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Old 18-02-2018, 09:13   #1
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Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Is anyone using the Garmin (formerly DeLorme) InReach weather forecasting, and if so, have you recently experienced any problems with it? We recently had to replace our InReach SE under warranty (and Garmin was very generous and quick about doing so). But when I tested the weather forecasting function, it did not operate properly. Normally, the Basic Weather Forecast comes for 3-days at 6-hour intervals. But mine came in for only a day and a half, the first half day in 2-hour intervals, and the next day in 6-hour intervals. The last half of the forecast was just not there.

Interestingly, if you count the number of hourly intervals that I received versus the number of hourly intervals that you would normally get on the 3-day forecast, they are the same number. So the weather prediction is giving me too many hourly forecasts on the current day, and not giving me the proper number of hourly forecasts for on the remaining day and a half.

There is no way to change the settings for the weather forecast either in the Weather function or in the Settings function of the InReach. And there is no description of this problem on the Garmin website that I can find. I wrote an email to Garmin Tech Support a bit ago, so they have not had a chance to respond yet. But in the meantime, I am wondering if anyone else is experiencing this problem.

Thanks as always for the Forum's help.

Eric
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Old 03-03-2018, 16:39   #2
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

I, too, would like to hear answers to your questions. We have an InReach and, because I lie awake at night, imagining the worst possible scenarios in our live-a-board "adventure", this was on my mind the last few nights. Weather and how we're going to get forecasts if we don't have cell service or wifi.

So today, I pushed the "weather" button on the DeLorme. Got the marine forecast. As we're sitting in Spanish Wells Yacht Haven and I have internet, I compared it to different wind and seas forecasts. It appears to be spot on (and what we are experiencing).


Doesn't help YOU, I'm sure, but what about turning it off and then on. Works for me with computers, cell phones, etc.
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Old 04-03-2018, 14:03   #3
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Thanks for your input. On my side, I heard back from Garmin:

Hello Eric,
I have reviewed this over the weekend by doing some weather forecast in multiple location. All of the tests yielded the same behavior. Upon having a meeting with the Mobile Team earlier today, it appears this was an intentional change where we will give you a more detailed interval for the first day and then 6 hours thereafter (depends on time of request and it only has 12 slots of data (thats why you are seeing half a day cut off the third day.

Since this in intentional, I will go ahead and update the web documentation to reflect the new change. This change was implemented a month ago, so it is fairly recent.

Thank you for choosing Garmin,


To this, I replied:

Thanks for following up on this weather reporting development. First, I am surprised that you are taken by surprise by this, not knowing about it until after the fact, plus the fact that I informed you of it.

Second, this development is distressing for us sailors who are long-distance cruisers. We know that the weather does not change too quickly on the ocean—most of the time. Usually, we like looking at the weather for as many days out as we can get so that we can take appropriate safe course action when we detect a change coming a few days in advance. A day and a half of advance weather notice does us little good, and 2-hour reports where we sail are usually virtually identical and therefore of no use. For example, if we detect a major wind and weather shift coming, we can alter course in plenty of time to sail out of harm’s way—it takes us many hours at slow speed s—4 to 6 knots (that’s about 5-7 miles per hour)—to get far enough out of the way of the bad weather coming. That is, offshore sailors need at least 3-days advance look at weather, more if we can get it. Five days advance would be even better.

I don’t know who Mobile Team is. I thought the weather we get on the DeLorme was brought to us by Dark Sky. Are they one and the same, or do you need to update the notices on your website and on-line material as well as on the Delorme itself to say who really is providing the weather predictions?

Is there any way you can influence their decision and change this back? What prompted the weather people (Dark Sky or Mobile Team) to make the change anyway? Are there enough non-sailor users of their service that this prompted the change? Are there not enough users among offshore sailors to influence their decision? I believe the weather people have made a wrong choice; it certainly does not work well for me and my fellow sailors. One of the reasons I got the DeLorme is for the weather service which suited me nicely. I use it a lot. But now, with this change, the service in my eyes is degraded. You have broken your promise of suitable weather routing—it is not suitable at all. Plus, the way the change was handled, without any announcement whatsoever to any of your customers, is downright irresponsible. I cannot believe I am the only one discovering this, and I bet a lot of other offshore sailors are wondering what the hell has happened?

I suppose I am in a minority, and there must have been enough customer pressure to change the weather reports. Alternatively, if there is no way to change the timing interval of the weather reports, can you or anyone change the set up so that you can restore the 3-day forecast, even if it means adding more 6-hour slots to extend the predictions to 3 days.

Again, I am very disturbed by this change and Garmin’s handling of this situation. It is very unprofessional and certainly discourteous to your customers.

Regards,

Eric

And to this, Garmin replied:

Hello Eric,
As far as the change, you have been the only report that has come up to my desk when this ticket was escalated regarding this issue. The new behavior only looses 12 hours of data -> 6 slots for the first day, 4 slots (6 hour interval), 2 slots for the third day, 2- 6 hour forecasts. Keep in mind, we do have Premium Forecasts available that includes a 7 day forecasts if you need to look at further days beyond what Basic provides. With that new change, I will be updating the current KB Articles to make it more in line.

As an aside, if you are on the Expedition plan or above, then your messages are free to send unlimited, therefore, you can request Basic weather as much as you need.

Another thing to keep in mind, that this device was orignally designed for outdoor trail blazing, trail hiking and etc. With Garmin's acquisition of the technology, we plan on expanding the technology to other Segments with their own stand alone devices (New Garmin Chart Plotters using inReach technology for example), which may be down the road.
Could I influence a possible change? Changes typically happen when we get multiple request and reports of this issue. Often times, business decisions are made by our stakeholders to get a general idea of what people are looking for in the device. I can certainly put up an internal ticket for review, but I believe there are more reasons on doing this --

1. To keep plans cheap -- More data we send through the Iridium Network, the higher your price of plans will be.
2. Faster request - The size of the data request will lead to quicker request out in the field. - This helps if you are actively communicating and your messages are leaving the queue faster.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Thank you for choosing Garmin,


So, the upshot of all this is that the InReach weather forecasts have been changed to cover a day and a half, not three days. The first day will have 2-hour intervals, and the next day or so will come in 6-hour intervals. There will be a total of 12 weather times in any forecast.

The Premium forecasts and the Marine Weather forecasts (which cost $1 each) still stretch over 7 days.

Garmin is in the process of changing their advertising to reflect this change.

Eric
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:27   #4
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Thanks for the update.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:44   #5
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

I don't have an Inreach but have been researching them and, too be honest, have not been impressed with the weather function. Probably OK for backpacking but the basic forecast looks fairly useless for cruisers, and even more so with the recent changes. The "premium marine" forecast is better, but offers no synopsis or information on what is going on around you and costs $1 per forecast, or $30/month if you are using it daily. I would be tempted to use the email function to get information from Saildocs which, in addition to NOAA forecasts, can be used to get GRIBS and forecasts from just about any Met office around the world.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:24   #6
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

There is a simple solution for this problem:

Get a fastseas inreach subscription for 5USD/month and use it for weather routing. That's much better than the inreach weather that's only forecasting for a single position as far as i know, doesn't matter if it is for two days or three or even seven as you will be several hundred miles away from the point that the forecast is made for anyways.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:35   #7
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

The InReach marine forecast can be used anywhere you want to look up the forecast, not just at your current position.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:45   #8
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by txg View Post
There is a simple solution for this problem:

Get a fastseas inreach subscription for 5USD/month and use it for weather routing. That's much better than the inreach weather that's only forecasting for a single position as far as i know, doesn't matter if it is for two days or three or even seven as you will be several hundred miles away from the point that the forecast is made for anyways.
Fast seas....thanks for that info.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:16   #9
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptsWife View Post
The InReach marine forecast can be used anywhere you want to look up the forecast, not just at your current position.
That's true, but it can only show the weather at a SINGLE position.

And that's useless for long distance cruising, because a i want to know about the weather forecast at the positions that i plan to be at in the coming days. Obviously, there is a little bit of error in the position accuracy, but it is much better than simply looking at the weather at a single position.

Example from the fastseas website for the inreach:

Sending something like this:

Quote:
To: query@fastseas.com SEND ROUTE: 10.9N, 63.8W,
EMAIL=JEREMY@FASTSEAS.COM,
WAYPOINTS=24, INTERVAL=4
Will give you the route from your current position to the requested position with 24 waypoints in an interval of 4 hours, so it's for the next 4 days. The base for this is a polar that you created in your fastseas account before heading offshore. This example means six messages are used up for the answer to this request, and if that is to expensive you can easily change the request variables.

Fastseas will reply with something like this (shorter example):

Quote:
HOUR,LAT,LNG,WIND,COG
H0,11.58N,67.75W,15G18@78,126
H6,11.17N,67.16W,16G19@81,126
H12,11.04N,66.65W,10G14@110,59
H18,11.34N,66.02W,12G15@114,54
So it will show your estimated position, forecasted wind speed and gusts, wind direction and course over ground.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:36   #10
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by txg View Post
That's true, but it can only show the weather at a SINGLE position.

And that's useless for long distance cruising, because a i want to know about the weather forecast at the positions that i plan to be at in the coming days. Obviously, there is a little bit of error in the position accuracy, but it is much better than simply looking at the weather at a single position.

Example from the fastseas website for the inreach:

Sending something like this:

Will give you the route from your current position to the requested position with 24 waypoints in an interval of 4 hours, so it's for the next 4 days. The base for this is a polar that you created in your fastseas account before heading offshore. This example means six messages are used up for the answer to this request, and if that is to expensive you can easily change the request variables.

Fastseas will reply with something like this (shorter example):

So it will show your estimated position, forecasted wind speed and gusts, wind direction and course over ground.
I like Fastseas for routing but not for forecasting. Fastseas will calculate an optimum route based on predicted wind and current. When on passage I want to see the overall predicted weather changes to make decisions. There are many more criteria that go into deciding what to do on passage than a routing program like Fastseas takes into account.
For example, at what latitude is it best to take a front, or how much easting to put in to protec from getting headed due to forecast uncertainty.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:24   #11
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by txg View Post
That's true, but it can only show the weather at a SINGLE position.

And that's useless for long distance cruising, because a i want to know about the weather forecast at the positions that i plan to be at in the coming days. Obviously, there is a little bit of error in the position accuracy, but it is much better than simply looking at the weather at a single position.
But then you can save the forecast and request another forecast for a different location and save that one, as well.
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Old 05-03-2018, 17:06   #12
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

We subscribed to OCENS weather forecast when we were cruising in 2016. We got unlimited forecasts for around $12 per month. This was before delorme started offering their own forecast service. Did it all thru the delorme inreach. Will do it again thru OCENS next time we head out.
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Old 17-09-2018, 08:16   #13
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

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Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
We subscribed to OCENS weather forecast when we were cruising in 2016. We got unlimited forecasts for around $12 per month. This was before delorme started offering their own forecast service. Did it all thru the delorme inreach. Will do it again thru OCENS next time we head out.
Could you give more detail thanks. OCENS sent you forecasts through your Inreach? Were you viewing them on a separate screen? I had a look at the OCENS site,which option did you pick? Thanks in advance.
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Old 17-09-2018, 09:09   #14
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

Oh, it was three years ago. I'm currently away from computer, but we had an OCENS subscription for 72 hr forecasts, in 4 hr increments. Unlimited forecasts for around $10 per month. Hopefully they still have that available.

We Bluetooth the InReach to my wife's I-pad. So we could use that keyboard for easy texting and forecast requests. And then the reply was a text. On the I-pad it came over as lines of data. Easy to read. Each line was for a four hour period. They had examples of the forecast format on their website (or at least did three years ago!).
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Old 17-09-2018, 15:32   #15
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Re: Trouble with Garmin InReach weather forecasts

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Originally Posted by MrS View Post
Could you give more detail thanks. OCENS sent you forecasts through your Inreach? Were you viewing them on a separate screen? I had a look at the OCENS site,which option did you pick? Thanks in advance.

It's Spotcast.


https://www.ocens.com/SpotCast-Extre...ther-P526.aspx



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