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A straight line is not always the best route between two waypoints across an ocean. Wind direction, currents, and vessel speed characteristics can combine to make the fastest route different than the rhumbline course.  Also, the fastest route may not be the preferred route due to unacceptable wave heights or the desire to remain in warmer water temperatures.

Visual Passage Planner 2 (VPP2) uses sophisticated 'genetic algorithms' to optimize routes (you can see an animation of the process to the left).

If you plan your route with a minimum of widely spaced waypoints, VPP2 can automatically generate a set of intermediate waypoints indicating a potentially faster/safer/warmer/etc. route for your vessel.  After adding your main waypoints, you can 'right' mouse click on a waypoint and select the 'Optimize Following Leg' menu item.  The dialog box to the left appears, allowing you to modify all of the parameters shown in green.

When the optimization is complete, VPP2 will add interim waypoints as specified (see the animation to the left).  You may then save and work with the passage as you would any other user generated passage.

Here is an except of an email from one of our users:  "The optimization feature worked very well from Fernando de Noronha to Tobago. I did not realize that the maximum currents were in along the 200-meter line off the coast of Brazil. Staying inshore as VPP suggested instead of doing a straight rhumbline saved us a couple days. I know this for a fact because a boat (our size) that left Fernando 5 days before us and sailed the rhumbline had current against him much of the trip, arriving only 1 days before us!"

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