Thanks to Jak Mang – who has an interesting electronics project of his own in the very early stages – for pointing this out. In this app, modifiable, generic polars are available to match your boat and theoretically help you sail at your optimum VMG. It seems as if the movement of high tech sailing apps from dedicated boxes to inexpensive software on widely available phones, tablets and computers will be one of the big stories of the next several years.
In our world of tablets and Smart phones, the likeliness that there will be one on board next time you sail is close to certainty! On these devices, charting, weather forecast and routing applications are now available offering useful information to cruising and racing sailors. Using such tools the cruise can be made faster and more pleasurable, avoiding as much as possible dead calms as well as storms.
Unfortunately, a small piece of information is often missing, blocking the whole process: most sailors do not know precisely their yacht’s polar. A polar is a table describing the boat speed as a function of wind conditions (usually True Wind Angle and True Wind Speed). This is a mandatory input in order to run a routing application, in conjunction with a route plan (waypoints) and a wind forecast grib file.
“The generation within a few seconds of routing polars for production yachts is a challenge that Olivier Bouyssou asked us to address. Olivier is the father of the routing software Weather4D Pro, and was looking for reliable routing polars for his users. One has to understand that in the frame of our usual development and optimization of high level racing yachts, such a question requires 1 to 2 days of work and comes with a price tag fairly different from an iPad App…” says Dimitri Nicolopoulos, one of the three KND-SailingPerformance founders. “We sat down to discuss it, liked the idea, and decided to apply our expertise to the development of a solution. Olivier Bouyssou’s support for the user interface development allowed us to speed up iPolar development and for an official release beginning of December during the Paris Boat Show.” adds Cyrille Douillet, co-founder of the company.