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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Who else is using the autoroute feature on Navionics on their cell phones?

I have been playing with it on my S8 and it is pretty amazing. You enter in your vessels parameters. Has a search function to find start and end location. Let it do its thing. Within about 60 seconds it generates a detailed route based on your vessels parameters. The only thing left for you to do is fly the route to make sure it hasn't done anything wonky.

I have been playing with some pretty complex routes, like 100 miles down the Florida Gulf ICW and it seems to pretty consistently generate an efficient useable route.a route like this would probably take me about 12 hours of study and manually entering way points. And this is all with my cell phone which I can keep powered up for quite a while with a 20000 mah battery and about 5 watts of solar.

Here are some screen shots I took of a 90 mile route from Cape Haze Florida to Everglades City. It takes me down the Florida ICW and into the 10000 islands.

I think my old Garmin GPSmap60csx will be retired to back up status.
 

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Works well, but you have to watchout for how close they bring you to reefs, rocks and other bad things. There doesn't seem to be a way to say that you want to stay a certain safe distance from known danger.
 

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I navigate off my laptop but I also have an ipad with navionics on it and I've played with the auto-routing feature a few times. It's pretty good. Excellent, really.

But still the thing I hate about the mobile apps is they are too dumbed down. I much prefer OpenCpn on Windows.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good point on safe distances. All it asked for were my beam, draft, height, length, speed and propulsion method, nothing about safe clearing distances.

I haven't played with OpenCPN much. But comparing it to my GPSmap 60, its a big improvement. On the Garmin I can generate the route at home on my laptop and then upload it to the GPS via Base Camp, or enter each waypoint individually with no key board on the unit itself. Navionics creates the route for me.
 

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I have navionics on a tablet and have it running when i am moving. I like it.
I also like that it is different than garmin on my plotters..and a tad different than the chart books.
I dont auto route anything. I just kinda pick and go. And i change my mind often.
I can see it useful for broad planning purposes but you would have to really zoom in, so, to me, im doing the routing anyway.
My navionics does display tides at different locations. Have no idea if it includes that in the auto routing or not. Can be a big deal in some areas
The distance measuring pins are nice for planning
 

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Good point on safe distances. All it asked for were my beam, draft, height, length, speed and propulsion method, nothing about safe clearing distances.

I haven't played with OpenCPN much. But comparing it to my GPSmap 60, its a big improvement. On the Garmin I can generate the route at home on my laptop and then upload it to the GPS via Base Camp, or enter each waypoint individually with no key board on the unit itself. Navionics creates the route for me.
I really like how easy it is to move anywhere on the route. Drag the line to port or starboard and it recalculates to show the best approach and path. It's not perfect, and the route needs to be fully inspected before following it, but seems like a good start to planning any route.

The other nice thing is the warnings whenever you come close to a bridge or overhead cable to verify height. It's nice to be alerted to this warning way before you spend too much time figuring out a proper path.
 

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I really like how easy it is to move anywhere on the route. Drag the line to port or starboard and it recalculates to show the best approach and path. It's not perfect, and the route needs to be fully inspected before following it, but seems like a good start to planning any route.

The other nice thing is the warnings whenever you come close to a bridge or overhead cable to verify height. It's nice to be alerted to this warning way before you spend too much time figuring out a proper path.
I use the auto route occasionally in Navionics one my Raymarine MFD and I Pad but mainly lay my route manually due to the closeness it could get to shoals sometimes.

I personally like the Navionics as it shows great current vectors as well as peak and lack of current vectors according to time. Invaluable in sailing in areas with reversing current . With that you can adjust the average speed of the boat when plotting the route.

A course into the current will have a different end time than one with all current with you or half time with you. Navionics can show that to you.

The other point is that the course does not equal anything but a straight rumb line, but wind direction can / will change that. Again something you can adjust for on a manual mode.
 
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Hey,

I run Navionics on my Iphone, Ipad, and B&G Vulcan 7. I find the autorouting is really great and I use it frequently. It can save a lot of planning time. I like that I can sit at home with my Ipad and plan a route. On the boat the route gets automatically transferred to the Vulcan 7.

I don't believe that the autorouting takes currents into account. I use it more of a guide than a route to faithfully follow.

Barry
 

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I don't believe that the autorouting takes currents into account. I use it more of a guide than a route to faithfully follow.

I only have it on my phone, but was hoping from the last post that there was a way to get currents to factor in the routing. I just played with it more and can't see anywhere to set that up.
 

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I only have it on my phone, but was hoping from the last post that there was a way to get currents to factor in the routing. I just played with it more and can't see anywhere to set that up.
Speaking of currents on plotters... how reliable/precise are they... magnitude, location, duration and direction? Where does the current data come from? Aren't currents affected by the moon? Is this considered in the software?

It seems to me that current (at least in LIS) on plotters I have used is rather "gross". It is useful bit not precise.

One day there will be real time data and plotters will receive this data by radio signal from buoys perhaps or from a satellites.
 

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Hello,

The tide and current information displayed by plotters is predicted only, no real time (AFAIK). If the wind is up the predictions will be wrong, sometimes grossly so.

The boat I race on has GPS speed (SOG) and a very accurate knot transducer (STW). The difference between SOG and STW is current. If there is little wind then we can see that the predicted current and actual current is usually very close.If the wind and current are opposed or aligned the current is way off.

For cruising all I do is try to go east on an outgoing tide and west on an incoming tide.

For racing we play much more attention, short tacking to stay out of a foul current, heading to the middle of the sound to take advantage of a favorable current, and otherwise positioning the boat to gain any advantage we can.


Barry



Speaking of currents on plotters... how reliable/precise are they... magnitude, location, duration and direction? Where does the current data come from? Aren't currents affected by the moon? Is this considered in the software?

It seems to me that current (at least in LIS) on plotters I have used is rather "gross". It is useful bit not precise.

One day there will be real time data and plotters will receive this data by radio signal from buoys perhaps or from a satellites.
 

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Yes I agree with this and use it similarly. The numbers of current are not real time but projections. In terms of route planning they can be valuable as a factor in determining length of trip etc. Course there are many other factors wind, weather, sea state etc.

While the auto course on Navionics gives a pure course you can “ manualize” it with current and other factors.
 

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I use it every time I set out but mainly for planning and timing purposes. It's a fantastic planning tool. I would say here in the PNW I find I had ignored one of the app's suggestions about one out of every 6 or 7 trips (usually because I am conservative about depth or narrowness of channels between islands). I do find it surprisingly accurate timewise if we are motoring—not sure if it takes all our currents into account or not. When sailing it's not so useful other than to give us a minimum time estimate.

Not sure I would trust it without doing my own mark-one eyeball on the charts though...
 

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Speaking of currents on plotters... how reliable/precise are they... magnitude, location, duration and direction? Where does the current data come from? Aren't currents affected by the moon? Is this considered in the software?

It seems to me that current (at least in LIS) on plotters I have used is rather "gross". It is useful bit not precise.

One day there will be real time data and plotters will receive this data by radio signal from buoys perhaps or from a satellites.
One thing you have to look out for is Navionics will happily supply you with current and tide data based on your current locations and occasionally is way off the mark. I don't know what algorithm they use to extrapolate from actual tide and current stations but I've bucked a 2 or 3 knot ebb that the app had told me would be a couple of knots in my favour. I have also found that high or low tide can be an hour or so off in some places we've anchored.

Then again, in and around all the islands in some of the more remote places around here, miles and miles from an actual tide station, I am not too surprised it gets it wrong every once in a while.
 

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Like many here have concerns about auto routing. Have it on iPhones ,iPads, laptop, RM chart
plotters. Regardless of the software used and the chart source (including navionics) go over each leg at high mag. Think about obstacles, traffic, point of sail predicted, weather and such and may move suggested waypoints. So have the autoroute modified on the display being used. Then don’t use it except as a guide. Don’t have it linked directly to the AP. Prefer going waypoint to waypoint. Makes it safer and easier when you end up not following it for a variety of reasons. For instance the auto routing can place you on a hard beat. You can do it but it isn’t pleasant. Want anyone at the helm alert to all of the situation. Thinking about the boat, sails, traffic, set, depth, wind etc. Concerned folks will set up the autoroute never touch the wheel and just be concerned about sail trim. Know I’ve had to remind myself about this so stopped using the link to the AP in most cases except when I know the waters involved from the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
It didn't even occur to me that some one would link their cell phone to their autopilot on autoroute. Especially in the area I linked.

The 10000 Islands in sw Florida isn't set it and forget it navigation. Channels can be mere boat lengths across. You must maintain your route, which means frequently switching to auxillary propulsion or short tacking up narrow channels. Traffic is frequent, as is marine wild life, many channels are only passable at high tide.

I am not sure why some one would even use auto route on wide open water where you can choose whatever point of sail suits your mood.
 

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Is it even possible to connect a cell phone to an autopilot? I'm not aware of any that allow this, although they could exist. I know Navico has wifi capabilities for many functions, but they explicitly don't allow AP functions. I think Raymarine is the same.

I personally don't find autorouting very useful. In open water, there just isn't enough route points or complications to make plopping in a route by hand difficult. In areas like the ICW example, this is a channel - why is a route helpful at all? However, I can see limited cases containing many waypoints (like in an archipelago) where it would be handy to let the application set down an initial route, and then fly through it by hand tweaking as necessary.

Heck, my road map app does autorouting, and I'm always fighting with it's suggestions.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
(like in an archipelago)
Yes, this is excatly the reason I started playing with it. There are maybe 3 or 4 routes around Marco Island, all fairly twisty. I wanted to know the shortest route through. Auto route was able to give me that solution in about 60 seconds. Not only did it give me the solution, but using the drag function I could compare the merrits of each route in just a few minutes.

The other situation I can see it being handy is if you were running down the coast and you wanted to duck in somewhere protected to hide for a bit, the auto route function could give you a quick heads up on what inlets might work best.

I agree, a channel is a channel and I don't see any purpose on open water where a single waypoint dozens or hundreds of miles a way will give you pretty much the same info.
 

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However, I can see limited cases containing many waypoints (like in an archipelago) where it would be handy to let the application set down an initial route, and then fly through it by hand tweaking as necessary.

Mark
"Limited" ...lol :grin

I get your point. But in areas where there are tons of islands and navigation hazards, it is nice to be able to try out options and variations quickly and then be able to adjust for wind, tide etc.

You just need to find somewhere more "exciting" to cruise :wink
 
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