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Way back at the beginning of our blog, I wrote a quaint little post discussing how I was using spreadsheets to keep track of all the options and decisions we had to make during the build process of Starry Horizons. (As a side note, it is absolutely stunning to me that we signed the contract for SH over 2 and a half years ago at the Annapolis Boat Show!!!) Well, since that time, I may have a few thousand more miles of ocean sailing experience and know 1,000x times more about boat repair than I did, but you still can’t take the spreadsheet loving financial analyst out of me.
Long passages like this leave you with an abundance of time. Triming the sails only takes so much of that time, especially when the winds are the exact same direction and almost the exact same speed for days on end. So we must find ways to spend the rest of our time. Amy is perhaps the most voracious reader I’ve ever met and has been churning through novel length books in about the same time it’d take me to a read a Clifford the Big Red Dog children’s book.
Rather than compete with her growing stack of completed books (well… they’re all on Kindle, but I always appreciate the visual reference) I decided to let free my inner analyst and build out a spreadsheet model.
Now this isn’t just any old model, this one is about boats, which makes it extra special (and cool if we’re being honest). For our Atlantic Crossing, I built a very basic spreadsheet to keep track of how many miles we sailed each day, calculating our average Speed Over Ground, as well as a way to keep track of how much fuel we were using. On this passage, I’ve taken that spreadsheet and expanded it’s functionality. It can now:
-Calculate ETA’s based on our Current SOG as well as our overall passage Average SOG
-Calculate the Velocity Made Good we must average in order to arrive at a certain point in time
-Take this calculated VMG and use an estimate for hours of motoring/speed motoring to calculate how fast we’d need to sail for the rest of the day in order to average out at that VMG (useful for when the winds are light)
-Calculate our current Fuel Level based on average fuel consumptions of our engines/genset
-Calculate how many hours we can motor/use our generator based on that fuel level
I also went back and consolidated information from prior passages so that we can now compare Passage SOGs, the Average NM sailed each day, the Total NMs of each passage, and the Length of each passage. For those of you who are curious, our fastest passage was from Grenada-Panama at 7.45 knots, our slowest was Maine-Bermuda at 6.22 knots (spent 2 days going extremely slow to arrive during daylight) and our longest passage was the Atlantic Crossing at 4,146nm and 25.65 days.
It certainly isn’t all that pretty to look at (yet) but it is certainly proving quite useful and my inner analyst will be satisfied for a bit longer. Man, I love data.