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Old 03-05-2016, 03:12   #76
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Re: Offshore weather

I am not a "cult follower". But it is clear that when someone has many years of experience it pays to listen to them. That does not mean "blind faith" listening but it's possible to learn from their experience. That is until they stop teaching because too many arrows are slung their way.

Back to the topic. SSB fax is the cheapest near real time weather information direct from the weather bureau source. Listening to SSB weather nets is also free if you have a receiver. Learning how to read wave, wind and cloud patterns is extremely valuable. Carrying pilot charts describing "typical" weather for the season has merit. It does not have to be an either-or approach when it comes to gaining weather knowledge.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:17   #77
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Re: Offshore weather

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I could just be winding you up..

Pelagic.. one thing you may have noticed.. or not..
I say what I do and do not do.. I never say its the only way.
I stated I'm dumping my SSB and drew some sarcasm so 'Game On'...
Boatie, you are a master at winding up so I concede already... mostly because what you said below is pure poppycock... and just a bit sarcastic in itself

"As for many other 'AID's' for sailors.. to me they only create dependant cruisers to lazy, dumb, whatever to learn how to read the world.. just rely on other people to do it for them..
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:20   #78
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Re: Offshore weather

For crossing the Tasman; the old hands who I listen to just say use the 7 day forecasts to help choose favorable weather patterns for the leaving date to give good sailing a few days and be ready for the crap that will most likely get you before you've finished. They liked ssb but I'm doubtful they regarded as an essential safety tool.
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:54   #79
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Re: Offshore weather

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For crossing the Tasman; the old hands who I listen to just say use the 7 day forecasts to help choose favorable weather patterns for the leaving date to give good sailing a few days and be ready for the crap that will most likely get you before you've finished. They liked ssb but I'm doubtful they regarded as an essential safety tool.
Surely it is that much better , given the quality of the information available from both sides of the Tasman, to have a rolling, refreshed and up to date 4 day forecast available en route? ( beyond 4 days it starts to get a bit iffy anyway).
Sure, you can't make the weather go bugger off but it is still good to be able to plan ahead whether that involves a course change, a menu change, or a pre dark sail change. Beats an underpant change after you have had a rude surprise......

That said Buys Ballots Law is always a handy one to have in your toolkit.


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Old 03-05-2016, 05:23   #80
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pirate Re: Offshore weather

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Noooooo don't say that, that is one of the key beliefs of the cult of boatie followers. What's next? You will try to tell us that you are not omnipresent?


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Old 03-05-2016, 05:57   #81
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pirate Re: Offshore weather

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
Boatie, you are a master at winding up so I concede already... mostly because what you said below is pure poppycock... and just a bit sarcastic in itself

"As for many other 'AID's' for sailors.. to me they only create dependant cruisers to lazy, dumb, whatever to learn how to read the world.. just rely on other people to do it for them..
Pelagic.. I am all for things that keep folks safe.. don't misunderstand my reasons.
Just trying to goad folks into having a go at the 'Obsolete Sciences' to gain an understanding of nature for that 'Murphy Moment' when the magic boxes stop talking as opposed to blind reliance in the way some treat navigation.

As a delivery skipper some bravado is essential.. one trip could be 500nm with all the bells and whistles, the next 5000nm with just a VHF and HH GPS.

I bought my first GPS in 1996 after my then newish partner freaked in thick fog returning from France one night and the sound of gulls on the cliffs and depth sounder were the only indication we were 100metres off Durlston Head.. could only just make out the faint glow of the lighthouse above.
As she also had a stake in the new boat, and I wanted to keep both.. so I conceded

I bought my 1st computer in 1999.. and laptop in 2004.. Me Luddite
But.. I like to credit readers with common sense enough to sift out what they need and toss out the wrapping paper and bubble wrap.
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Old 03-05-2016, 06:09   #82
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Re: Offshore weather

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Originally Posted by DumnMad View Post
For crossing the Tasman; the old hands who I listen to just say use the 7 day forecasts to help choose favorable weather patterns for the leaving date to give good sailing a few days and be ready for the crap that will most likely get you before you've finished. They liked ssb but I'm doubtful they regarded as an essential safety tool.
I've sailed across the Tasman 10 times now (not including the years on big ships), 3 times mid winter in smaller yachts (26,28 and 34 foot). Ive always listened to the forcasts on HF daily. Makes a nice little ritual, and a good routine for the evenings when reception is often better.

I used to handplot the positions of the highs, lows and fronts. From the voice version of this type of thinghttp://www.bom.gov.au/vic/forecasts/sehighseas.shtml recorded onto a tapedeck off the radio, or written down very fast... Tie this in with the barometer, clouds, swell and wind and you have a decent idea of whats around you. Often got me out of the worst of the crap, or at least it gave me a good idea of the amount of crap I was in for!

Life got much easier when I got a little laptop and hooked my HF reciever up to it and got weather faxes. Now that was a marvel, saved all that tedious hand plotting and showed all the isobars and features.

We used to have to solder up a little demodulator to convert the signal into something the computer could understand (and load up an old DOS program off a floppy disk), but now a $5 cord and some free software like JV comm does the trick. It even looks like a cheap tablet can be used these days with a clever app that listens to the radio instead of a laptop and a cord. Neat!

So this has to be the cheapest system when you are out of range of VHf and cell phone.

Ive been very impressed by GMNs grib service over satphone, coupled with skyeye to directly view the satellite images as they pass overhead you have an awesome idea whats happening even in remote parts of the world. This has to be the simplest and most effective system I have used.

But the old weatherfaxes still work well, especially when they are coupled with the high seas voice forcast to get an idea of windspeeds.

I am interested in how these new text based satcoms like yellowbrick and stuff will develop in the future. They may become a very cost effective way to get good weather info, but for now its hard to beat the free stuff over the radio.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:27   #83
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Re: Offshore weather

BTW What's your take on RTTY?

Anybody uses this? Is it difficult to decode onboard? What's the range? Etc.

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Old 03-05-2016, 14:13   #84
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Re: Offshore weather

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BTW What's your take on RTTY?

Anybody uses this? Is it difficult to decode onboard? What's the range? Etc.

b.
I've never used it in anger but it is still out there.

Plenty of free decoding software available, CocoaModem for Mac, JVComm for PC, FLDIGI for either.

Range? Its HF....so frequency and propagation dependent.

More here
Radio Teletype (RTTY) Weather Forecasts / Franks-Weather | The Weather Window
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Old 03-05-2016, 15:28   #85
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Re: Offshore weather

The old telex sets with Rtty NBDP We used to use it on the ships, then Sat C took over and the radio officers became grumpy electricians.

I think its been discontinued down here for weather. Still avaible for coms I tbink. They are broadcasting weather fax and voice, though occasionally we hear noises about them discontinuing fax as well, so far it looks safe. Id be interested to hear if there is a source of RTTY weather down this way, or if the yank stuff is any use in the southern pacific?

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Old 06-05-2016, 00:41   #86
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Re: Offshore weather

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BTW What's your take on RTTY?

Anybody uses this? Is it difficult to decode onboard? What's the range? Etc.

b.
Your basically talking about NAVTEX. I occasionally take it using Viewfax built into Airmail. Some parts of the world transmit useful stuff but mostly on the lower frequencies with propagation of about 2 to 600 miles but some stations transmit longer range frequencies. Here in Polynesia I can still pick up the Argentine station and learn which buoys are out of position in the Parana river

They transmit the same info as the METAREA forecasts that you can get via email so provided there is a station covering your area of interest you can get good stuff.
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Old 06-05-2016, 00:48   #87
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Re: Offshore weather

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I managed to get an Aussie weather fax in the North Atlantic once whilst messing around. It's got to be easier for you in the Gambier Islands a third or less of the distance away.
Yes but it probably wasn't much use to you was it!

Propagation conditions can send an HF signal around the world, more than once, but its another thing being able to reliably receive a signal at the time of the day when it is useful. I can receive excellent Aussie faxes of weather in the Indian ocean but I'm not really interested in that

As I get further west the range of useful frequencies and the times that I can receive them becomes more useful.

Disclosure.. I am a radio/telecoms engineer just old enough to have been trained in the black art of HF.
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