V4 & P+ #3, live tides & currents


Doh! There’s a pall of embarrassment hanging over Panbo HQ today. When I first reviewed the new Raymarine software and Platinum+ charts, I complained that I couldn’t see the live tide and current icons that were an announced feature. None appeared after the “real” reset either, and so I complained to Raymarine. Well, gosh, they were right under my nose: select any regular tide or current icon on a chart, hit OK, and—ta! ta!—there’s a new “Animate” soft key choice. Which gets you to the very able screen above, full size here. Every station in view animates either automatically or step-by-step at an interval you choose, and you can zoom and pan at will. Nice! (By the way, I used the Fish’N Chip chart here because it seemed cleaner-looking at this zoom level, interesting data too.)

So my mistake was to presume that Raymarine would create live tide and current icons like Lowrance’s, which just appear when you zoom in enough on Navionics or NauticPath charts. But Ray doesn’t do it that way; when you want to view tide/current animations, that’s what you do, and when you’re done, they go away. Which is fine. Um, obviously I didn’t look at the new manual, or even the tide/current soft key bar. Sorry Ray!
   But I’m incorrigible, and I did find something more to gas about. I’m talking about those near 50’ foot high tides predicted for Rockland and North Haven late tonight. If they actually occur, I’ll have refugees in my neighborhood and the phenomenon will be international news! All the other tides shown are fine, I think, but there’s something really screwy with those two stations. I tried various fixes, including another master reset, but they’re always off, though not always by the same amount. I’m not sure yet if there are more weird predictions on this New England card or any other card. I’m also not sure how data and math chores are divvied up between Navionics and Raymarine. But I’m pretty sure I didn’t dream this problem up!

PS 5/27: Navionics tells me that it has identified and fixed the tide prediction problem, and is sending a corrected card.


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

2 Responses

  1. DefJef says:

    I think the tide information should be on all the time(but you can turn them off), be more subtle than big green arrows and perhaps more dense… like some GRIB charts and perhaps animated a bit. This may be asking a lot. If you cursor over to a tide “arrow” and hit enter it should tell you the predicted current. The length of the area has no intrinsic meaning.
    I would also like to have the software show you where you will be in the future if you maintain present course.
    If I am not mistaken, the GPS devices which calculate time of arrival do not account for the changing current and produce a TTG or time of arrival assuming the present SOG and COG.
    This sort of information is handy, for example when sailing up or down the length of Long Island Sound for example where you might want to figure out where you can anchor for the night etc.
    I would think that these machines have the processing power to do this type of predictions with tide info included.

  2. ibsailn says:

    That sort of TTG including tidal streams is done by routing programs such as Expedition or MaxSea (as well as routing for wind speed and direction). Obviously this is doing far more than just correcting for tidal streams, but it does take quite a bit of computing power (30 seconds or more on my laptop depending on the settings I choose).

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