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Old 28-05-2014, 08:02   #1
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Navtex for coastal weather

I am planning to sail down the usa west coast to baja later this year. I cannot afford ssb at this time, and am considering installing a furuno navtex unit to receive timely weather forecasts to complement what I can get via vhf. Any thoughts or suggestions? Is this the right way to go? Thanks in advance. JE
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Old 28-05-2014, 08:20   #2
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Re: Navtex for coastal weather

The Navtex works well in combination with barometer and radio and is well worth considering, with one caveat: there have been a few times when I've been caught in a major squall line when there was no mention of this on the Navtex, only for the report to come through afterward! As always, there's no better system than the Mk1 eyeball and barometer when analyzing which way the weather is going in your immediate vicinity.
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Old 28-05-2014, 08:25   #3
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Re: Navtex for coastal weather

I've had a Furuno Navtex receiver on board for 10 years, but I also have a SSB which is my primary source for wx data. I'm an East Coast sailor so I don't know how useful it will be in Mexico. Hopefully someone who is cruising that area with Navtex can provide some insight into what data is available there.
Having an SSB I don't refer to the Navtex data that often. However, it is very handy to be able to page back through a few messages to find the latest wx forecast rather than keep to a fax schedule or have to make contact with a Winink or Sailmail station.
A few years ago on the way to Bermuda from The Bahamas we received a warning on Navtex of a developing storm system that might intersect our course. We were able to change course just enough to avoid any adverse effects of the storm. There was no indication of this storm on the GRIB charts i had downloaded a few hours earlier.
Although subject to propagation conditions, the range on Navtex is impressive. When we were in the Azores we routinely received messages from the Canadian Maritimes and Bermuda.
So i believe a Navtex is a good investment even if you have a SSB, but its true value to you will probably depend on the service in Mexico

John
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Old 28-05-2014, 09:08   #4
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Re: Navtex for coastal weather

Mexico's in Nav/Met area 12.. 3 of the stations appear to be planned but not yet operational:

http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/terrestrial...X-services.pdf
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Old 28-05-2014, 09:39   #5
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Re: Navtex for coastal weather

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
Mexico's in Nav/Met area 12.. 3 of the stations appear to be planned but not yet operational:

http://www.itu.int/ITU-R/terrestrial...X-services.pdf
Yes, no Navtex from the Mexican authorities but you might still get reception from Pt Reyes, CA. In terms of text weather forecasts on the West coast I see only one additional forecast that I could download by Winlink compared to what the Navtex gives me. Going down the coast reports are broken up into sections covering about 200 miles. I think they are about as good a weather forecast as you can get. The Furuno NX300 is a nice paperless unit but I also have on old JRC than prints on cash register paper and it works surprisingly well. I think Navtex is a good addition for coastal offshore sailing.
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Old 28-05-2014, 09:47   #6
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Re: Navtex for coastal weather

Thank you to all who have replied. You've pretty much confirmed my thoughts. When I start crossing oceans I hope to have SSB. Maybe by then, pricing will become a bit more reasonable.
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Old 29-05-2014, 13:06   #7
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Re: Navtex for coastal weather

JE,
Up front, I think you might be better served with a decent portable SW receiver, capable of receiving marine SSB (costing < $150)....see below for details...

But, NAVTEX is also a very workable choice, especially if you desire a "plug-'n-play" system, and the Furuno NX-300 is great piece of gear...

Further, I suspect that a good deal of your coastal passage will be within the "out-to 60nm" coverage of the US NWS/NOAA "Coastal Weather" Forecasts (transmitted on VHF NOAA Weather Radio), and the NAVTEX forecasts might be good for overall area synopses, but not have detailed enough info for your coastal passage...
(and of course, neither the NVATEX nor the NOAA VHF weather broadcasts have any weather info for waters south of the US, where the Offshore Waters Voice broadcasts do, as well as wefax charts/images... see below for more detail...)



Specifics...

1) While NAVTEX is good (and I do recommend it for many applications), and will give you a text weather forecast well beyond the range of NOAA Weather Radio on VHF, typically 200 - 300 miles away (or more)...
The NAVTEX forecasts are primarily designed for shipping interests so, they aren't too detailed.....(and while the US NWS does provide a 3-4day forecast, most other country's NAVTEX service typically only cover the next 24 hours...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenders View Post
I am planning to sail down the usa west coast to baja later this year. I cannot afford ssb at this time, and am considering installing a furuno navtex unit to receive timely weather forecasts to complement what I can get via vhf. Any thoughts or suggestions? Is this the right way to go? Thanks in advance. JE
2) There are 3 NAVTEX stations covering the US west coast....(with "typical" ranges close-to, or a bit beyond, their "specified" ranges)

ASTORIA, OR....(specified range of 216nm)

PT. REYES (SAN FRANCISCO), CA...(specified range of 350nm)

CAMBRIA, CA...(specified range of 350nm)

There are NO NAVTEX stations in Mexico, nor anywhere else that would be useful to you....(next closest one is on the Equator in Ecuador...)



3) Here is today's NAVTEX broadcast/forecast for the area from U.S.-Canadian Border to 45*N (transmitted from Astoria, OR)

Quote:
NAVTEX MARINE FORECAST FOR WASHINGTON AND OREGON WATERS
NWS OCEAN PREDICTION CENTER WASHINGTON DC
925 AM PDT THU MAY 29 2014

CONDITIONS GIVEN REPRESENT THE HIGHEST WITHIN THAT PERIOD.

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

.SYNOPSIS...A DISSIPATING COLD FRONT WILL MOVE SE ACROSS THE AREA
SAT AND SAT NIGHT. OTHERWISE...STRONG HIGH PRES CENTERED ABOUT
750 NM W OF CAPE BLANCO WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY THROUGH
SAT...THEN DRIFT E SUN THROUGH MON NIGHT.

CANADIAN BORDER TO 45N

.TODAY...W TO NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.TONIGHT...N TO NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 6 FT.
.FRI...N TO NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.
.FRI NIGHT...N TO NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 5 TO 8 FT.
.SAT...NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 5 TO 8 FT.
.SAT NIGHT...NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.SUN...NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.SUN NIGHT...NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.
.MON...NW WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 11 FT.
.MON NIGHT...N TO NW WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 10 TO 14 FT.
You can see there is adequate weather info/forecast, but details are lacking....




Compare the above single zone NAVTEX broadcast, to the 4 zones of Offshore Waters Forecasts here....(transmitted by SSB Voice, and receivable with a small/portable SW radio costing < $150), for the same areas..

Quote:

.SYNOPSIS FOR WASHINGTON AND OREGON WATERS...A DISSIPATING COLD
FRONT WILL MOVE SE ACROSS THE AREA SAT AND SAT NIGHT.
OTHERWISE...STRONG HIGH PRES CENTERED ABOUT 750 NM W OF CAPE
BLANCO WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY THROUGH SAT...THEN DRIFT E
SUN THROUGH MON NIGHT.

$$






SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.



PZZ800-300445-
CAPE FLATTERY TO CAPE SHOALWATER BETWEEN 60 NM AND 150 NM
OFFSHORE-
854 AM PDT THU MAY 29 2014


TODAY
NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

TONIGHT
NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 6 FT.

FRI
N TO NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT...BECOMING NW 10 TO 20 KT LATE.
SEAS 5 TO 6 FT.

FRI NIGHT
NW WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.

SAT
NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.

SAT NIGHT
NW WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 7 TO 9 FT.

SUN AND SUN NIGHT
NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 7 TO 8 FT.

MON
NW WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 7 TO 10 FT.

MON NIGHT
NW WINDS 25 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 13 FT.


~~~~

PZZ900-300445-
CAPE FLATTERY TO CAPE SHOALWATER BETWEEN 150 NM AND 250 NM
OFFSHORE-
854 AM PDT THU MAY 29 2014


TODAY
NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

TONIGHT
NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT. CHANCE OF RAIN.

FRI
N TO NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

FRI NIGHT
NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

SAT
NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 4 TO 7 FT.

SAT NIGHT
NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

SUN
NW WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.

SUN NIGHT
NW WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 7 TO 8 FT.

MON
N TO NW WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 8 TO 10 FT.

MON NIGHT
N TO NW WINDS 20 TO 30 KT. SEAS 9 TO 12 FT

~~~~

PZZ805-300445-
CAPE SHOALWATER TO CAPE LOOKOUT BETWEEN 60 NM AND 150 NM
OFFSHORE-
854 AM PDT THU MAY 29 2014


TODAY
N TO NW WINDS 5 TO 15 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.

TONIGHT
N WINDS 10 TO 15 KT BECOMING 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 6
FT.

FRI
N WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 6 FT.

FRI NIGHT
N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.

SAT
N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT...BECOMING NW LATE. SEAS 7 FT.

SAT NIGHT THROUGH SUN NIGHT
NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7
FT.

MON
N TO NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 9 FT.

MON NIGHT
N TO NW WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS 7 TO 12 FT

~~~~~

PZZ905-300445-
CAPE SHOALWATER TO CAPE LOOKOUT BETWEEN 150 NM AND 250 NM
OFFSHORE-
854 AM PDT THU MAY 29 2014


TODAY
NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.

TONIGHT
N TO NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT...DIMINISHING TO 10 TO
15 KT LATE. SEAS 5 TO 6 FT.

FRI
N TO NW WINDS 10 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

FRI NIGHT
N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.

SAT
N WINDS 15 TO 20 KT...BECOMING NW LATE. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

SAT NIGHT
NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 5 TO 7 FT.

SUN
NW WINDS 15 TO 20 KT. SEAS 6 TO 7 FT.

SUN NIGHT
N TO NW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. SEAS 6 TO 8 FT.

MON AND MON NIGHT
N WINDS 20 TO 25 KT. SEAS BUILDING TO 8 TO
11 FT MON NIGHT.

~~~~


4) Further, it is not just some added detail and forecasts for smaller more defined areas, that the Offshore Forecasts (via SSB Voice transmissions) have....but also some coverage beyond US waters, along Baja as far south as 29*N...(such as the zones from SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, CA TO GUADALUPE ISLAND FROM 60 NM OFFSHORE
WEST TO 120W- and SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, CA TO 120W BETWEEN 150 NM AND 250 NM OFFSHORE- )

And then, if you have a laptop/tablet computer, you can connect that to the SW radio and receive Weather Fax Charts and Images, covering anywhere you may want to sail/cruise worldwide (with especially good coverage along the US coasts and Mexico)


Understand that I'm not trying to talk you out of NAVTEX, but just letting you know what is available to you without the need for a "full SSB set-up"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenders View Post
Thank you to all who have replied. You've pretty much confirmed my thoughts. When I start crossing oceans I hope to have SSB. Maybe by then, pricing will become a bit more reasonable.
JE, while a "full SSB set-up" will set you back about $2600, a simple effective way to RECEIVE the SSB signals (both Offshore 'n Hi-Seas weather broadcasts, AND some "Cruiser's Nets"), can be done for about $150....

There are threads right here about this all the time...
Have a look here...

SSB Receivers

Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea (a different posting than below)

SSB transceiver

Newbe to ssb, anybody help me with some basic info?

Obtaining Accurate Offshore/Hi-Seas Weather data/forecasts, while at sea (a different posting than above)




5) When the time comes that you feel you can afford the $2600 price tag for a "full SSB set-up", talk to Gary at Dockside Radio....
Icom SSB Radio Kits & Components

And by then, you'll be ready and experienced...



I hope this helps..

Fair winds..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 30-05-2014, 07:54   #8
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Re: Navtex for coastal weather

John (s/v Annie Laurie),
Thanks very much for this detailed and helpful info.
John (s/v Victoria)
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