Yep Mark, your 100% right! No Drift mode is pretty cool as well, but I was trying to keep the article pretty short and basic!
No Drift mode is a bit like Nav mode, in that it allows for set and drift, but it makes the boat
follow a bearing made good, not a course to a destination
. It means, for example, that you can point the bow at a destination
, set no drift mode, and where you pointed is where you will get to. BUT no arrival alarm
etc, it's just a bearing effectively over the ground you are following....
Wind mode from different brand and models, to sail you to a set wind angle, as you guys said, has been around for ages. It's usefulness varies - for example, on the Simrad
AP26 it was pretty elementary. On the AP 24/28, it's pretty good. Like most things, most manufacturers have improved their systems over time.
And again, like Mark said, KEEP A LOOKOUT AT ALL TIMES!
I'd defy any helmsman to steer as good a course on a long passage
across a current
(know as a ferry
glide) as a good modern autopilot can with the right inputs! I know some of you will think you can, but the autopilot does not need rest, has 100% concentration etc etc. Just my opinion, of course. :-)