances and than compare and analyse to get even more out of their boats and equipment.
We just started using Adrena and once you get your head around the different functions and ergonomics, you will be amazed like us on how performing the calculations are. It becomes almost like a “game” to try to beat the previous performance by better adjusting your sails. We will record “polars” for either delivery mode and weather routing and a second set more “performance oriented” where we push Moonwave a bit harder. This is the smart thing about Adrena you can have different set of polars and it makes sense to have a set for delivery and a set for performance sailing. Basically it would be one ‘conventional’ set of data on which you can base your passage planning and one set which is a target of polar in order to always optimise for performance.
Both softwares – Maxsea and Adrena – pick up all the data (wind angles, boat speed, AIS signals, etc.) that B&G calculates and they are available via our ships wireless network. Also the B&G system can be accessed wirelessly and the helm screens can be mirrored and accessed over an iPad throughout the whole boat.
We are quickly getting used to the high performance technology, tons of available data and state of the art equipment but also the great finish on the “good old compass” – definitively one of Jim’s masterpieces…