LuckGrib is unique in that it supports two major routing methods:
When a passage is relatively short, the automated weather routing capability will be the superior choice and is what the majority of sailors will use.
When a passage is longer than where there is reliable weather data, perhaps those longer than around 8 days, you may want to consider integrating automated weather routing with manual routing.
The longest weather forecast data available in LuckGrib is for 16 days. If your passage is longer than this, then by using manual routing, you will be able to create a rough idea of the shape of the passage, with estimates for how long it may take.
As weather data is not available for the long time horizons where manual routing is used, the system uses an average vessel speed to make estimates for where you may be at any given time. Simply using an average speed is inferior to the ability of weather routing to use vessel performance data. However as there is no weather data available for the long passages where manual routing is necessary, automated weather routing is not an option for those.
LuckGrib is able to integrate optimized weather routing paths into the manual routing process. You can use an automatically generated, optimized weather route for the portion of the passage where you have weather forecast data, and then have the system fall back to the manual routing process for the remainder.
Note that while this manual routing capability is available on the iPhone, you will have a much better experience with the system when using a larger device. If you embark on a passage long enough to consider the use of these long-range tools, investing in a larger device than an iPhone will be worthwhile.
The manual routing system is largely the same on each platform, although there are differences in how you accomplish the different tasks, and also some differences in capability.
The Mac, currently, has a more powerful manual routing system. For example, on the Mac, you are able to modify vessel position reports or route point and watch to see how the apparent wind angles at a vessel are affected. The Mac also allows you more control over position reports and tracks.
If you are using an iPad, please read the Mac section first, as it contains more detail, a lot of which applies to the iPad.
There are several components to the manual routing system, which, together, provides the functionalilty required.
Vessels: The system supports the ability to create and work with more than one vessel. Some of the capabilities of a vessel, as related to manual routing, are:
Points: Way points are useful indicators of locations which are of interest to you.
Routes: A route describes the approximate path you think may be reasonable for a long passage. When a vessel is configured to follow a route, the system will create projected positions for the vessel along the route, as well as calculate the approximate remaining passage distance and time.
Position reports: Position reports are used to record where a vessel is at the current time. As you create and add position reports to a vessel, a track is created, showing where the vessel has been over time. There are several ways to create position reports, which are described.
Manual routing tips: Some hints and tips are presented on how to work with the manual routing system.
Combined routing: Isochronal optimized paths can be generated by the weather routing system, and attached to a vessel. The vessel will then follow the isochrone path until its end, and then continue for the remainder of the passage moving along the manual route provided.