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Old 19-09-2018, 10:18   #31
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
Like 907Juice, I use someone ashore (my adult son) to augment the InReach weather.

He keeps an eye on the weather forecast when I am offshore and will send me a text when he sees something unusual along my track. It's amazing how much he can pack into a few 160 character messages. On most passages, he only has to do this a few times as the InReach is fine in settled weather.
Good practice I think. I have done weather routing for several boats this way. Its a lot easier to do detailed analysis ashore with reliable high speed internet...and then convey routing recommendations via text msg.
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Old 20-09-2018, 02:08   #32
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

I have developed a service that provides weather (wind&pressure from GFS, waves and swell from Wavewatch III models) forecasts for five days in a garmin inReach friendly format. It is free to use and it can do forecast along planned route given your anticipated speed and direction or for a single spot. You can also sing up to receive official weather warnings and forecasts from national weather services as well as navigational warnings (like exclusion areas, piracy attacks, drifting weather buoys and etc). Lastly if you are in the Pacific ocean you can get weekly weather overview from professional meteorologist – Bob McDavitt (MetBob). All packaged as short 160 character messages.

You can read more about the service here – https://cruisersat.net or message me if you need any help with it.
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:16   #33
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

My husband and I are taking our sailboat down to Mexico along the Pacific coast for the first time. We don't have SSB. We have just gotten Spotcast with OCENs and also have used the weather feature on our Garmin Inreach Explorer when we don't have wifi access. We are not completely satisfied with both because we can't get the big picture weather synopsis for the area we are headed. It's helpful to get some data but what if there is some nasty weather brewing in the general area but not on your route? We like to know about that weather for our long range planning. OCENS told us that our Garmin Inreach Explorer isn't advanced enough to get weather synopsis. Did we buy the wrong device? Are those of you using GarminInreach getting big picture data and weather synopsis from some other source? Any advice? Thank you...
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:03   #34
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

"Did we buy the wrong device?"

This is the question I keep waiting for people to ask.. As a cruiser myself, always wanting to be aware of the weather, and as a technologist who understands, supports, and sells the various connectivity devices (wifi, cell, satellite, SSB/Pactor, xgate, etc, etc) I am curious as to why other cruisers believe that the InReach alone is adequate for weather forecasting. I have an InReach and I used it along with other devices while cruising, it's fantastic as a tracker, and for unlimited SMS texting with family, friends, and other cruisers, but it has significant limitations when it comes to weather forecasting.

1.) The basic forecast is akin to a TV news local terrestrial forecast. It doesn't necessarily reflect the conditions on the water, which may be wildly different. And it certainly won't give you accurate wind/wave conditions.

2.) The premium forecast is still land based but provides more detail and longer timespan. But costs $1 each time you request one.

3.) The Marine forecast provides quite accurate, good information in my experience, however it really only works in the ocean. There were many times in Puget Sound, Inside Passage, and in Sea of Cortez where the Marine Forecast was unavailable because from the InReach's perspective I wasn't on a "body of water". The Sea of Cortez is certainly a body of water and the weather there is. Complicated. It worked fine out in the Pacific when we headed south from Washington to California. Again, each request costs $1.

So let's say you have the unlimited (2nd highest) InReach plan, which after taxes costs ~$60/month. Then you request a marine forecasts for ONE location every day or so. Now you are spending $80-90/month, for a spot forecast and SMS. For just $40 more/month you could have an Iridium Go with unlimited data, unlimited SMS, and 150 minutes of voice calling. And you could download GRIBs, NOAA weather images, full emails with attachments, tet anyone, work with more than one smartphone at the same time, support a laptop, run PredictWind, and much more.

Personally, if you only had ONE device, I don't think the InReach is that device. It's certainly part of an arsenal of devices for those that are going for redundancy and have the budget. I have an Iridium Pilot (broadband satellite), a Cell router, WiFi Extender, a SPOTX, and an InReach. (as a dealer I don't pay for the SPOTX though, which is why I have it.) I really do love my InReach, but it's no match for actual Internet, Email, and Voice and true weather forecasts with synoposis from NOAA, email subscriptions to services like Sonrisa, and GRIB files, weather routing, and more. And if you could do that for just 50% more cost per-month, why would you choose InReach?

And, I do know a couple that crossed the Pacific with ONLY an InReach for weather... But they were becalmed for days, and in a few storms. Could they have avoided those issues with better weather data? Maybe.. Maybe not.

Just my $0.02.

Incidentally, I pay less per-month for my Pilot than the unlimited Iridium Go plan. The Pilot is 64 times faster, allows for some light web browsing, and has 3 phone lines for regular house style phones. I only get 12MB of data per month. But that's more than enough for Email and GRIB files, and I stick to cellular when I am close enough to the coast anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kboness View Post
My husband and I are taking our sailboat down to Mexico along the Pacific coast for the first time. We don't have SSB. We have just gotten Spotcast with OCENs and also have used the weather feature on our Garmin Inreach Explorer when we don't have wifi access. We are not completely satisfied with both because we can't get the big picture weather synopsis for the area we are headed. It's helpful to get some data but what if there is some nasty weather brewing in the general area but not on your route? We like to know about that weather for our long range planning. OCENS told us that our Garmin Inreach Explorer isn't advanced enough to get weather synopsis. Did we buy the wrong device? Are those of you using GarminInreach getting big picture data and weather synopsis from some other source? Any advice? Thank you...
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:18   #35
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

OCENS SpotCast is something like $10-12 per month for unlimited forecasts. We used it for three months offshore US and Bahamas and found it sufficiently accurate. The $1 per forecast program from InReach is not very cost effective, unless you do ten per month or less. When we are in Bahamas, we get macro-level forecast from Chris Parker, and local from OCENS. It's a great combination for Bahamas. If you're on a lake someplace, Predictwind, Windyty or something else probably makes more sense.
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Old 08-11-2018, 16:40   #36
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

I love my Inreach with unlimited messaging from the phone. Just like sms or WhatsApp. The key to using it productively for weather is to have a friend on shore help with the forecast, routing, etc. They have your location and course, they can route you, warn you, etc. they could send 20 sms per hour if need be, which works out to some sizable data information transfer. Yes, a Go would be better but not as good as having a router on shore.
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Old 08-11-2018, 16:43   #37
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

If you want to be totally independent, well you canít be because you always rely on some public service, weather fax, forecast, GRIB... At the end of the day this translates into a few way points and some warnings.

You can still get the faxes with a second receiver, I guess. But best is to have friends on shore.
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