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Old 30-03-2015, 06:06   #1
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Navtex, does it have future?

I am pondering about how to get weather updates while on offshore passages. I don't have SSB nor satellite phone and the prices of those are little bit too steep for my budget at the moment. In the long term I am inclined towards satellite systems like IridiumGo to download grib files to my routing PC.

My main cruising grounds for the coming years is Baltics, westerns Europe and perhaps Mediterranean. Previously I ruled out Navtex receivers as I thought they are deprecating technology. But now I am giving it a second thought. Mainly because you can get the receiver and active antenna for less than 400.

I have read the comments on Franks Weather pages about the future of Navtex. Is there some other information available on this topic? And please provide your personal optinions as well. Will Navtex still be there forl next 2-4 years?

Whether there is Weather on NAVTEX/ Franks-Weather | The Weather Window
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Old 30-03-2015, 14:46   #2
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

I am a very satisfied user of Navtex. I sail in W Europe (France, UK, Ireland). Reception is generally good or very good: in S Brittany, I often get messages from Spain and W Mediterranean (S France, even Croatia). I use this receiver: NAVTEX RECEIVER NX-300 | Navtex | Products | FURUNO

The French weather bulletins don't look far in the future (2 days of detailed forecast and 2 more days of very rough outlook) but the British have a special additional one giving "further outlook", which describes the position and track of highs and lows for a few days. The Irish bulletins are fairly good, too.

Of course, this is very coarse compared with GRIB files but there is no need of an expensive satphone subscription.

Another reason I appreciate Navtex is that it gives safety information such as buoys out of position, unlit lighthouses, etc.

Alain
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Old 30-03-2015, 15:45   #3
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Love it. Friends of mine cruised the Med for seven years and relied on Navtex for all their weather information. They could get it in English which is pretty helpful when you cruise where there are a dozen local languages.

We only cruise the Bahamas and use it to get the Atlantic offshore forecasts which can be better than the local forecasts. It was a bit pricey for the Furuno Navtex 300 but I like it.
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Old 31-03-2015, 00:47   #4
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Thanks guys for your input. I think I will be installing one this spring.

I investigated a bit more and Navtex is still mandatory for some commercial shipping. So that should guarantee continuity for at least in short to medium time frame.

SOLAS requirement for GMDSS
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Old 31-03-2015, 14:55   #5
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaptah View Post
Thanks guys for your input. I think I will be installing one this spring.

I investigated a bit more and Navtex is still mandatory for some commercial shipping. So that should guarantee continuity for at least in short to medium time frame.

SOLAS requirement for GMDSS
No love for weatherfax? You don't need an SSB for it, and I'm reading an interesting book on how to interpret the 500 mb chart to predict weather at sea.
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Old 31-03-2015, 17:03   #6
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Navtext is excellent in Europe you will always get weather updates wnd you can look at them when you like same as internet. An alternative if you use a laptop is to use one of the USB models, they come cheaper as they don't need the screen. As has been mentioned it is core SOLAS kit so governments are committed to providing the service for all commercial vessels. Also means its free.
The other plus is that as the main means of distributing information for SOLAS regulated boats it has a who slew of other information from sub exercises and times of firing ranges to telling you about cable laying operations. In busy European waters that is a godsend
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Old 31-03-2015, 18:46   #7
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Kaptah,
Notwithstanding Frank's pessimistic view of NAVTEX, it does work pretty well for what it was intended for....

And, that intention under GMDSS was to provide short-term weather info and forecasts, and up-to-date marine safety information, to vessels transiting Sea Area A2 / out to ~ 200 - 250 miles offshore....
The design of the system and broadcast information was based on coastal voyages and commercial vessel speed of approx. 400nm / day....

So, in the application for the coming years that you describe, NAVTEX is a good fit....
And, YES, it will be around for years to come!
But, be aware of some variables (see below)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaptah View Post
My main cruising grounds for the coming years is Baltics, westerns Europe and perhaps Mediterranean. Previously I ruled out Navtex receivers as I thought they are deprecating technology. But now I am giving it a second thought. Mainly because you can get the receiver and active antenna for less than 400€.
The Furuno NX-300 is THE defacto standard of the industry, and I can highly recommend it....
(some have reported good luck with the Nasa Marine units, but I'm not a fan....as I found QC issues with some of their other products....)




The only caveats about NAVTEX has to do with where you are cruising and what the particular stations you'll be using are transmitting....(as they are only required to provide 24 hour forecasts for their specific coverage area...and a 48hr outlook)
As, onestepcsy37 and Hydra show, there ARE variations in what is transmitted!! (see examples below)


In addition the near offshore waters forecasts, the USCG from Miami, broadcasts weather and marine safety info for the Bahamas, the SW N. Atl., Gulf of Mexico, etc....as well as provides weather forecasts out to 5 days...
Here is tonight's broadcast:
Quote:
FZNT25 KNHC 312025
OFFN04

NAVTEX MARINE FORECAST
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
425 PM EDT TUE MAR 31 2015

...PLEASE REFER TO COASTAL WATERS FORECASTS (CWF) AVAILABLE
THROUGH NOAA WEATHER RADIO AND OTHER MEANS FOR DETAILED
COASTAL WATERS FORECASTS...

SOUTHEAST GULF OF MEXICO

.SYNOPSIS...HIGH PRES WILL PREVAIL OVER THE NORTHERN PORTION OF
THE AREA THROUGH FRIDAY. A WEAK TROUGH WILL FORM OFF THE NW
YUCATAN PENINSULA EACH EVENING BEFORE DISSIPATING OVER THE SW
GULF OVERNIGHT THROUGH THE PERIOD. A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE INTO
THE NORTHERN GULF ON SAT. THE FRONT WILL STALL ALONG 26N BY SAT
NIGHT...AND DISSIPATE THROUGH SUN.

.TONIGHT...E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS.
.WED...E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS.
.WED NIGHT...E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT...INCREASING TO 15 TO 20 KT
AFTER MIDNIGHT. SEAS 3 FT.
.THU...E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.THU NIGHT...E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.FRI...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.FRI NIGHT...E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.
.SAT...NE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 3 FT.
.SAT NIGHT...NE WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.SUN...E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.SUN NIGHT...E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.

WITHIN 200 NM EAST OF THE COAST OF FLORIDA

.SYNOPSIS...A STATIONARY FRONT OVER THE SE WATERS WILL BECOME
DIFFUSE TONIGHT. A COLD FRONT FROM 31N69W TO 29N75W WILL MOVE E
OF THE AREA THROUGH TONIGHT. A SECOND FRONT WILL MOVE OFF THE SE
U.S. COAST LATER TONIGHT. THE FRONT WILL EXTEND FROM NEAR
BERMUDA TO CAPE CANAVERAL BY LATE WED...BEFORE STALLING ALONG
26N E OF THE NORTHERN BAHAMAS BY LATE THU AND BECOMING DIFFUSE
FRI. ANOTHER COLD FRONT WILL MOVE OFF THE SE GEORGIA COAST SAT.
THIS FRONT WILL EXTEND FROM BERMUDA TO E CENTRAL FLORIDA SAT
NIGHT...AND STALL FROM 28N65W TO THE NORTHERN BAHAMAS SUN.

.TONIGHT...S OF 27N...E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. N OF 27N...SW WINDS
10 TO 15 KT...INCREASING TO 15 TO 20 KT AFTER MIDNIGHT. SEAS 2 FT
OR LESS S OF 27N...AND 3 FT N OF 27N.
.WED...E WINDS 5 TO 10 KT S OF 27N...AND W 15 TO 20 KT N OF 27N.
SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...AND 3 TO 4 FT N OF 27N.
.WED NIGHT...NE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...
AND 3 TO 4 FT N OF 27N.
.THU...E WINDS 10 TO 15 KT S OF 27N...AND E 15 TO 20 KT N OF 27N.
S OF 27N...SEAS 2 FT OR LESS...BUILDING TO 3 FT IN THE AFTERNOON. N
OF 27N...SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.THU NIGHT...E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.FRI...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 4 FT.
.FRI NIGHT...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT.
.SAT...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...AND
3 TO 5 FT N OF 27N.
.SAT NIGHT...NE WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 3 FT S OF 27N...AND 4 TO
6 FT N OF 27N.
.SUN...E WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 3 FT S OF 27N...AND 5 TO 7 FT N
OF 27N.
.SUN NIGHT...E WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 3 TO 5 FT S OF 27N...AND
6 TO 8 FT N OF 27N.
By contrast, here is the German Baltic Forecast:
Quote:
FQEN81 EDZW 312300
SE99
312300 NAVTEX-HAMBURG (NCC)

WEATHERFORECAST FOR GERMAN BIGHT UNTIL 01.04.2015 18 UTC:
GERMAN BIGHT :
WEST TO NORTHWEST ABOUT 7, NORTHEASTERN PART FOR A TIME INCREASING A
LITTLE, SEVERE THUNDERY GUSTS, SEA FIRST 5 METRE.

OUTLOOK UNTIL 02.04.2015 06 UTC:
GERMAN BIGHT:
NORTHWEST 6 TO 7.=

The UK and French forecasts are good...
Here is a UK forecast:
Quote:
FPUK73 EGRR 312000
^GN45123,45123 NAVTEX G,*CULLERCOATS ZXXX85*.
GE18
ISSUED BY THE MET OFFICE AT 2100 ON TUESDAY 31 MARCH


GALE WARNINGS: VIKING FORTIES CROMARTY FORTH TYNE DOGGER
HUMBER THAMES FAIR ISLE

THE GENERAL SITUATION AT MIDDAY
HIGH JUST SW OF FITZROY 1037 EXP FITZROY 1037 BY MIDDAY
TOMORROW. LOW DENMARK 978 MOV AWAY RPDY EWARDS. LOW
NORWEGIAN BASIN 978 LOSING ITS IDENTITY

24-HR FCSTS

VIKING NE FORTIES
W 5 TO 7, VEER NW 7 TO SEV GALE 9. MOD OR ROUGH, BECMG
VERY ROUGH OR HIGH. WINTRY SHWRS. GOOD, OCNL POOR

SW FORTIES CROMARTY FORTH TYNE DOGGER
NW 6 TO GALE 8, OCNL SEV GALE 9, DECR 5 AT TIMES LATER.
ROUGH OR VERY ROUGH. SQUALLY WINTRY SHWRS. GOOD, OCNL
POOR

HUMBER THAMES
W OR NW GALE 8 OR SEV GALE 9, DECR 5 TO 7 LATER. ROUGH OR
VERY ROUGH. SQUALLY SHWRS. MAINLY GOOD

FAIR ISLE
NW 7 TO SEV GALE 9, DECR 6 LATER. HIGH BECMG ROUGH OR
VERY ROUGH LATER. SQUALLY WINTRY SHWRS. GOOD, OCNL POOR

OUTLOOK FLW 24 HOURS:
STRG WINDS EXP IN ALL AREAS


Here's a French forecast:
Quote:
FQNT53 LFPW 311944
NAVTEX MER262
TXT
AAAA
BAY OF BISCAY BULLETIN (METAREA 2)
METEO-FRANCE
TUE 31 MAR 2015 AT 2215 UTC

WIND IN BEAUFORT.

1 : NO WARNING.


2 : GENERAL SYNOPSIS, TUE 31 AT 12 UTC
LOW 1000 40N48W, MOV N AND EXP 990 58N41W BY 02/00 UTC.
NEW SHALLOW LOW DPN 1017 OVER W MOROCCO AT END.
HIGH 1039 42N19W, DRIFTING NE, EXP 1032 46N10W BY 02/00 UTC.



3 : FCST TO THU 2 AT 00 UTC

IROISE, YEU.
NW 5 OR 6, DECR 3 TO 5 OVERNIGHT, BACK W TOMORROW EVENING.
VERY ROUGH WITH NW SWELL, DECR ROUGH TOMORROW.

ROCHEBONNE.
NW 4 OR 5, DECR 2 TO 4 IN THE MORNING, BACK W IN THE EVENING.
ROUGH OR VERY ROUGH WITH NW SWELL, DECR ROUGH TOMORROW.

CANTABRICO.
NW 4 OR 5, VEER N 2 TO 4 OVERNIGHT, THEN E OR NE IN THE AFTERNOON.
ROUGH OR VERY ROUGH WITH NW SWELL, DECR ROUGH TOMORROW.
SOME RAIN AT FIRST.

FINISTERRE.
NE 4 OR 5, LOC 6 IN S, INCR 5 OR 6 SOON, LOC 7 IN SE.
ROUGH IN NW SWELL.

PAZENN.
N OR NW DECR 4 OR 5, THEN BECMG CLOCKWISE 2 TO 4 SOON, LOC W 5 IN FAR
N.
VERY ROUGH IN NW SWELL, BECMG ROUGH LATER.



4 : TEND FOR NEXT 24 H
NO NEAR GALE OR GALE EXP.

There's more, but I think you get the idea....




FYI, you may find some of this informative as well...

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY





I hope this helps...

Fair winds...

John
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Old 31-03-2015, 18:55   #8
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

As I understand it, NAVTX is a coastal WX 4cast service, good up to 200 (?) miles off the coast. Didn't you say you were looking for 4casts for offshore passages?
-Steve
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Old 31-03-2015, 19:35   #9
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Wow! The USA broadcast seems so much more complete than the European broadcasts. Glad I can get them throughout the Bahamas. In my cruising itinerary there are broadcasts from Miami, Savannah, New Orleans, and San Juan.
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Old 31-03-2015, 19:56   #10
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

And here's a little known source of high seas storm warnings.

WWV, and WWVH, the time tick people, broadcast Atlantic storm warning at 8 minutes and 9 minutes past the hour, and Pacific storm warnings at 10 minutes past the hour.

If you can pick up short wave broadcasts they are on 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25mhz.

Read more here...

NIST Radio Station WWV Broadcast Format
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Old 31-03-2015, 20:00   #11
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Yeah onestep, while I have great respect for the UK Met office, Aus and NZ met offices, and the French met office, and their respective maritime forecasts....
As in some other areas, it is the US (the US NWS/NOAA forecasters and USCG transmitters) that sets the Gold Standard that others are measured against....
Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Wow! The USA broadcast seems so much more complete than the European broadcasts. Glad I can get them throughout the Bahamas. In my cruising itinerary there are broadcasts from Miami, Savannah, New Orleans, and San Juan.
If you really want to see the "Gold Standard", have a look at the NWS/NOAA wefax charts....they are VERY comprehensive, including 500mb charts, and cover the entire N. Atlantic, and most of the Pacific (all of the Pacific of interest to 99.9% of cruisers, until you reach Aus / NZ waters)...



Still amazes me that some want to waste money on modems and sat phones, as well as airtime, downloading raw computer model data (GRIB files), when 100's of years of maritime and aviation weather experience forecasters are making the charts, etc. for you, for FREE...and they're updated / transmitted 4 times each day, form very powerful transmitters (4000 watts), all for FREE....and require no special modem, nor service / subscription to receive, rain or shine....
But, they're not "sexy", nor "new 'n improved", they're just proven....(oh, and BTW, as of the latest survey by the IMO/Jcomm in late 2012, they are still used by the majority of ocean-going commercial vessels...even with these big ships having easy access to sat comm, HF-WeFax is STILL being used worldwide!)



Fair winds...

John
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Old 31-03-2015, 20:30   #12
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
I'm reading an interesting book on how to interpret the 500 mb chart to predict weather at sea.
Care to share which book you are talking about ? I wish to learn more about weather forecasting based on the 500 mb charts.
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Old 31-03-2015, 21:08   #13
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Love it. Friends of mine cruised the Med for seven years and relied on Navtex for all their weather information. They could get it in English which is pretty helpful when you cruise where there are a dozen local languages.

We only cruise the Bahamas and use it to get the Atlantic offshore forecasts which can be better than the local forecasts. It was a bit pricey for the Furuno Navtex 300 but I like it.
I agree, and I don't quite understand why Navtex does not seem to be more popular with American cruisers... Surprising how many people ask me what that distinctive antenna on the stern rail is for :-) Lots of Notice to Mariners-type info comes up, as well...

It can be really nice to have in a place like Labrador, where voice broadcasts can be very haphazard and difficult to obtain... And, for many of the more comprehensive and extended offshore/high seas forecasts that essentially require a tape recorder to keep straight, the ability to save the text of the forecasts that can sometimes be somewhat confusing, and scroll thru it on the Furuno 300 can really simplify things in the end...
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Old 31-03-2015, 23:43   #14
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailsw00 View Post
Didn't you say you were looking for 4casts for offshore passages?
-Steve
Define Offshore

Since I am based in Helsinki to me offshore starts when I cross Gulf of Finland to Tallinn. This summer I will make my first longer cruise to Scotland west coast. So I will be crossing the North Sea twice.
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Old 01-04-2015, 00:43   #15
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Re: Navtex, does it have future?

The DWD text broadcasts are very useful as well for Baltic & North sea.

Radio Teletype (RTTY) Weather Forecasts / Franks-Weather | The Weather Window

Just add a cheap ssb reciever like a degen 1103 and tablet or laptop.
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