Monday, January 21, 2013

iRegatta 3.05.0 adds iPolar Integration


Application: iPad, iPhone
Function: Sailboat Racing Performance, GPS, Start timer
Rating: ****
Cost: $9.99

About a year ago I reviewed iRegatta, which is a tactical racing application for sailing.  The app will work on either your iPhone or iPad, iOS 4.3 or later.  Since then, the developers have added a few features worth talking about.

One of the most interesting is the integration of Polar diagrams that can be created in the iPolar app and then downloaded to iRegatta.

It you are a hard core sailor and want the most out of your yacht, iPolar and iRegatta will give you the tools to track and improve your performance.

The iPolar app was written by KND Sailing Performance.  These guys work with some of the biggest racing syndicates in the world. 

The iPolar app is a great little tool that allows you to create polar diagrams for your yacht and then export them to various programs.

Basically, a polar diagram is the graphical diagram consisting of the theoretical maximum boat speeds at various true wind speeds and headings, along with the associated upwind and downwind VMGs (velocities made good).

Knowing your boats optimum points of sail with respect to the wind can give you an edge in a race or get your across oceans is a shorter amount of time.

To Export the polar diagrams, select the arrow icon in the top right of the iPolar screen. A pop up box will open asking you which program you want to open the file in. Compatible apps will show up on the list.

If you have iRegatta on the same device it will show up on the list. Simply tap the iRegatta icon and it will open up the app and ask you to confirm the import.

In iRegatta, confirm the import and it will show you the imported files.  Here the jib, spinnaker and asymmetrical spinnaker polars are shown as imported.

iRegatta has added additional features to the start sequence page too. Waypoints can easily be created for the two ends of the start line.  Simply tap the ship icon for the committee boat end and tap the flag icon for the other end of the start line.  Once these are selected, iRegatta now knows where the line is. It can then calculate your boat's distance to the line. 

Next enter the wind speed and direction. Now that iRegatta knows this information it will let you know which end of the line is favored.  The side of the line with the green shading is the favored side of the line to start on. 

The dashed bar shows where you should be according to the time left on the countdown timer.  I am way ahead of where I should be according to this.

The bar on the left side of the display is the Burn or Gain bar. If you are right on to hit the line the bar will be yellow. If you are early, as in this case, the bar will be red.  If your are late to the line, it will be green.

iRegatta has always had the ability to receive NMEA 0183 data through a wireless WiFi connection and display the data.  Now, if you have AIS NMEA data, it can be displayed in iRegatta also. The radar like display shows your position at the center with a line showing your direction of travel. All the other targets are ships with lines showing their direction of travel. Tap on any of the targets to see the ships information.

Closest point of approach can be calculated for each target. Targets within 1 nautical mile will show in red. Tap the list icon in the bottom right to view a list of all target vessels.

All of this new features sound complicated, but after using them a few times they really work and are quite useful. Check out iPolar in combination with iRegatta to give you an edge against the competition.

~~~Sail On ~~~ /)
Mark

3 comments:

  1. Hi Mark
    Have you also noticed the iRegatta screen has improved for visibility in sunlight (the black background is now black not "carbon").
    Also you can now add marks from Google maps (switch between street/satellite).
    Unfortunately, the plethora of options in iRegatta has created an inconsistent UI with different ways of switching between screens and menus that appear in different places.
    This might be fine on a tablet on a large yacht with a crew-member dedicated to drive it, but it makes it very hard to use on a phone on a small boat.
    The popup compass is the most annoying feature - once it appears it seems impossible to get it to go and there is no hint or X to close.
    Tomas really should look to the UI design of other apps for clarity.
    e.g. http://taybenlor.com/2013/05/21/designing-for-ios.html

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  2. Hi Mark
    You may not have noticed that there have been more updates to iRegatta.
    Firstly it now supports Transas Digital charts for creating waypoints and also has a new Race Map View - which overlays the 4 digital readouts on the chart (or map if you haven't subscribed to Transas) showing your route and the laylines.
    Also it now has optional support for SailPlan which will recommend the correct sail for each leg based on the Polar diagram for each sail pairing (e.g. jib, No 1 genoa, No 2 Genoa etc). Weather forecasts are now included from Metoceanview.
    It also now calculates the deviation for your compass and it enables you to either enter a current drift value or it will calculate it automatically if you have NMEA data for speed through water and heading.

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    Replies
    1. Paul,

      Thanks for the heads up about the new features in i-Regatta. I try to keep on all the changes but have not given an update for a while. Appreciate you letting us know about the cool new capabilities.

      Mark

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