Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Thanked 118 Times in 113 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Autpilot and Routes
I don't understand all the hate towards using routes and having the AP navigate the route. Personally, if I am going somewhere (instead of just out day sailing) I will most likely have a route set in my plotter, have the plotter running the route, and the AP steering towards the waypoints. This assumes that I can sail towards the waypoints. If not, I will still try to follow the route, but taking may take me far off the route.
I have my routes preloaded for a number of reasons:
-I like to look at paper charts and ensure that the route I want to take is safe and makes sense
-If the destination of far away (say 30+ miles) I will have alternate destinations listed in case the weather goes downhill
-I am on the only one on the boat who can sail, read a chart, etc.
-When the plotter is running the route I can see at a glance how far it is to the next waypoint, how long it will take to the next waypoint, how far to the destination, how long to the destination, etc. This enables me to make good decisions like perhaps I need to go faster (motorsail?) in order to make it to my destination before dark, before the current turns, before I run out of water at low tide, etc.
-I don't like surprises. Having the route set ahead of time means I can spend more time thinking about what beverage to have at the destination, what restaurant to eat dinner at, or how to fix whatever has broken during the trip.
Having the AP follow a route is little different from aiming the boat at a waypoint, and engaging the AP. The benefit is that the route allows the AP to compensate for changes in current, wind, etc. When the AP reaches a waypoint it beeps and I must press a button before it goes to the next waypoint.
All in all there are lots of way to operate your boat and you can decide what works best for you.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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