Outline Passage Planner
Passage Planner program installs in demonstration mode and will run
for 10 days, at the end of this period it will time out and require an
unlock code before it will operate further.
An unlock code is issued on purchase.
Neptune with payment details and the 8 digit serial number that
appears at the
end of the opening screen, an unlock code will then be issued.
software can be installed on 2 PC’s that are owned by the purchaser, the
software is strictly for the individual and personal use of the purchaser
unless otherwise agreed. The
software can only be installed on a sailing club PC after agreement with
is designed to be as intuitive as possible, most of the program options
are available from the Menu Bar on the top of the screen.
the Menu Bar is the Screen Banner, Neptune uses this to display
status information, such as Chart and Waypoint File in use, date and time,
route distance (when in route edit mode), whether a prediction is for now
or in the future and the Zoom Status.
The left mouse button is used for most of the work and selections,
the right mouse button is only used when zoom and route edit are active
Neptune chart file comprises of coastline, zero metre contour (on certain
charts), spot information (i.e. prominent features such as towns etc) and
the tidal stream data. Every
30 seconds the screen will be seen to blink as the tidal vectors are
calculated and the screen is refreshed.
The base of the tidal vector arrow is the charts tidal stream
cursor around the screen you will note that the Cursor’s Latitude and
Longitude changes with the mouse position.
1. Setting up a Single Leg
with the Left mouse button at any point will leave a red marker on the
screen with the letter S beside it denoting a Start position and
the Latitude and Longitude of the position will appear under the Course
settings. Now move the cursor around on the screen and watch how the
range and bearing from the Start. position changes.
the Cursor elsewhere on the screen and click the left mouse button again,
a Blue circle appears with the letter F beside it, this denotes a
destination. The Latitude and
Longitude will also be written to the Course Box together with the
range and bearing between the two points.
Click the mouse a third time, anywhere in the charted area and the
course will be cancelled, clicking the left mouse button once more will
begin the process again by setting up a start position.
Calculating Course To Steer for a Single Leg
Set up a single leg
between two points and then click the Calculate Menu
and select Course for Leg. A Course Set-upwindow will be shown, for
the moment accept the default values, ignore Wind and click the Calculate
a slight delay the Course to Steer results will be displayed. Examine
the contents of this screen, use the scroll bar to roll the data up, the
course, time taken, distance over ground, tidal streams, reference ports
tides and other information is displayed in order for the navigator to
cross check their calculations.
OK closes this screen, the Vector Plot (red construction) and predicted Course Over
Ground (COG) is now displayed (green circles). The Copy button copies the
results box contents to the PC’s Clipboard
Effect of varying Departure Times on the Course Over Ground
the Menu are the Tide Roll buttons.
Tides>> will advance the time to the next half hour and
recalculate the Tidal Streams. If
a single leg has just been calculated the Course to Steer and Course Over
Ground will be recalculated and updated.
On the Screen Caption (very top bar) the departure time and Course
to Steer will be displayed. If
a calculation of COG for a fixed heading was last then the COG is updated. To decrease the departure time press <<Tides item.
that the Tide Roll buttons have no effect on multi-leg route calculations.
Creating a Multi-Leg Route
the Menu select
-> Create by Mouse
window appears suggesting the number of legs, the default is 10, up to 15
are allowed. For the moment accept 10 and press OK.
Click a few points on the screen to create a route, when you wish
to enter the last point hold the Shift Key on the keyboard and
click the final point. This
will be the end point of the route. If you reach the entered number of waypoints (in this case
10), the route creation will end.
Calculations on a Multi–leg Route
creating a route, Course for Route and Optimium Route Time are
active on the Calculate menu.
for Route brings
up a window that allows editing of details such as Leg Speed, Waypoints,
Latitudes, Longitudes and Time.
Wind is pressed, a screen appears allowing you to set the wind speed and
direction. The Tack button will calculate if the wind is coming from port
or starboard and once this is
set leeway can be applied. Click
an entry for further editing and then click Accept for any changes
Departure Time and finally click Calculate.
Results of Multi-leg Calculations
window appears at the end of the calculation showing the expected waypoint
to waypoint departure and arrival times, Course to Steer and distances.
Note that the Copy button copies the results of this window to the
clipboard for pasting into other applications.
When the results box is cleared the COG points are displayed as a
series of hourly waypoints, look at these waypoints for any bunching that
may occur, this indicates where the vessel is losing ground against the
Clear a route from the screen use the Route menu and Clear Route item.
The Wind menu has 3 options.
Wind Conditions &
Allows the wind speed and direction to be set
up, it can be changed at any time and the last settings are retained for
the next session.
Shows the wind direction and no sail
area on the screen whenever a leg or route waypoint is entered.
True and Apparent
Given true wind calculates apparent and vice
Select the appropriate Sail Plan and then
either click on a wind direction and speed or manually type in a direction
and speed in the appropriate boxes. If
this screen has been reached from the single leg calculation the boat
heading field will contain an entry, pressing the Estimate Boat Speed button
causes the software to read the Polar Plot, estimate the boat speed and
enter this into the leg calculation set-up screen.
(Polar plots are described in the manual).
Checking this menu item shows the wind
direction with the no sail area drawn in as a red triangle either side of
the wind arrow. It becomes
obvious using this visual guide if your proposed passage cannot be sailed
for the wind conditions anticipated.
In the illustration below sailing between waypoint 2 and 3 is not
Editing Multi Leg Route Waypoints
If it is apparent from the wind conditions
that a waypoint is inappropriate it can be moved by selecting Mouse
Edit from the Route Menu. (This will ‘Check’ the menu
item). With the program in
this mode position, the mouse near the waypoint to be moved by a Right
Click. The nearest waypoint
will jump to the mouse position. When
the wind is displayed planning tacks or deciding when to motor is very
To add an extra waypoint to the end of a
route hold down the SHIFT key and RIGHT click the mouse.
During editing the route distance is displayed on the screen
banner. When route editing is
complete remember to uncheck the Mouse Edit option.
Vessel speed from polar plots (Multi leg routes only)
a route has been created select the Calculate menu and press the Wind
button to display the Wind Calculation Screen, you will note that the
route details panel is now filled in.
To make the software read the Polar Plot and estimate the boat
speed, you must select the appropriate leg speed entry in the list and
double click. The vessel
speed will be updated. If a
change in wind conditions is expected enter the new wind speed and
direction prior to double clicking the leg.
this screen will return to the Route set-up box.
On exiting this screen the Route will be redrawn on the screen with
the appropriate wind directions on each waypoint.
Where is the Manual
installation under the Start button, Programs, the group Neptune
Passage Planner has been created a copy of the complete manual but without
If an illustrated manual is required then this is found on the Neptune CD.
SOLAS Passage Plans and Neptune
of a passage plan prior to departure is a legal requirement.
Neptune Passage Planner and Neptune Tides assists in the
preparation of passage plans by allowing you to copy results and route
setups to the clipboard. These
results can subsequently be pasted into a plan that may be under
preparation within Word, WordPad or Excel.
Neptune also provide a blank passage plan document, this is easily
found from the Windows desktop using Start then Programs
- Outline Passage Plan.
Word document can be edited and modified as desired.