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A tide and current predictor when cruising in unfamiliar waters


What is the issue?
When crossing oceans and seas to new sailing destinations it is not easy to have arrival tidal data. Typically boats acquire local tidal data after landing.

Why address this?
Tidal data can be essential for planning passages in areas with strong tidal driven currents. In certain areas, you may find you are going backwards if the time of a pivotal final entry leg is against the current. Some destination ports may be tidal and require entry to be scheduled to benefit from high water.

How to address this?
Fortunately, there is a free offline worldwide tide and current prediction software available for Microsoft Windows where it is possible to get this information at no cost. The application is called WXTide32 and it predicts worldwide tides for more than 9,500 designated coastal locations through to 2037.

The program is self-contained and relatively tiny requiring less than 10 Mb of disk space from your personal computer. The application is straightforward and simple to use but does include context-sensitive help plus extensive options to customize the content, display and presentation of data.

WXTide32 graphical tide view for port
Photo: Michael Harpur

Predictions are clear and concise and can be displayed graphically, as with Dover above, or in any of several text formats, as below, including daily tide lists and monthly tide calendars.

WXTide32 text tide list
Photo: Michael Harpur

Full details of WXTide32 are available on its home page External link where it can be downloaded for free.

Because the software is made available under the GNU General Public License, as published by the Free Software Foundation, the source code can be modified and redistributed as long as it also provided for free. Hence it is available on many smartphones and tablets through tailored applications such as DGS Tides External link and many more.

Trial the product and determine the level of working accuracy for yourself before depending upon it as there are no warranties available with this program. However general user feedback indicates that it is just as good as any available chargeable applications.

WXTide32 is based on the UNIX program XTide version 1.6.2 written by Dave Flater. We would like to take this opportunity to extend a thank you to all the developers involved in WXTide and its extended products for contributing to these applications without charge and making it freely available to the sailing community.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

XTide Overview

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Add your review or comment:

Daria Blackwell wrote this review on Nov 24th 2014:
Are you going to create a smartphone app?

Average Rating: *****

Michael Harpur wrote this review on Jan 5th 2018:
Hi Daria,
I would not be surprised to see something like that appear in the near future ;-)

Average Rating: Unrated

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