Problem Solving

Off-Road Distance Calculator

By Daniel Jones • 13th July 2022


The Problem

Calculating distance and fuel consumption when there are no roads

It’s easy to think that practicalities like fuel costs aren’t a major concern to anyone who can afford to charter a luxury yacht: but the reality is very different. An average 70m luxury yacht burns an enormous 600 litres of diesel an hour - even at a modest speed. This means that fuel costs are a major factor when charter customers are making their booking decisions.

Confident customers are converting customers, so when we were asked to build a website for a luxury yacht charter company including a fuel cost estimator - we knew exactly what to do.


Luxury Yacht Sales & Charter, International  (via partner agency)


Full website build including distance calculator and CMS for sales

Technology employed:

  • Alpine JS
  • Google Maps

Specific challenges

  • Uncertain routes: users needed to be able to plot their own course - rather than simply entering a destination - as routes and stops could vary.

  • The earth is round: we know - shock, right? With the distances yachts travel, we needed to take into account the curvature of the earth when calculating distances.

The solution

Google maps is a great starting point for any challenge involving maps and routes; however, their API doesn’t offer the flexibility needed to meet this client’s requirements. By combining Google maps with our own layer of functionality we were able to deliver exceptional and tailored functionality, without “reinventing the wheel” of mapping. 

The first step was to tie our first-class code with an intuitive point and click route creation. As a result, we could give users the option to plan any route between any number of ports. Additional logic behind the scenes would then update the distance calculations as users added in their route and filled it all into a calculator widget alongside the map. We even added time estimates, giving the customer confidence that the route they planned was suitable for their length of charter. 

The end result was then displayed using a custom skin, giving the finished tool a bespoke and professional feel in line with the client’s brand.

Broader uses

This particular solution was built for a yacht charter company, but the approach has application wherever distance calculation is needed - particularly when it’s off-road. We could see a feature similar to this being great for:

  • Route planning for off-road sports for community or even websites

  • Flight distance and fuel calculations for flight charter companies and light aircraft pilots

1994 builds smarter websites that better support your business. Contact us today and tell us more about your business challenges.