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  1. #1

    Default How do you avoid getting caught out?

    I have 3 seasons under my belt now and I'm embarassing myself less and less...

    There is one area where I struggle... the weather.

    I've done 60 hours this season - on two occasions, we found ourselves taking water over the flybridge (on a 50ft boat) when the weather forecast/sea state(BBC) says "slight".

    While the boat copes admirably and myself and the children don't mind, SWMBO doesn't like it at all, and it takes several fairweather days of 'painting the dream' for her to come around to boating again.

    What is the answer to avoiding getting caught out? Is there a better weather service I should be using? Is there some education I need to be getting?

    BTW, I have some sensitivity to planning passages according to wind and tide, but to my mind when the sea state is forecast 'slight' in a Motor Boat I perhaps incorrectly see tide and wind (<F4) as a less of a factor

    Help me.

    LWR

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    10,734

    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?

    The one site that seems to be pretty accurate most (90%+) of the time is windguru.cz

    And for current conditions look at xcweather.co.uk.

    I'd trust windgfuru far more than any beeb forecast, much much more accurate.

  3. #3
    trev is offline
    Location : London/Home Counties/Middle East
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    Jun 2001
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    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?

    I think we all get caught out at one time or another.
    Its a fact of boating.
    I just try to judge it as best I can on the available info - and try to avoid any 'wind against tide' situations.
    Trev

  4. #4
    duncan's Avatar
    duncan is offline Registered User
    Location : Home mid Kent - Boat @ Poole
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    May 2001
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    9,439

    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?

    1. the beeb forecast is not the one for marine activities - use a more localised service and interpret the conditions from the tide and wind plus the history then see the potential threats from the future..........in other words you can never ignore tides and you need to understand the recent past and predicted future to work out both what it should be like (as forecast) and could be like (as forecast but with the timeline accelerated - which is normally what catches people out).

    As a 25ft boat cruising between Chichester and Weymouth, Cherbourg to Treguier I probably spend far to much time taking it all into account!

    As an example here is Peveril Ledge off Swanage Saturday afternoon in a F1-2...........


    the same thing is happening on any ledge or headland to some degree of other, and what many miss is the effect even in mid channel areas where the ground is uneven and the tides running. Add wind against for the adventurous.........

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    11,911

    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?

    You could pretty much ignore wind and tide up to about an F4 if cruising in somewhere sheltered such as the Solent, but the game changes rapidly once you are in open water, as a whole raft of new factors come in:
    - Fetch (how far have those waves got to build?)
    - Bottom Shape (uneven shallowing bottom plus tide can be v.interesting)
    - Land Shape (headlands, inlets)
    - Tides plus all of the above

    Add in that the weather forecast is very often a PROBABILITY of something happening, but it's rarely stated that way. Oh no, that High Pressure is definitely going to stay around for 12 hours, not six hours, or 18 hours! i.e. consider what would happen if the predicted scenario were to play out slower or quicker, or if that nasty looking low that's only 200miles away were to get nudged towards you a bit - look at the overall situation, not just your local forecast, and if it starts to look as if an alternative unattractive scenario is starting to play out, run for shelter and hide!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    14,434

    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?

    Can you see anybody else out there,if not,there is probably a good reason!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?


    Many days out of season there's just me, the seagulls, and the ferries, maybe the odd raggie. That's not a good indicator of anything, apart from that there might be the rugby, F1, football, or tennis on.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    2,737

    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?

    I think you should always get a good weather forecast then move yourself according the situation
    if it does not look good just get in to the closest harbour, never try to fight a win over the sea as you will always loose
    flexible approach is very important for good passageway trips

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    1,709

    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?

    You can avoid getting caught out by a bit of basic research. Look at the weather charts a few days before you go, See whats happening out there. Listen to the shipping forecast days before and again see whats moving around. Is it settled or are there lows moving in, how quickly etc etc. Then know your capabilities and that of the boat.

    If it windy or unsettled consider your course. Is it wind over tide, is it sheltered etc. Ive comfortably gone out in a force 6 wind and tide behind me, but going the other way you wouldent even get me out the marina.

    Its all informed judgement calls and as you get to know them you can even second guess the accuracy of the bbc forecast which covers a great area at any one time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: How do you avoid getting caught out?

    To get the bigger picture we look http://www.franksingleton.clara.net/chartlist.html#uk

    We use other sources such as Met office, BBC Accuweather etc but were caught out on our first outing.
    I have since found looking at the weather charts in conjuction with those above gives a better understanding of what is going on. I don't claim to fully understand the weather charts but they have worked for us so far in our first year of boating in the Bristol Channel.

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