Tag Archives: sailing

OpenCPN, a free open-source navigation software, alternative to MaxSea

We are very happy to see that the great open source software OpenCPN is releasing a new version, 3.2. in May 8th 2013. This is a great alternative to MaxSea, Navi Sailor, etc.

In this version we find a lot of improvements for AIS support. Please see the list below.

OpenCPN a free open-source sofware for PC, Mac and Linux

OpenCPN a free open-source sofware for PC, Mac and Linux


  • BSBv3 raster and S57 ENC chart support.
  • CM93 vector chart support, with per cell offset corrections.
  • IHO S52 compliant display of S57 vector charts.
  • “BSB4″ and “nv-chart” support through plugins.
  • Single-chart and Quilted display modes.
  • North-up, Course-up and Chart-up display modes.
  • Moving-map display mode.
  • Route navigation with ship tracking functions.
  • Waypoint navigation.
  • Dashboard for configurable on-screen display of ship’s NMEA data.
  • NMEA 0183 GPS interface at selectable baud rate.
  • OpenGL support for enhanced performance on modern hardware.
  • Advance NMEA message handling structure, with built in multiplexer.
  • Autopilot output support.
  • AIS input with full target tracking and collision alerting.
  • AIS support for SART, DSC and GPSGate Buddies.
  • Anchor watch/alarm functions.
  • GRIB file input and display for weather forecasting.
  • GPX Waypoint, Track and Route input and output file support.
  • Tide and Current prediction and display by location.
  • Route planning with tidal support.
  • Builtin great-circle routing.
  • Integrated weather routing through qtVlm.
  • GPX Layers for annotation of charts.
  • A selection of display themes.
  • A growing number of plugins. Google Earth, World Magnetic Variation, Voyage Data Recorder, AIS -radar, SAR and a LogBook.
  • Multi-language support. 20+ languages supported.


  • Windows XP, Vista and 7
  • Linux, BSD, Solaris
  • Macintosh OSX

More information: http://opencpn.org/ocpn/


We want to recommend our readers interested in learning about new radiocommunication technologies and/or meteorology to get in touch with Capiclub, web about boating education developed by experts with many years of experience at sea.

Besides you can get in touch with them to take real practical sailing classes. Nothing like the typical classes that only let you get the permission.

With Capiclub you will really learn!!

Korea 2002

Some of the readers in our blog will wonder what are we doing writing about Korea 2002, especially if we explain that we mean 2002′s football’s world championship.

But there is a good reason, and it is that Koke Contreras, former goalkeeper in several 1st division teams, has decided to say hello to one of the referees that kicked us out of the championship, citizen of Trinidad&Tobago.

And he has decided that the best way to do is by crossing the Atlantic in his sailing boat. We will be tracking it on his way. We thought it is a very fun idea.

Koke has written about the history in Marca, Spain’s most visited sports newspaper. Track him here.

Gran Prix II

The Gran Prix regatta has finally started later than expected due to meteo conditions, but finally became a success as expected; with 13 participants we have an average of 1500 visits per day and dozens of people have signed up for the satellite messaging service.

We are especially proud of the grib web-based visual application. In the regatta it lets you visualize the forecasted wind in the next 3 hours.

We hope to improve the wind app in the next few weeks so that all forecasted times by the grib data can be visualized in the application.


In Atlantic we are very glad that we’ve been selected once again to track the boats in the 2010 edition of the Gran Prix regatta.

Motivated by the success in the former edition, we will be introducing a few improvements in order to add more participative and safety related features to the tracking webpage.

Among them we’ll introduce our Iridium messaging twitter service. Please sign up here and visit our page here to know more.

Gran Prix 2010

Tracking in your blog

Some of our customers of the satellite tracking service have included a tracking map in their blogs or sites, to share their real time tracks with friends and family, so that they can be followed along their trips.

We’ll update some more very soon. You can visit some of these sites and blogs here:




MicroTransat equipped with AIS

This year in the Boat Show in Barcelona we have discovered that there will be a Spanish participant for the 2009 MicroTransat

edition. This transoceanic race only allows unmanned vessels, completely automatic. They will cover 4.000 miles from Europe to the Caribbean.

The design parameters of the boats are open, and there are only three limitations:

- No longer than 4 meters
- Energetically autonomous

- It cannot receive remote instructions

In order to avoid collision at sea, the boats are equipped with an AIS class B transponder. Additionally, for it’s remote tracking they have a satellite transponder.

There is a project in Barcelona, led by ESDi (Escola Superior de Disseny) and the German company Rücker.

We will keep you posted with the evolution of this unique project.

Another dream coming true


Some people spend their lives saying what they would love to do, and some others just, DO IT.

That’s why we are really happy to tell you about Jose & Virgi, a couple from Mataró (Barcelona) that is just about to end the preparation of their boat, Caps III, for a several years long journey with no fixed heading nor predetermined destination.

They have installed our satellite tracking transponder, and you’ll be able to follow their route in this page.

We really hope they are going to be very happy in this new and fascinating stage of their lives :)

AIS in the Volvo Ocean Race

We are very proud to announce that our AIS products from True Heading will be the official AIS equipment for all the boats participating in the Volvo Ocean Race.

The equipment consists of one of our AIS-CTRX transponders, with one of our class B VHF Splitters, in each of the boats. The splitter has been specially acknowledged to be essential to improve the coverage and to ease notably the installation process.

AIS will give a new dimension to yacht racing, since participants will have the chance to follow competitors in real time when in VHF coverage, and it helps them comply with the requirements of some of the ports they will be visiting, such as Singapore, since AIS is compulsory equipment for boats of that size in those harbours.

Besides, fans of the regatta will be able to track boats in real time when passing through coastal waters. You’ll be able to track the first 400NM in our AIS traffic maritime web page.

Volvo Ocean Race

We have been pleased to see that the Volvo Ocean Race boats are fully equipped with the latest technology. This year they incorporate the satellite antennas from Thrane&Thrane, branded Sailor. No doubt these are superb pieces of technology. We have installed several already and they are tremendously robust. Now they will be used to broadcast all the evolution of the race.

We are also pleased to see the wide adoption of True Heading AIS transponder. Shortly we hope to receive the correspondent MMSIs of these vessels so we can follow them along the coast.

In any case, their official site will provide plenty of data. We expect to see soon the latitude and longitude and also include it in our maps.