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What it does

TidePlan2 is a Windows graphical passage planner for the English Channel and the Thames and Severn estuaries. The aim is to provide a convenient, quick and easy calculation of the heading required to reach the destination in the shortest time.

 

How it works

The program uses tidal flow mapping and tide time and height tables to calculate the vectors acting on a vessel as it progresses from the departure point of its passage. The heading is incrementally changed and the course re-calculated until a solution is found that passes through the arrival point. A final run of the process then builds a table of track points.

Multileg passages can be calculated and the arrival time, rather than the departure time, can be specified.

 

Available features

Departure and destination points and intermediate “via” points may be entered manually by clicking on the TidePlan2 chart, or by selecting from a list of user defined waypoints. If your GPS receiver is connected to a serial port on your PC, or is available through the GpsGate program, it can be used to set your current position and time as the starting point. There is a facility for importing the departure point and/or destination point from the OziExplorer chart program, if this is installed on the PC.

Once a route has been calculated there is a facility for optimisation of the start time. This will find the start time, within 6 hours of the initial start time, that produces the fastest passage. The recalculated route is then displayed.

The list of trackpoints produced by the program can be viewed, printed, saved and exported to the OziExplorer program, the OpenCPN program, the SeaClear II program or to your GPS receiver. They can also be exported in formats suitable for  the G7ToWin and Waypoint+ GPS management programs.

Waypoints can be created, imported, edited and used to define passage start, end and “via” points. Waypoints already defined in previous annual versions of TidePlan2 will be imported. The display of waypoints can be toggled off and on.

 

Disclaimers  

  • Importing the departure point from your GPS is dependant on a satisfactory connection between the NMEA output from the GPS and a serial port on the PC or by using the GpsGate program.
  • The export of trackpoints as waypoints  to GPS is dependant on the above and on the ability of the GPS to receive the standard NMEA "WPL" message. Check this with the GPS manufacturer's specification.
  • This program should only be used as an aid to navigation and does not obviate the need for good seamanship practices.