A Very Useful, But Potentially Deadly, Feature of Navigation Apps and Plotters

In my last article on electronic navigation I expressed a preference for TimeZero—best on a computer, second best on an iPad—over Navionics Boating.

That said, there is one feature of the latter I like and have used a lot: autorouting. Also known as dock-to-dock, or whatever the particular app or plotter company decided to call it—a feature that automatically draws a route after I enter a start and end point.

But I also know that it is, at least potentially, the most dangerous feature I have seen in some 10 years of using electronic navigation.

Here's why:

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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