Click on this button to subscribe to a feed for updates to any of the programs described below.
Using MS Excel Onboard
Ever since I brought my first PC computer on board, I have found the MS Excel one of the most useful of the standard software products on the computer.  I've used Excel to maintain lists (food and supplies), forms (logs, crew lists, sight reductions) and perform many other functions.  Eventually I started to use the computational capability in Excel to automate a few navigation functions.  Initially it was to perform the arithmetic required on a celestial navigation sight reduction form, then maintain a DR position from the Ships Log.  As the computations grew more complex they exceeded what could practically be accomplished with the standard Excel functions. 
So I learned Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and created my own set of functions.  The result to date are the following Excel applications.  Please note that none of these VBA applications will run with the 64-bit version of Excel.  They require the 32-bit version, which is the default installation option, and the version recommended by Microsoft.  The 64-bit installation option was instroduced with Office 2010.
  1. OffShoreNavigationVBA.  This is an integrated VBA application for many navigation calculations including celestial navigation and a Ships Log. 
  2. BoatRecords.  This is an integrated VBA application I use to maintain an inventory of everything I store onboard as well as a log of maintenance functions performed.
  3. GPXConvertVBA.  This VBA program converts the waypoints, routes and tracks in a GPX file to either a Raymarine Waypoint Transfer Utility Excel workbook or to a Comma-Separated (CSV) text file.  I principally use this program to transfer route waypoints from OpenCPN to my Raymarine C-120 MFD.
  4. Winlink Log v1.3.  This template creates a log workbook for connections to Winlink.  In addition to providing a place to record these connections the workbook calculates the connect time for each PMBO to provide an indication of any connect time issues.  It also records a connection bandwidth value (very rough) to provide some indication of which PMBOs may provide a better connection for a given position and time.
  5. SailMail Log v2.1.  Similar to the Winlink Log, this workbook provides a place to record SailMail connections and it keeps track of connect time to that system.
  6. Ship Weather Reports v1.4.  This template creates a workbook in which ship weather reports received from SailDocs can be parsed and sorted to identify those ships (if any) that are close to your vessel position.  There are a number of steps required to use this template so I've added a page of instructions on the use of the Ship Weather Report workbook.
  7. SOB PastTracks.  Software On Board (SOB) is a PC-based chart plotting package that I have used in much of my electronic navigation.  SOB generates tracking files that capture most of the ship data (course, speed, depth, wind, etc.) at small increments.  I wanted to use these  files for analysis of some passages made on Sarah, but I found Excel could not process the data as created by SOB.  So I wrote another VBA application to convert these files into Excel-friendly data.  I use this program to create Excel workbooks in which I can present the data graphically, such as on this website page.
    This program was developed for an older version of SOB.  The tracking logs generated by more recent versions of SOB can be parsed into an Excel worksheet without the use of this program.
  8. BoatProvision.  This application can be used to develop a provisioning list for a passage based on the passage parameters, a menu plan, and a set of recipes. 
  9.  Waypoint Management.  I use a mix of chart plotting system to navigate Sarah.  I've created  a set of Excel workbooks and a VBA program to manage those worbooks to help me use a common set of waypoints for each of these disparate systems.
    This is a very limited program, and probably not of much use to others.  I developed this program while anchored in Great Sale Cay waiting for an easterly gale to subside.  It was a quick and dirty way to create a single copy of the numersous waypoints in my Bahamas Cruising Guides (Dodge, Pavlidus, and Explorer) for the three chart plotting packages I was using at the time (SOB, Fugawi and Raymarine C-120).  I plan to develop a completely different Waypoint Management package using GPX files and integrating it with the GPXConvertVBA program.