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Old 05-09-2004, 15:14   #1
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Trip Planning and Routing Software / Tools

I'm a lake sailor ready to move to the coast (Charleston SC). What is the best tool for trip/route planning? Is there a "AAA" type source for cruise planning? I haven't investigated either chart books or software (Cap'n, etc.) and would think someone has come up with a preprogrammed list of waypoints for various trips. Also would be interested in looking at routes others had taken with an idea of how long each leg would be. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-09-2004, 22:43   #2
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Personally I don't think you can beat a paper chart for learning an area - to include chart books. Once you have seen what the area looks like and get a feel for it you are OK to use one of the electronic plotters, but if you are any good with paper charts you can save yourself a bunch of money and just stick with paper and a hgood hand-held GPS - not to mention not worrying about the power going down!
So far as a water-going "AAA" - ummmm, never heard of one ...
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Old 06-09-2004, 05:43   #3
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As far as AAA type planners, I think whay you need are "Cruising Guides" these detail places to go and things to see as well as identify marinas and other along the way stop overs for fuel and supplies. They make them for many areas around the world but usually written by different people.

I would spend time with the guides and charts in your hoem area. It's nice to see how things you know on land appear on a paper chart. You want to get comfortable with reading them and understanding all the little pieces of info they contain.
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Old 06-09-2004, 15:59   #4
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Take a look at the cruisers website below, it has a lot of charts and cruising books for the world. It also has a lot of information on worldwide weather, tides, storms etc. and loads of other information for the blue water cruiser. If you spend some time exploring all this information it should help with some of your questions.

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Old 30-05-2010, 06:32   #5
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I have a program for you. Saling plan. Where do you want me to send it?
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Old 30-05-2010, 06:49   #6
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The AAA for cruisers is really forum sites like this and others dedicated to cruisers like Otherwise download the NOAA Pilot Charts for the Atlantic (which includes the Caribbean) for long range planning. There are numerous "planning/routing" software programs but they are really not any more useful than a paper chart and a set of dividers.
- - Specific waypoints and routes are dependent upon you boat, boat speed, and other factors that determine you average daily mileage made good and how often you need to get to port to replenish supplies and fuel.
- - Posting a desire for information on say Charleston to Miami on cruising websites will get you plenty of suggestions and places to visit/stop and "local knowledge" about obvious hazards and unpublished tricks of the trades. You then combine these into your chart work to see how you can optimize what you want to do.
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Old 30-05-2010, 06:53   #7
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WayPoint for Windows: Ocean Routing and Navigation for Mariners
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Old 30-05-2010, 07:58   #8
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I haven't tried it but it looks interesting!

GeoGarage - Route Preparation

ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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Old 30-05-2010, 08:11   #9
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I'm using MaxSea for any offshore trip and haave for the last six years. It is a "routing program" and takes into account wind, sea, and current as well as the boats polars to pridict the best course to sail. I download new gribs atleast twice daily by Globalstar through their weather service that is included with the software.
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Old 30-05-2010, 08:27   #10
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That Waypoint for Windows 3.0 is wayyy old.
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