For basic wind
and wave GRIB files, you can go with a free GRIB service
that delivers GRIB files via email
. Over an Iridium satellite phone
, with its very slow connection speeds, this is often the best way to get any kind of data. You can learn more about our free GRIB service
at FREE GRIB Files | Marine Weather Charts | Global Marine Networks
You'll want to make sure you're using a compression email
service like XGate or Iridium Mail & Web. These will help decrease the overhead involved in downloading over a very narrowband device like an Iridium handheld.
For a more robust library of weather
data, you might want to check out a paid program like WeatherNet. This has everything from basic GRIB files to satellite
imagery to ice-flow data: you name it. WeatherNet is a subscription service that costs $99 a year. Weather
files area also deducted from something called a "data card," so your price
per year will be higher than $99. When paired with XGate email service, the airtime consumed by WeatherNet decreases significantly because of the way it bypasses a double connection fee (typically around $0.50-$0.90 on an Iridium plan). Depending on how frequently you require weather data, these savings can add up.
You can also find some great GRIB file programs specifically for Android and iOS. Some programs that our customers frequently use are:
programs like Expedition also have built-in GRIB requesters, although you need to be careful using some of them over satellite
, as the data load can be quite high. (For Expedition specifically, we would recommend using the email requester for SailDocs).
A good thing to keep in mind is that a 3-Day wind/wave GRIB file for an area the size of the Caribbean
is about 15kb in size. This takes up about a minute of Iridium airtime to download (and don't forget the one to two connection fees
you'll incur, depending on how you get your files). The real-world cost of this depends on your satellite airtime plan, but typically will cost a cruiser between $2.00 to $4.00.