a few months ago we got in contact with Nick from PredictWind to try out their newest (and I believe first hardware) product. Being a big fan of their weather forecast software already we were intrigued of course!
The device is called “Data Hub” and its here to solve a number of problems of some of us connected cruisers out there. As the name suggests it’s all about your (sailing-) data. Now we all love our sailing stats, but do you really remember how much exactly is was blowing from which angle when you reached your top speed? With the Data Hub we can now track, record, connect, blog, save and share all the real-time data from our boat while sailing. It connects to our NMEA network and transmits data (AIS, depth, etc) to any device (tablet, phone, laptop) over its own wifi network. It uses its own super accurate GPS and combines it with all our boat data and creates data points (e.g. we set it to every hour) which it stores first internally (when offshore) and then broadcasts it on our Predict Wind tracking page once we connect it either to our phone’s internet or satellite internet.
For a long time, Jessie and I have been talking about how cool it would be if AIS showed us instead of only speed, name, and course also see the current wind speed and wind direction of other boats on the AIS data. Wind forecasts are quite accurate today but often times the weather models cannot foresee wind speeds around land masses. How much does the wind actually increase around the cape or how much is it blowing right now in the anchorage around the corner? The Data Hub solves exactly that problem which CAN be super helpful! If you’ve got a Data Hub on board, you basically become another live weather station for other boats.
Another feature which we really liked is that the Data Hub records all data (including wind speed and direction!) and lets you upload it to your own tracking page (see our’s here: http://sailingadhara.com/tracking). That makes it super easy to go back and see how much the wind was really blowing at the recorded time (no more exaggerated wind speed stories 🙂 ). Also, now you can add Blog entries anytime anywhere without a costly Iridium Contract which we really loved doing on our Atlantic Crossing to let family and friends know how we are and it also served us like a diary of this special time, which we often times go back to and read again.
If you are using weather models for planning your passage you will really like the next one: With the Data Hub you can now create your own Boat polars and later upload them to your weather software (e.g. Predict Wind). Although the feature will only be available by the end of the year, we already recorded some data and are very excited to use it in the prediction models. It makes so much sense because of course the routing software hugely depends on the data about your boat speeds in various conditions.
All in all, we really liked the Data Hub. We installed it only towards the end of our time in the Caribbean so we are super excited to test it even more when we get back in November. Being able to see some weather data live from other boats, creating your own boat polars and transmit all data through its own wifi makes it a very useful addition on board for us.
Here is a summary of all features:
- GPS Tracking
- Transmit Wind Data
- Broadcast GPS Data
- Create Boat Polars
- Log Data
- Remote Support
- Insurance Claims (much easier if you have all the real data available)
- Broadcast AIS Data
Data Hub by Predict Wind: www.predictwind.com/datahub
Predict Wind Online Shop: https://satellite.predictwind.com/shop
Feel free to get in touch with us if you have questions about this product! It’s not a small investment but we believe in the benefits and can give you a quick rundown of it’s features!