Cost effective options for receiving weather reports while sailing - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 40 Old 06-12-2011 Thread Starter
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Thanks Capt Tom...I'll zero on on those systems and plan ahead.

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post #22 of 40 Old 06-12-2011
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Thanks Capt Tom...I'll zero on on those systems and plan ahead.
That's the ticket. Plan for those things that you don't think might happen. The unexpected.

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post #23 of 40 Old 06-13-2011
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I don't speak of this lightly. I've been an EE (degreed engineer) for some 25 years now, and spent the last 15 designing and tweaking propagation performance with one of the largest PCS carriers. I was senior engineer and had eight engineers under me in my last position before I retired and went on to another career in our own business. In that time I have been responsible for many multimillion dollar budgets for site aquisition, build out, and performance. Make a mistake once (at 1.5 million average per site) and you are forgiven. Make one twice and your career is over. I have also been a Ham operator for 20 years, and hold both a General Class Ham ticket and an FCC General Radiotelephone (commercial) licence. I have also designed and helped build a lot of microwave shots to remote locations. I know of what I speak with regards to cellular/PCS coverage. I have also worked extensively with both real-life and computer models of radio propagation for most all bands in the spectrum, and have an expert understanding of how propagation works in many given configurations.
Sounds like you're applying for a job mate?

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Or you can can study weather, watch the clouds, the barometer, wind direction, etc. and be your own forecaster.
I've sailed all my life without any of this stuff and I'm still doing it. I have heard that global warming has changed the world in which we live but the fundamentals of weather prediction remain the same. I go with Jackdale in the belief that when I'm out there it's me who decides what the weather will do and to do that I have to have some developed skills.

If you have all this stuff, as good as it may be, the one certain thing is that you won't waste your time learning how to predict weather. And when the toys go belly-up, so do all of your choices and you have no weather of any sort.

I also have toys but I try and limit them to ones that don't matter if they don't work. Just my opinion . . .


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post #24 of 40 Old 06-13-2011
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Sounds like you're applying for a job mate?
Actually, no. I retired from the engineering career and am wrapping up second career business now, and so I'm good with just giving sound advice on subjects that I know.

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I've sailed all my life without any of this stuff and I'm still doing it. I have heard that global warming has changed the world in which we live but the fundamentals of weather prediction remain the same. I go with Jackdale in the belief that when I'm out there it's me who decides what the weather will do and to do that I have to have some developed skills.
A lot here have not sailed all their lives, and so they may need some of this "stuff" to help them. In fact, a lot of people that have sailed all their lives talk about needing "stuff" like this to help them. Good for you and I tip my hat to you if you can read the weather well enough that you you decide what the weather will do. For the rest of us mere mortals, forewarned is forearmed, and to have a weather report that we receive from somewhere just might be a good idea, ya think?

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If you have all this stuff, as good as it may be, the one certain thing is that you won't waste your time learning how to predict weather. And when the toys go belly-up, so do all of your choices and you have no weather of any sort.
I would hope that anyone headed off-shore between 20 and 60 miles would indeed waste their time in predicting the weather with some tools - be them the "toys" that we post about or your ability to predict the weather. I don't think I have ever heard of any experienced sailor advising others that are inexperienced to head out and only watch for what comes up. If that is how you wish to sail, then I wish you fair weather and flat seas.

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I also have toys but I try and limit them to ones that don't matter if they don't work. Just my opinion . . .
No one here stated that we should venture out with only a weather forecast from our toys and then never look at what is going on around us. I would bet that most all of us are learning how to predict what will happen next with the weather around us. I would also bet that any experienced sailor will gather information from all the sources he has to help him predict the weather he is sailing into.

It would also not seem prudent to denigrate the equipment that we have available to us by calling them toys. I've heard the most experienced among us talk about weather fax and using the SSB to obtain information. What I have never heard the experienced say is for us to venture out in a vacuum and rely on observation to try to figure out what mother nature is going to do. Is this what advice you would give to someone that does not have your expertise in predicting the weather?

At first you state that you have sailed all your life without these toys, but later state that you have them, so I assume that you use them to augment your information so that you can be safe. I think that is ultimately what we are all doing with whatever tools we have. I don't think anyone here stated to the contrary.

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post #25 of 40 Old 06-13-2011
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This'll do just fine. Sony ICF SW7600GR



And it's only $150

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Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

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post #26 of 40 Old 06-13-2011
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I also have toys but I try and limit them to ones that don't matter if they don't work. Just my opinion . . .
I will not sail without a barometer. Most of the boats I am on have one and I have a graphing barometer in my watch.

I do have a lot of other toys:

1) Netbook with air card for Environment Canada weather (I still use VHF, but I like that I can quickly choose reporting stations (updated hourly to use). I also get NOAA weahther fax via the web and GRIBs via ftp. I also have subscriptions to SailFlow and a few others.

2) Smartphone with mobileGrib, Buoyweather and a few others. It also has the charts.

Offshore deliveries usually entail weatherfax and grib files.

But I rely on the barometer and my ability to read the weather. Conditions are recorded regularly in the log. I have the advantage that I teach this stuff.

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post #27 of 40 Old 06-13-2011
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I will not sail without a barometer. Most of the boats I am on have one and I have a graphing barometer in my watch.

I do have a lot of other toys:

1) Netbook with air card for Environment Canada weather (I still use VHF, but I like that I can quickly choose reporting stations (updated hourly to use). I also get NOAA weahther fax via the web and GRIBs via ftp. I also have subscriptions to SailFlow and a few others.

2) Smartphone with mobileGrib, Buoyweather and a few others. It also has the charts.

Offshore deliveries usually entail weatherfax and grib files.

But I rely on the barometer and my ability to read the weather. Conditions are recorded regularly in the log. I have the advantage that I teach this stuff.
Completely agreed, and it is always refreshing when someone replies with polite guidance on an issue.

Although I've only owned three, every one of my boats has also had a barometer on it. Charts and plotting tools are also necessary, as is a sextant and the ability to use it. I also agree that you have to keep a watch on what the weather is doing around you and try to predict what is coming your way. Along with that, weather fax has been a great tool when we plan to head to the other side of the islands for fishing.

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post #28 of 40 Old 06-13-2011
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This'll do just fine. Sony ICF SW7600GR



And it's only $150
Yep. Sony (still) makes good products from what I can tell.

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With all of this technology at hand, I have learned one solid lesson:

"You sail the wind you are in."

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For the rest of us mere mortals, forewarned is forearmed, and to have a weather report that we receive from somewhere just might be a good idea, ya think?
Yes, a very good idea and I don't claim to be anything but mortal.

There is a considerable difference between predicting weather and reading a weather report. In order to read a weather report you first have to have a weather report. What I am proposing is to spend more time learning how to predict the weather than learning how to use the gadgets that may or may not produce a weather report. And of course I take a weather report before setting off.

But to depend on electronic equipment almost entirely to provide your weather without learning how to do it when the electronics don't is not that clever. Not one of the posts on this thread that I can recall other than mine and jackdale's suggested learning how to predict weather without the toys.

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At first you state that you have sailed all your life without these toys, but later state that you have them
I never said that I have these toys. I said:

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I also have toys but I try and limit them to ones that don't matter if they don't work.
They are not I-pads, Smartphones, 3G,4G, multi-taskers and the rest of the paraphanalia discussed here. I have an SSB for radio contact and when I'm lucky I'll get a weather fax or a weather report from a sailing weather guru somewhere in the world. I have a computer that runs a charting system that I use for planning - I have never ever used it to navigate anywhere or to monitor the weather. I take a rented Iridium phone for emergency contact on an ocean crossing when radios don't work. Those are my toys.

I have a barometer, the use of which requires no explanation. That I use all the time. That is not a toy.

When I'm at sea, I spend as much time looking at the sky as a lot of the posts here spend looking at their assorted screens. The difference is the sky is always going to be there and the screens are maybe not. There is a vast chasm between the sailors that take the time to learn how to predict the weather without gadgets and those that learn how to use the gadgets.

I'm suggesting that the advice that should be given to members and anyone else who cares to listen is to learn about the weather not about the gadgets.

And in essence, you are partly saying what I am saying with the exception that you still don't promote learning how to read the weather from the sky as opposed to from a screen.

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Sailors all over the world use SSB/we-fax and SSB voice for obtaining weather information. There is good reason that they do and have for many years - weather is critical and SSB/we-fax works
Whatever. Oh, and my alluding to you looking for a job was a joke (the smiley says so) because you have to admit, it did look like a structured resume.


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