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Discussion Starter #301
So given the likelihood of higher wind and sea with very local weather events not shown in gribs nor forecasts will this effect your choice of boat? Will you think more about bulletproof systems and less about convenience? More about drogues, heavy weather, beefy steering systems and the like?

I am drawn to ultralights, fast boats that point well and new technologies but believe unless they are safe and easy to sail in all conditions they may not be the best choice for old fart cruisers like us. Have friends in their 40s. They are very fit and exceptionally skilled sailors. They’re on a mid 50ft carbon fiber cat. From talking with them she’s a handful even for them.

So there’s a conflict. Bigger boats are much nicer in a seaway but require larger sailplans with the resulting difficulties handling those larger forces. Faster boats get you there faster. Especially now when there are so many double digit boats around. But the forces increase and the risk of fatigue to the crew or fatigue and failure of the various structures increase as well.

You do go backwards to a slow overbuilt tank? Or forward to a beautifully designed flyer knowing that one small manufacturing defect may lead to failure?
 

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Old soul
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It’s hard for me to get my head around your comments OB, since my approach has always been to go with the smallest boat I can live with, and to prioritize reliability, simplicity and sailing comfort over speed and convenience.

So I guess I’ve always chosen the “slow overbuilt tank,” but not for climate change reasons.

In addition, I’m not sure if your premise is correct. My understanding is that weather forecasting has improved over the decades. Today’s forecasts are significantly better than those of previous decades. GRIB files are just forecasts in a different form, so should also be better today than in the past. Forecasting local anomolies has always been hard, but I bet forecasters are better at it today than in the past.

I think there are plenty of good reasons to choose small and solid over fast and convenient, but climate change doesn’t enter into my calculus.
 

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If you are able to choose... and your primary use is coastal cruising and some offshore work... comfort is the way to go... even if you arrive a bit latter than a faster boat would. If you gotta get some place fast... drive or fly... if you want to sail fast... do the racing thing. Of course all sailors try to get the last tenth of a knot out of their boat. But in the end most of your time on board if you cruise will likely be when you are not making way... and when you are... why not be as comfortable as you can?
 

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But Mike and Outbound sail in different worlds. In Newfoundland you have a short season and get fairly consistent SW winds and they can be stiff for weeks at a time. But you also have days of bitter North wind and fog, or sometimes almost no wind at all. And the wx forecasts are not always up to snuff. And it’s coooold.

In the Carribean the weather is always balmy, in both senses of the word. I find sea state forecasts relatively accurate, and the wind forecasts more or less just set the base line you can expect. But there is no forecasting the squalls. Maybe wet, maybe dry, maybe 40 knot gusts. And the wind acceleration behind the islands can be wicked. I’ve gone from 20k ESE, 5kW, to 30kE in 15 minutes. Or maybe you will just have a nice day.

Anyway, the sailing expectations are different because the climate is extreamly different. And the wx forecasters have different challenges.

But at the end of the day Im floating around in a very simple heavy old tub because it’s what I can afford, it’s what I can fix, and its a stable platform for our house. I sometimes want a boat like Oubounds, but then I look at the bank account and say “Don’t worry, be happy.”
 

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Old soul
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You know better than most how different things are up north here vs way down south. But my point wasn’t to try and say which type of boat is best. Rather, I was just saying that climate isn’t really much of a driver of this decision.

Local weather factors in, but unless you’re cruising high latitudes, it’s probably a small consideration. Most of us are driven by other factors — such as aesthetics, or function, or money (or lack thereof ;) ).

Local variation is always a reality. Forecasts are better today (despite climate becoming wackier), so I bet local anomalies are better predicted today than in the past. But official forecasts done from a distance will never be able to predict local variation down to small areas. This hasn’t changed.

BTW, your description of the fickle wind gods sounds awfully similar to Great Lakes travel. Over there the forecasts as general concepts. The reality was always different, depending on locality.
 

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Discussion Starter #306
Mike have sailed north ( mostly Maine when the winds die in Mass Bay for the summer) and south. Other than Newport had little experience with the high tech flyers. Many of them don’t scrimp on comfort by any measure. I wasn’t referring to Open or Volvo boats.
In the islands you get to see some pretty remarkable boats. They aren’t the captained mega Yachts but still owner operated. They fly. But to achieve both comfort and speed they include many very hi tech features. Both in basic construction and accoutrements.
Seems to me higher sea state and wind speeds regardless of where you are means more wear and tear as well as opportunity to have even the smallest defect in construction or installation exposed. Same if hi lat or tropics.
There’s no question that the new high tech boats are stronger than the resin rich layups of the past. But cruisers aren’t professionals. Sh-t happens. Cruisers often don’t have access to a NEB or Hinckley quality yard. Supply lines are often very difficult. Money is an issue.
So where I was going is does CC change the calculus? Knowing weather will get more problematic do you back off on getting the fastest boat with most convenient sail handling etc. or focus more on robustness and bulletproofness.
Btw GRIB files tell you very limited information. The field is too large. In the lee of an island with large mountains there may be a valley that funnels the wind. TWS May jump 10-15 knots. Even in open waters squalls and gusts occur. Gribs tell you nothing about whether it’s going to be a squally day or not. Even the seastate information is too generic. 2-3m means what? 6 ft with long period or 9ft with short.
Yes I download gribs but I also get Chris or Commanders or local weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #307
Or to put it another way. A grib file isn’t like a chart. When you change scale you do not get more detailed information in the same manner as with a chart. The scale is such that you get some general sense of what’s going on but not detailed enough to understand very local changes. This is true whether you are leaving block island sound and entering LI sound or sailing around the islands of Maine or going up/down the Caribbean chain.
 

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Out, I think one's choice of boat in the future depends on their proclivity today. If one is already choosing a more robust vessel, I doubt there need be any change. If one is choosing a more vulnerable vessel, they must already be considering narrower more considered weather windows for passages. I think that logic will continue to apply in the relatively near future.

I'm still trying to detail historic winds. While I understand the multiplying impact of terrain and funneling between islands, it must still be based upon higher overall wind speeds than historically recorded. There is no doubt that our cruising grounds are not burdened by 30 kts winds all day, every day. Perhaps more often than before and I'm interested in quantifying that.

Presently, my boat is my choice for accommodating climate change. I have no interest in risking a waterfront property. To me, it would be over thinking a problem to try to define what boat is needed in the face of not really knowing the magnitude of the anticipated conditions and the timing. At the worst, we won't be sailing at all. We don't know.

On the other hand, I find one's confidence in their ship to be a major factor in passage success. One can't think straight, when they are fearful. If one harbors an undue concern, they should upgrade to a more substantial hull, regardless of cause.
 
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Old soul
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So where I was going is does CC change the calculus? Knowing weather will get more problematic do you back off on getting the fastest boat with most convenient sail handling etc. or focus more on robustness and bulletproofness.
So, my answer to your question is no, I don’t think CC is a major consideration for people’s choices in boats. At least not very directly. I think other factors far outweigh, such as aesthetics, money, availability — and weather. Climate drives weather, so in that sense there is an effect, but even rapid CC is a slow moving beast. We don’t plan for climate, we plan for weather.

My thinking is also skewed by my own personal choices, which has always leaned towards "robustness and bulletproofness.” I already disagree with prioritizing speed and convenience over solid and simple (which can sometimes mean slow). But none of this is driven by CC, or even the weather in Newfoundland. It’s my general approach to cruising. Others have different views, and will continue to do so. I don’t see CC becoming a factor in this calculus — weather, yes. But not climate change.

My GRIB comments were as a follow to yours. As I said, local anomalies remain far outside the ability of any general forecast to manage. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this reality. In these cases, local or expert knowledge is required. But the general point is, weather forecasts have improved significantly over the last decades, and this despite rapid climate change, so the information we can now get in the form of GRIBs has also improved.
 

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One dark and stormy night I was getting kicked in the teeth pretty good. The wx report said “SW 20-25.” However, when they got to the “current conditions”!it was “Cape Bonavista, 25 with gust to 32.” I’ve been assured by a retired local meteorologist that if it was 25-32 at Bonavista it was substantially more 15 miles off where I was.

Anyway, I ticked me off that they were still propogaring a weather forecast that did not match their own observations. Would have been better if they said “our current forecast of 25-25 SW is clearly wrong, expect substantially more wind.”
 

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One dark and stormy night I was getting kicked in the teeth pretty good. The wx report said “SW 20-25.” However, when they got to the “current conditions”!it was “Cape Bonavista, 25 with gust to 32.” I’ve been assured by a retired local meteorologist that if it was 25-32 at Bonavista it was substantially more 15 miles off where I was.

Anyway, I ticked me off that they were still propogaring a weather forecast that did not match their own observations. Would have been better if they said “our current forecast of 25-25 SW is clearly wrong, expect substantially more wind.”
This is reminiscent of my “welcome” to Newfoundland. We had a solid forecast for nothing more than SW 20 as we arrived across the Gulf of St. Lawrence. WX was still proclaiming “SW20” even while we were getting the snot kicked out of is as we fought our way into the Bay of Islands. Winds were a sustained 40 coming from the WNW with gusts to ‘holy crap!’ Seas were steep 3 to 4 metres. :ship-captain:. Took us six hours to cover those last 12 miles.

My partner says it was NFLD’s way of seeing if we were worthy. :(

The common wisdom from fishers in our area is to add at least 10 to any Environment forecast, and assume the direction will be different.

If this is improved forecasting, I wonder what it used to be like :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #312
Day after day the gribs show one vane or occasional two between the islands but you go and it’s 5-10 kts higher. That’s not hyper local phenomenon like compression zones at the ends nor compression due to valleys. The field of the grib depends on the program used. All too often that field is too large.
When a good meteorologist gives you a forecast they integrate more information, interprete multiple sources including gribs and have a degree of intuition a computer doesn’t have. Their field of interest is much more likely to focus on where you want to go.
Look at a grib then a report from a weather router of your choice. Both may be wrong but at leadt the forecasters report is more focused and in my experience to date more likely to be congruent to the reality I face.
I understand no human chess player can beat Merlin but the degree of granularity of gribs leaves much to be desired.
You may be hypertensive for years before your kidneys fail or you have your first heart attack or stroke. You may be dementing for years before you can no longer use the remote control. Pseudo acute changes occur in most all phenomena.
I trust my boat. I also believe Pogo makes a robust boat as did Gunboat.
 

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Outbound,

Those GRIB flying arrows are pretty useless. I use an app where I can see the actual forecast wind, that gives a dramatically different view. It’s an iPhone app called WeatherTrack. You download the GRIB, look at a parameter, say Wind, but then set a point where you can get the Meteoplus forecast. That is MUCH more useful. And it gives you CAPE, which gives some indication of squall likelihood.

I also look at BouyWeather. That has the standard forecast but also something they call a LOLA forecast. The LOLA wind is pretty good, maybe a bit conservative. The LOLA wave is IMHO very conservative, I use the traditional forecast for wave height. WeatherTrack does not give wave period but Buoyweather does, I find that important.
 

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If you go into the forecasting options in WeatherTracker, wave period is an option, depending on which forecast model you've chosen to use. I'm a fan.
 

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Nice looking app Howard. Thanks. I’ve used Windy and Passage Weather, along with the GRIB function in iNavx. Windy lets you view a few different models. This one looks a lot better. I like how it can be used offline. Thanks for the tip.

I try and access current reporting from weather stations and buoys when available. These are usually good ways to calibrate the forecasts — at least in the immediate period.

I also like to look at the raw forecast charts (like this: https://weather.gc.ca/data/model_forecast/526_100.gif) to see large scale predictions.
 

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If you go into the forecasting options in WeatherTracker, wave period is an option, depending on which forecast model you've chosen to use. I'm a fan.
Thanks for pointing that out, it’s been a while since I checked that setting, it appears more is available.:grin
 

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Discussion Starter #317
Whole heartedly agree about the arrows. Like you use multiple sources. Gribs are an easy way to see general trends when you scroll through them. We are visual animals and that presentation makes it easy for my bride and others when discussing the next few days. Prefer the arrows to the colors although it’s the same information.
I do like looking at the entire mainland US, the entire North Atlantic and then the area I’m in with gribs. Again it’s an easy way to see trends. But for a forecast for a specific transit found it wise to supplement with other sources and presentations. On a visceral level you can look at the millibars and distance between them and predict the gribs even though you aren’t a computor. What I don’t know is the nuances and know what I don’t know so continue to have respect for the professionals.
 

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Discussion Starter #318
Btw don’t think it makes any difference which you use ( Windy, passage weather etc.) to get gribs. Do think it does matter which model is the substrate for the presentation. Worth while to look at different modeling strategies in whatever program you like.
 
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