Basic Route Planning

There are specific sailing routes to get from place to place. These routes optimize (from historical data) the best wind / least storm ways to get from "A" to "B." The routes are also dependent on month of year. You would not, for example, choose to go from Newfoundland to Scotland in January (unless you were fighting in WWII.)

Two suggestions:

Invest in World Cruising Routes (7th edition) by Jimmy Cornell -  Amazon.com: World Cruising Routes: 7th edition: 1000 Sailing Routes In All Oceans Of The World (World Cruising Series) eBook: Jimmy Cornell: Books Amazon.com: World Cruising Routes: 7th edition: 1000 Sailing Routes In All Oceans Of The World (World Cruising Series) eBook: Jimmy Cornell: Books


 Amazon.com: World Cruising Routes: 7th edition: 1000 Sailing Routes In All Oceans Of The World (World Cruising Series) eBook: Jimmy Cornell: Books
Amazon.com: World Cruising Routes: 7th edition: 1000 Sailing Routes In All Oceans Of The World (World Cruising Series) eBook: Jimmy Cornell: Books


Don't get the computer edition, buy the book - computers have a tendency to crash in salt water environments - this is a book you will carry on board cruising (there are other books, perhaps someone else might recommend one - this happens to be the one I have used for years.) This lays out the traditional routes from point "A" to point "B." The 7th edition has been updated with very recent pilot chart data (you will learn about pilot charts at some point.)

Consider getting a copy of Virtual Passage Planner. Link to free trial download Visual Passage Planner 2.1 Download (Free trial) - VPP2.EXE

This is a software program that lets you define your own routes. It then applies average wind and average current vectors (by month) and tells you how fast you will go, how long the trip will take, and how much time you will spend going upwind, reaching, and running.

Unlike the Interstate highway system where you just put the petal to the metal and go the speed limit (or a little above) sailing routes turn the ocean from one big blue thing into very specific places to be and to not be. This is because of the "bands" of wind from the equator to the poles - Intertropical Convergence Zone, Easterlies, Doldrums, Westerlies, etc. There is a great marine weather book by Steve and Linda Dashew called Mariners Weather Handbook that explains all this. You can download it for free!!! at http://setsail.com/mwh.pdf

Finally, spend some time on Noonsite - http://www.noonsite.com/. This site was started based on the work of Jimmy Cornell (the guy who wrote World Cruising Routes.) It is a great site to get very current country information. This can be critical to your budget. Checking into one country might cost you $500 while the next island might be $10. Good stuff to know.

Best wishes as you plan your adventures...

Fair winds and following seas

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