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* ''Route'' module respectively allowing route optimization and waypoints management.  
* ''Route'' module respectively allowing route optimization and waypoints management.  
Last news and announcements are posted here [http://www.virtual-winds.org/forum/index.php/topic/6638-qtvlm/#entry180191 qtVlm forum]
Last news and announcements are posted here [http://www.virtual-winds.org/forum/index.php?/topic/7769-qtvlm/ qtVlm forum]
English Discussion Thread on Cruiser's Forum
English Discussion Thread on Cruiser's Forum

Version du 28 août 2017 à 15:09

QtVlm bis.jpg

Project's goals

QtVlm is a routing software for virtual and real sailing boats. QtVlm is used in two modes:

  • Virtual Racing designed to manage and pilot virtual boats from Virtual loup de mer VLM virtual races.
  • Real Boats connected (or not) to a GPS device. A specific and complete documentation for real mode is available here

QtVlm uses boat polar diagrams and grib weather files, and includes

  • Routing module (isochrons method),
  • Route module respectively allowing route optimization and waypoints management.

Last news and announcements are posted here qtVlm forum

English Discussion Thread on Cruiser's Forum qtVlm Free Routing Software

The qtVlm routing software project is located at Sourceforge. The most current version is 3.3-5 date Dec 9, 2012. See installation notes below for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Companion Opensource Navigation Software - OpenCpn

  • OpenCpn
  • OpenCpn Forum
  • Note that qtVlm routes can be exported and copied back and forth from OpenCpn. See thread [1]
  • Weather Routing with OpenCpn and qtVlm [2]
  • Grib Weather description in OpenCpn plugin documentation [3]


Windows Installation

  • Download last stable release qtVlm and launch application.
  • The installer will ask your choice, if you do not know, you can keep the default settings.
  • For maps you must select 'download maps' if you do not have them, or wait until the first execution of the program will ask you to download the maps or to specify the folder where they are if you have already.
  • After installing, you can launch qtVlm user interface with all functions. Default language is French when starting, language can be modified to english on options menu.
  • A message will be displayed at application start up if a new release is available.

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Macintosh Installation

  • Download the last release Macos
  • Copy the dmg content somewhere, and you can start using qtVlm from there. Do not run qtVlm directly from the dmg, it won't work because the dmg is readonly.
  • For OS X Snow Leopard (64 bits), Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks, download 64 bits release : qtvlm_app-3.4.4-patch1
  • For OS X Snow Leopard (32 bits) and Leopard, download 32 bits release : qtvlm_app-3.3.5-32bits
  • Unzip it where you want. The maps will be downloaded if necessary.

  • qtVlm previous release are here: MacOS

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Linux Installation

Download here http://sourceforge.net/projects/qtvlm/files/Linux%20package/ Uncompress the file somewhere, and start qtVlm from there.

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zyGrib POIs

You can eventually import zyGrib POIs into qtVlm.

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Main Functions

  • qtVlm is a Grib Viewer (qtVlm is derived from zyGrib) and a routing software
  • Download and load grib files from VLM (5 days), zyGrib (1 to 8 days) or SailDocs (1 to 16 days). QtVlm accepts many other grib sources.
  • Display meteo faxes
  • Two Modes: Virtual Race Mode: Configure VLM player account and boats, or Real Boat Management Mode: Define a real boat connected or not to a GPS
  • Send GPS trace to a port, for other applications (Google Earth, routing software, ...)
  • Define routes (succession of waypoints) with many options (route from boat or from a fix point, starting time, navigation mode, coast collision, etc)
  • Calculate where you will be after a given time in several mode (fix TWA, fix heading, etc)
  • Move POIs and WPs (shift-click)
  • Create a routing and then convert it to a Route.
  • Display or not a Compass and the boat's polar on the map, with various options
  • Display/Hide various object on the map
  • Save 4 map positions/zooms via ctrl+F9/F12 et restore them via F9/12
  • and a lot more....

In case you use qtVlm to manage VLM virtual races, you can:

  • Visualize all your boats on the map
  • Send orders to the selected boat
  • Manage auto pilot VLM Autopilot management
  • Define your VLM current WP with a simple click My WP
  • QtVlm will import and display automatically gates and race's WPs from VLM
  • Etc...

  • In order to preserve VLM servers, the refresh of the boat's position is not automatic, you need to press <VLM sync> or <F5> to update your VLM's position.

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Quick start up

  • First install the program
  • If you want to use qtVlm with VLM (Virtual Loop du Mer) Virtual Racing, you need to:
  • In the toolbar select the boat you want to send order to (14) on qtVlm toolbar
  • You then need to load a Grib file from the Grib menu. To start with something select VLM grib. After download the grib is displayed. In the toolbar you can click on the arrows (7) and (9) on qtVlm toolbar to change the date/time displayed.
  • Create a route with menu Routes>Create a route (more help)
  • Create 2 waypoints (POIs) by right-clicking somewhere on the map, call them POI_1 and POI_2 for instance. In the dialog assign them to the route you just created. (more help)
  • By default intermediary POIs are not displayed. You can change this behavior in the route's options.
  • The route takes WPs in alphabetical order, so it will first go from you boat to POI_1 and then from POI_1 to POI_2. If the option "Detect Coast Collision" is activated, the route will change color if crossing coasts.
  • You can then for instance move the last POI with <shift-click> and see the date of arrival (ETA) being recalculated.
  • To start, setup the boat in VBVMG mode (VBVMG button on the boat's panel more help) to the first WP (POI_1) (Right click on it and select "mark->WP VLM")
  • This intermediary POI can be moved with <shift-click/drag> (more help).
  • You can also automatically optimize the POI position on the route (right-click, menu "Optimize").
  • QtVlm also has a routing module, available in the menu 'Routing->Create a routing' (more help)

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qtVlm interface

Main qtVlm components are visible in this image:


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List of English Pages

Two Modes




Moving Around

Gribs, Weather and Weather tools

Marks, POI, Waypoints, Routes



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Grib files '*.grb'

VLM gribs (5 days)

Can be downloaded directly from qtVlm toolbar

All world coverage

Updated 4 times a day

Reference time : 00h, 06h, 12h, 18h UTC

Files are available around 4h20 later, i.e. 04h20, 10h20, 16h20, 22h20 UTC (depends also on NOAA availability)

An interim file is available 35mn before, containing only 12h of forecast.

Zygrib grib files (up to 8 days)

Can be downloaded directly from qtVlm toolbar

before you can download such a grib file, you must first select a zone on the map.

Updated 4 times a day

Reference time : 00h, 06h, 12h, 18h UTC

Files are available around 5h05 later, i.e. 05h05, 11h05, 17h05, 23h05 UTC

UGrib grib files (up to 7 days)

Available here: grib.us

You must register and give an email address. Free.

4 mises à jour / jour

Updated 4 times a day

Reference time : 00h, 06h, 12h, 18h UTC

Files are available around 5h25 later, i.e. 05h25, 11h25, 17h25, 23h25 UTC

These files can be slightly different from the ones from VLM

== Saildocs grib files

(up to 16 days) ==

Avalaible through email (free of charge). Make sure that your email will not considerer this as spam.

To receive a sailDocs grib file:

  • Select a zone on the map in qtVlm
  • Click on the sailDocs icon (or Grib File->Download from SailDocs)
  • If you have selected a client-mail software in the option, qtVlm will generate the message and you just have to send it. Otherwise:
  • Select the text in the text box containing the query and copy in the clipboaard (CTRL-C)
  • Open your mail software
  • Create a new message to 'query@saildocs.com'
  • Give it a subject (can be whatever you want, but cannot be empty)
  • Paste the query in the message's body
  • Send the mail

All informations on the request syntax are here: saildocs.com

Other sites

Voir: Wiki-VLM

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FAQ, Bugs and Features


qtVlm forum (don't hesitate to post in English). Registration is compulsory and free.

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