Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 01-06-2015, 09:07   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Boat: 2002 Seawind 1000 (33 ft) Cat
Posts: 840
OCENS Weather Forecasts

We purchased a Delorme Explorer SE for family members to be able to keep up with our location during our Bahamas cruise, as well as the ability to send text messages. I ran across this service to get weather forecasts over the Explorer SE (see below). Can get 24 hour weather forecasts - in six-hour increments - for only $6 per month plus an activation fee. Wonder how accurate? Is anyone using this service? Feedback?

inReach SE
__________________

__________________
sailjumanji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015, 11:18   #2
Registered User
 
4arch's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baltimore
Boat: Beneteau Oceanis 400
Posts: 232
Images: 1
Re: OCENS Weather Forecasts

We considered this product also for the Bahamas but decided that it was too limited to be useful for more than a backup/secondary source and even then we’d probably spring for the 48 or 72 hour option. It's a good attempt to compress a forecast into SMS character limits but the data it provides is very basic and only gives you a snapshot of a specific point. To get a forecast for a passage you might have to request forecasts for the departure and arrival points as well as a few points along the way. This would become a lot of text messages to sift through and still doesn’t give you any idea of the larger scale and longer term weather patterns and trends that could affect your sailing area. The fact that it doesn’t give any information on sea state is a problem too, since it can take time for big seas to lay down after a blow. Compare that to what a navtex forecast from a receive-only SSB would give – there’s no comparison:
WITHIN 200 NM EAST OF THE COAST OF FLORIDA

.SYNOPSIS...WEAK TROUGH FROM 25N73W TO EASTERN CUBA WILL SLOWLY
MOVE WESTWARD ACROSS THE BAHAMAS THROUGH WED. OTHERWISE A WEAK
PRES PATTERN WILL REMAIN OVER THE AREA DURING THE FORECAST
PERIOD. A BROAD TROUGH MAY LIFT NE FROM THE NW CARIBBEAN TO THE
FAR WESTERN PORTION THU WITH POSSIBLE LOW PRES FORMING ALONG IT
NEAR THE BAHAMAS FRI.

.THIS AFTERNOON...E WINDS 5 TO 10 KT S OF 27N...AND E LESS THAN
5 KT N OF 27N. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...AND 3 FT N OF 27N.
.TONIGHT...E WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...AND
3 FT N OF 27N.
.TUE...SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...AND 3 FT
N OF 27N.
.TUE NIGHT...SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...
AND 3 FT N OF 27N. SCATTERED SHOWERS AND ISOLATED TSTMS.
.WED...SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...AND 3 FT
N OF 27N.
.WED NIGHT...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...
AND 3 FT N OF 27N.
.THU...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.
.THU NIGHT...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 3 FT.
.FRI...SE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...AND
3 TO 5 FT N OF 27N.
.FRI NIGHT...SE WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 2 FT OR LESS S OF 27N...
AND 3 FT N OF 27N.

Our plan is that the primary source of weather data will be via Wi-Fi or cellular Internet when available. We don’t anticipate any passages longer than 48 hours so this should be fairly reliable except when we get somewhere where there’s no absolutely data service available.

First backup would be using a receive-only SSB radio linked to a laptop or tablet to download weatherfax and GRIB data. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to get this working reliably yet at home although my understanding is it will work better “out there”. We plan to continue experimenting and perfecting this. I have a feeling once we have a reliable solution, it will be extremely reliable.

Another option we’ve mulled is instead of purchasing a Delorme unit to purchase an Iridium Go or a Globalstar Sat-Fi and to subscribe to Chris Parker’s e-mail weather service. As much as every cruiser needs to be his or her own weather forecaster, having the analysis that a service like Parker’s adds to the raw data certainly doesn’t hurt. He does a verbal forecast that can also be listened to for free on SSB.
__________________

__________________
4arch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2015, 12:42   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Boat: 2002 Seawind 1000 (33 ft) Cat
Posts: 840
Re: OCENS Weather Forecasts

Yes, good points regarding the added data available from even a receive-only SSB. I plan to purchase a unit as well, especially since they are relatively-inexpensive.

I was thinking more about wanting to get wind forecasts while in the islands - specific islands in the Exuma chain in particular. Was wondering whether the location-specific forecasts were worthwhile. If only to know whether increase in wind was forecast, and direction - which might help in choosing an anchorage, or deciding whether tomorrow might be a good day to transit.

Yeah, it would be good to know if anyone got the receive-only SSB to work regarding downloading the weatherfax and GRIB data. I know there are a couple of marine communication companies pushing transmit SSB or Iridium phones with software packages to do that, but none I have found suggesting it with receive-only SSB.

As for the InReach, we already purchased it and plan to use it for simple text messaging and keeping the relatives at home in-touch and following our location. And emergency service if necessary. I didn't want to go full-out expense of a satellite phone.
__________________
sailjumanji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2015, 09:15   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Boat: 2002 Seawind 1000 (33 ft) Cat
Posts: 840
Re: OCENS Weather Forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
Compare that to what a navtex forecast from a receive-only SSB would give – there’s no comparison:
WITHIN 200 NM EAST OF THE COAST OF FLORIDA

.SYNOPSIS...WEAK TROUGH FROM 25N73W TO EASTERN CUBA WILL SLOWLY
MOVE WESTWARD ACROSS THE BAHAMAS THROUGH WED. OTHERWISE A WEAK
PRES PATTERN WILL REMAIN OVER THE AREA DURING THE FORECAST
PERIOD. A BROAD TROUGH MAY LIFT NE FROM THE NW CARIBBEAN TO THE
FAR WESTERN PORTION THU WITH POSSIBLE LOW PRES FORMING ALONG IT
NEAR THE BAHAMAS FRI.


Ok, stupid question warning! How do you get this forecast with only the SSB? I know I can tune to a weather channel on my VHF and get this - or something similar - but that transmission reception distance is limited. Is there a channel on the SSB that gets the navtex forecast? I can live with having to listen to it a couple of times to get the info I need. I really don't want to be hooking up a laptop or tablet and extra stuff - just trying to keep it simple. And don't mind getting up early to listen to Chris' report.


__________________
sailjumanji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2015, 19:42   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Ellenton Florida
Boat: Lagoon 38
Posts: 42
Re: OCENS Weather Forecasts

Weather underground and passage weather are great!
__________________
Greg H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2015, 05:47   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Port Aransas, Texas
Boat: 2002 Seawind 1000 (33 ft) Cat
Posts: 840
Re: OCENS Weather Forecasts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg H View Post
Weather underground and passage weather are great!
Ok, I am looking for something that can be received thru either the InReach, a receive-only SSB, or VHF. Specifically wondering if anyone has any experience with OCENS in the Bahamas.
__________________
sailjumanji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2015, 02:48   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Charlotte, NC
Boat: Boatless at this time (is this a word?)
Posts: 46
Re: OCENS Weather Forecasts

SailJ I have a Delorme Inreach SE and opt for the OCENS service when I make open ocean deliveries. I have been using it for a few months now, and have 4 deliveries with about 3000 miles using the OCENS service. I am not the delivery captain, but crew. I decided to get the service when I did a delivery with a Captain who used passage maker and we found that it was not timely after 10 days at sea. These 3000 miles includ 4 crossings of the gulf stream moving boats from the Southeast coast down to the BVI's, Bahamas and Puerto Rico.

I have found that it provides me the information necessary to sail with safety when many days at sea. I use gribs on a number of services, but they require updates with internet which I normally do not have access to. This enables us to look at alternative routes while underway in remote locations. The most useful has been wind speed, direction, and precipitation. You can decide your target lat and long of where you want to be in 24, 48 or 72 hours in advance, and then request the information. The return message happens anywhere between 5 - 20 minutes. My suggestion is based on the system, that I don't send more than 1 request at a time. They seem to get stacked up one on the other and if you do do multiple requests, you cant easily tell which one it is for since the data is so compressed.

However, when I bring this on board with a professional captain, their eyes brighten and they take advantage of this system for our safety, planning and speed.

OCENS customer service is very helpful as well. It is easy to subscribe and then define what plan you want. I went with the $8 plan, for just one month. Then I cancel. Then I reinstate it on the month I want to use it again.

Please PM me if you would like.
Mark
__________________

__________________
Swammy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
forecast, weather

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ocens - a Warning Doe818 Product or Service Reviews & Evaluations 10 25-04-2012 02:30
Sat Phone: Weather Forecasts beau Marine Electronics 24 04-04-2011 10:38
Weather Reports and Forecasts sailorboy1 Off Topic Forum 2 17-05-2010 03:33
Ocens and Cruisenet costs in windwards dkstock Marine Electronics 2 05-10-2008 10:30



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:06.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.