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!"