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Old 22-10-2012, 08:03   #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 22-10-2012, 18:01   #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
The CD Rom version is the same software as the download version - except that the CD Rom version includes a user guide. The software contain a database of historic wind and current patterns for the various months of the year. You can create a speed profile for your vessel based on type of boat, size, polar plots (speed), etc. There are a number of other preferences you can set.

You plot a course and can then optimise the various legs based on a number of preferences. Based on your vessel's criteria, your preferences, relevant month and historic wind/current data, the software will then optimises your route. It is quick and very effective which simply cannot be matched by manual route planning. However, it must be remembered that the optimization is based on historic wind data and not prevailing weather patterns.

In addition to this, there are numerous reports you can print out containg a lot of useful data and detail. The sheer speed of route planning certainly makes this software very worthwhile and based on our usage, I can certainly recommend this software.
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Old 22-10-2012, 21:57   #3
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Re: Visual Passage Planner

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However, it must be remembered that the optimization is based on historic wind data and not prevailing weather patterns.
Exactly.

VPP is useful to give you a likely route, and a ballpark estimate of the passage time and conditions you might see during the trip. You will probably get better planning information from Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes. I can guarantee you that the route you actually sail and the conditions you actually get will be different from the VPP output.

I will admit that VPP is fun to play with. It contains good data from the pilot charts, and is quite convenient to use.
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