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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Ramsgate
    Posts
    959

    Default Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    I'm doing an Atlantic circuit, next yr. (Hopefully extended ICW meanderings as well).
    What's the cheapest and simplest way to get weather at sea?
    Iridium and SSB are expensive. Ipad app + shortwave receiver seems fraught with possible reliability pitfalls on a small wooden yacht.
    There is now a proliferation of little gadgets which talk to satellites, eg Spot, Yellow Brick.
    Which one can give me weather, at sea, in a simple way which we can read without fuss?
    I use Ipads and am not versed in digital jargon.
    Can I buy a little box which puts isobars on my screen?
    I hope to find simple answer as my brain is melting trying to google the subject. Have any other posters found the answer? TIA!
    "Now shall the gentleman haul and draw with the mariner"
    John Hawkins

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    Do you have a sailing buddy who's on shore who could send you a summary via inReach?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    I have a Garmin InReach Mini - it gives basic weather reports, including wind speed, upto ten times a month for 14.99 per month (I think!). You pay an annual 25 pound 'connection fee'. You can pay extra for marine weather reports, but I don't know how much extra these cost. I only ever used mine for going to mountainous regions where basis weather reports were sufficient. To get extra reports, I think it's about a pound a message.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    The cheapest way is grib files via Winlink 200k and SSB radio
    You will need a full Amateur radio licence and then use your call sign.
    Together with the SSB transciever you will need a pactor II modem and laptop.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Atlantic
    Posts
    21,805

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    1. Get a barometer.

    2. Learn how to use it.

    3. Get a five day forecast before you leave.

    4. Relax.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Troon
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    Look out the window, and use a barometer.

    I have a Garmin InReach which is ok for local forecasts, but almost impossible to see the broader picture, as it cannot download gribs or similar. The forecast is more like your local radio. Yes, it’s useful especially for tracking and short message communications, but treat the weather as a bonus and look at the sky and barometer! I would not buy one just for the weather.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Ramsgate
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    Quote Originally Posted by SV Kittiwake View Post
    Do you have a sailing buddy who's on shore who could send you a summary via inReach?
    Possibly. But I don't know how I could get to see a chart of isobars for an area of sea, with predictions for the next 5 days, by text message? And I would be dependent upon someone else, a long way away.
    "Now shall the gentleman haul and draw with the mariner"
    John Hawkins

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Ramsgate
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    Quote Originally Posted by ross84 View Post
    I have a Garmin InReach Mini - it gives basic weather reports, including wind speed, upto ten times a month for 14.99 per month (I think!). You pay an annual 25 pound 'connection fee'. You can pay extra for marine weather reports, but I don't know how much extra these cost. I only ever used mine for going to mountainous regions where basis weather reports were sufficient. To get extra reports, I think it's about a pound a message.
    Thanks I am investigating the InReach marine weather subscription add-on, however Cruiser net forums have many blue water yachtsmen reporting problems and uncertainties at sea with this service.
    "Now shall the gentleman haul and draw with the mariner"
    John Hawkins

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Ramsgate
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterWanderer View Post
    The cheapest way is grib files via Winlink 200k and SSB radio
    You will need a full Amateur radio licence and then use your call sign.
    Together with the SSB transciever you will need a pactor II modem and laptop.
    Thanks..I have a UK intermediate Ham licence and there is not much chance of me doing the Advanced. But..nobody bothers with the RSGB legalities when past our Western Approaches I am told, and I only want to receive not transmit so don't need any quals for that..
    (also, an SSB installation is something I don't want to bother my pretty little boat with, to be honest..)
    "Now shall the gentleman haul and draw with the mariner"
    John Hawkins

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Troon
    Posts
    167

    Default Re: Atlantic Circuit: Cheapest way to get weather at sea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohlin Karcher View Post
    Possibly. But I don't know how I could get to see a chart of isobars for an area of sea, with predictions for the next 5 days, by text message? And I would be dependent upon someone else, a long way away.
    It’s possible, but you need a really knowable friend; my friends would only tell me if I need my umbrella! Get a long range forecast when you leave and observe. People have been doing this for hundreds of years...some even survived!

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