Predicted Performance or “Polars”
Polar plots and/or tabular lists of predicted boat performance are often used by racing sailors. These Polars are generated from a set of input parameters capturing the design of, and equipment aboard, a particular boat. A good explanation can be found here, and an example for an Islander 36 is seen here.
Polars are predictions of performance in part based on a priori analysis. They are often used to judge how well a boat is sailing at any given moment by comparing observations displayed on instruments to plotted predictions of optimal performance.
Using Data Captured Over Time
Given observed sensor data, gathered over a long period of time, it seems feasible to compute polars from the observation data using a posteriori analysis. Analyzing historic time stream data from the real world involves separating out significant noise from signal.
Computing polars based on analysis of historic observations is an interesting and ongoing project. The hope is that comparison of momentary observations against real world historic observations will yield insight that couldn’t be gained from abstract models.