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Old 22-10-2012, 07:58   #1
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Visual Passage Planner

Hello... Does anyone have any experience of using the Visual Passage Planner CD Rom ? The one that contains NGA pilot charts etc. Is it a useful tool for offshore routing. I already have paper pilot charts but wondered if this product would really give me any more information than I already have. Thank you for your views. Smooth Sailing.
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:09   #2
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Originally Posted by Ainsley View Post
Hello... Does anyone have any experience of using the Visual Passage Planner CD Rom ? The one that contains NGA pilot charts etc. Is it a useful tool for offshore routing. I already have paper pilot charts but wondered if this product would really give me any more information than I already have. Thank you for your views. Smooth Sailing.
Yes. Yes.

It's a great tool.

Note that weather patterns have changed and the statistics that go back two centuries or more may be weighted to days that don't reflect what you will see.

Jimmy Cornell has recently published a world-wide version of pilot charts based on only the last twenty years. He/his son is working on an automated version like unto VPP. No date announced for release.
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Old 23-10-2012, 17:20   #3
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

I like it also, in particular I like how it breaks the summary by leg into: Beating (Apparent wind 0 to 45); Tight Reaching (Apparent wind 45 to 112.5); Broad Reaching (Apparent wind 112.6 to 157.5); and Running (Apparent wind157.6 to 180) with % likelihood of each and average wind speeds for each group.

It essentially summarizes what you'd see in a pilot chart in a way that's mentally easily applicable to route planning and timing. You can input your polars and predict based on the combination of the polars and the wind %/direction a guess of how long a passage might take.
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Old 23-10-2012, 18:44   #4
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

I used ver 1 and now we have ver 2. The newer version is better (or to say it accurately: it has more usable wx toys).

It is a very decent tool that speeds up work with Pilot Charts immensely.

The downside is it does not calculate passages over end-of-the-month boundary - the workaround is make two voyages and have the software calculate them for the respective months.

You will need to input your polar data to get predictions for your specific boat.

Recommended.

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Old 24-10-2012, 05:58   #5
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
The downside is it does not calculate passages over end-of-the-month boundary - the workaround is make two voyages and have the software calculate them for the respective months.
Another alternative would be to make one voyage consisting of 2 legs. The first leg to be optimized in month A and the second leg to be optimized in leg B.
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Old 24-10-2012, 06:31   #6
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Another alternative would be to make one voyage consisting of 2 legs. The first leg to be optimized in month A and the second leg to be optimized in leg B.
Negative. If I remember correctly, it is the whole voyage (no matter how many legs) gets interpreted in one go.

So the algorithm is make a two-legged (or more legs - as you wish) passage, then get it interpreted twice - once for each month. Then use half of each outcome.

;-)

Still great software and I hope we will see a ver. 3 one day soon!

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Old 25-10-2012, 09:44   #7
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Negative. If I remember correctly, it is the whole voyage (no matter how many legs) gets interpreted in one go.

So the algorithm is make a two-legged (or more legs - as you wish) passage, then get it interpreted twice - once for each month. Then use half of each outcome.

;-)

Still great software and I hope we will see a ver. 3 one day soon!

b.
Yes, you can.
Here is how you do it.

1. Create a 2 waypoint passage between departure and destination points.
2. Select your month of departure, set your parameters and optimise the passage.
3. Click the "Show/Hide Noon positions" icon.
4. On the opitimized route, count the days until you reach the end of the month - note your position.
5. Once you noted you position as above - you can now close this passage.
6. Now create a new route consisting of 3 waypoints. The 2 nd waypoint more or less at the location you noted.
7. Right click on the 1st waypoint and select "Optimize Following Leg". Click "OK".
8. Now select the following month, right click the 2 nd waypoint (as per 5 above) and select "Optimise Following Leg". Click "OK".

Job done!
See images below;











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Old 25-10-2012, 12:13   #8
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

+1!

Very neat way to achieve the goal!

THX for sharing!

b.
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Old 25-10-2012, 13:15   #9
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

Has anyone actually put this to any kind of do cemented test offshore? I find offshore the weather does whatever it wants, usually trades are good, elsewhere who knows. Personally I've gone towards making no passage plan at all for long offshore passages, point in the general direction, keep an eye on the weatherfaxes and keep the boat happy rather than trying to keep to some predefined route. Even subconsciously if that line is drawn on the chart you'll try to stick to it.

All seems too much like trying to make the world behave as you think it should rather than as it really is day by day.
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Old 25-10-2012, 15:32   #10
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Has anyone actually put this to any kind of do cemented test offshore? I find offshore the weather does whatever it wants, usually trades are good, elsewhere who knows. Personally I've gone towards making no passage plan at all for long offshore passages, point in the general direction, keep an eye on the weatherfaxes and keep the boat happy rather than trying to keep to some predefined route. Even subconsciously if that line is drawn on the chart you'll try to stick to it.

All seems too much like trying to make the world behave as you think it should rather than as it really is day by day.
???

But, Mate, this is statistics. It is not what is blowing, it is: how often, how strong and from where(s) it had been blowing in a specific period when the data got collected.

Offshore, you want a wefax, a grib download and a wx routing software. VPP is good for the planning stage (like say, do not sail from Martinique to Cabo Verde, unless via the Azores).

Otherwise, the data is bang on and much as the conditions in any specific year may actually fall outside of the range, in any 10 years you are likely to encounter pretty much what the software says you should. Unless there is a climate change, but I noticed none.

So to say, I am not clear why anybody would like to stick to a VPP calculated route, much as I understand why most sailors will try not to sail over routes that the VPP says should not be sailed.

Actually, even when our grib analysis says sail South, I will, in a puff, bear off, then head up in the lulls. I will use the calculations to position my ship where we believe conditions are, or will be, best; but in doing so we will sail just as if it was a daysail in a fine swift cruiser - listening to the wind and using its energy, not fighting it.

So to say, make a voyage plan with the VPP, then use fax, gribs and routening software to plan today and tomorrow's tactics, then sail the boat as per the conditions dictate.

Otherwise, sailing any sensible route is just as good. Finding out which one is sensible is what VPP helps you out with.

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Old 29-10-2012, 17:30   #11
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Originally Posted by MooseMoney View Post
Yes, you can.
Here is how you do it.

...........

.
Visual Passage Planner 2 (VPP2) has the built in capability of switching the Pilot Chart data from month to month as you progress through a passage. All you have to do is assign a departure date/time to the first waypoint, and VPP2 does the rest. You can assign departure date/times or 'delay' times (e.g. I want to spend two weeks at a particular waypoint/port) to any or all of you waypoints from the Waypoint Edit screen (F2 or 'Edit' -> 'Waypoint List' from the menus).

I hope this helps!

Robert Gehrsitz
Digital Wave
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Old 29-10-2012, 18:20   #12
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Originally Posted by rgehrsitz View Post
Visual Passage Planner 2 (VPP2) has the built in capability of switching the Pilot Chart data from month to month as you progress through a passage. All you have to do is assign a departure date/time to the first waypoint, and VPP2 does the rest. You can assign departure date/times or 'delay' times (e.g. I want to spend two weeks at a particular waypoint/port) to any or all of you waypoints from the Waypoint Edit screen (F2 or 'Edit' -> 'Waypoint List' from the menus).

I hope this helps!

Robert Gehrsitz
Digital Wave
Robert,

Any chance there is a VPP 3 in the pipeline?

barnakiel
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Old 30-10-2012, 03:22   #13
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Originally Posted by rgehrsitz View Post
Visual Passage Planner 2 (VPP2) has the built in capability of switching the Pilot Chart data from month to month as you progress through a passage. All you have to do is assign a departure date/time to the first waypoint, and VPP2 does the rest. You can assign departure date/times or 'delay' times (e.g. I want to spend two weeks at a particular waypoint/port) to any or all of you waypoints from the Waypoint Edit screen (F2 or 'Edit' -> 'Waypoint List' from the menus).

I hope this helps!

Robert Gehrsitz
Digital Wave
Much neater than my procedure! Great software!
Also looking forward to the next version.
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Old 30-10-2012, 08:04   #14
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

VPP2 is a great program. I have been using it for years. I wish I had it for my circumnavigation, it would have made planning far easier. I am trying to convince Digital Wave
To come out with a Mac version. I now have to install Fusion on my Mac so I can run Windows XP,
so I can use VPP2. Do you hear me Robert?
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Old 31-10-2012, 20:41   #15
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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Robert,

Any chance there is a VPP 3 in the pipeline?

barnakiel
Version 3 of Visual Passage Planner (VPP3) is in the works now, but most likely won't be available until sometime next summer. There is a long laundry list of new features, and some of them are taking longer to implement than first planned.

Regards,

Robert Gehrsitz
Digital Wave
robertg@digwave.com
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