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View Poll Results: Do you use a weather routing service (can select more than 1 answer)
never - I do my own forecasting 16 61.54%
yes - on long open water passages 7 26.92%
I believe them too expensive 4 15.38%
I believe them money well spent 5 19.23%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 29-01-2011, 12:46   #16
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:21   #17
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Re: Weather Routing Sevices

Originally Posted by speciald@ocens. View Post
I use the MaxSea Time Zero routing program when offshore and download gribs by Globalstar to the program from MaxSea's web site. The program takes the gribs and the boats polars and then gives sailing directions, even which sails to use. The weather forcast is as good or better than services such as Commanders as is takes into account the speed of my boat. the program is not cheap but worth the money if you frequently sail offshore.
Hi Can you let me know the details of the program and approximate cost please.
reply to ianlgv <at> gmail <dot> com or vjn3516 <at> sailmail <dot> com
Much appreciated as we are planning passages from Bahamas to cuba, central America and Pacific to Australia.

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Old 12-03-2011, 11:12   #18
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Re: Weather Routing Sevices

Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Lots of views and little votes.
I have used several shore routers in the past on Hawk and on superyacht deliveries. If someone else wants to pay I will always be happy to get an outside perspective, but grib (saildocs) and weather routing software (expedition has now surpassed maxsea) have developed to the point where you can easily do as well (and often better because you can look out the window) on board as the shore guys. I stopped using shore routers on my own boat several years ago.

I have several times compared my analysis and decision at sea to shore routers and we rarely differ (We are essentially looking at the exact same information), but when we do it's about 50/50 who was right.

There is definitely a psychological boost to believing that someone ashore is thinking about your safety and looking after your route. You feel less alone and some of the weight is off your shoulders. BUT I am not sure that is a good thing. The captain has to be responsible and make the decision and leaning on an outsider who does not actually know the conditions and situation on board can be dangerous. My feeling is that the captain should know all the details and guts of the weather situation, and not let someone else just give him waypoints, to make proper decisions.
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:25   #19
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Re: Weather Routing Sevices

We sailed 12 sea days from Trinidad to the Beaufort NC inlet. (DURING H SEASON)! It was the first Time I actually subscribed to a weather guru. (Chris Parker) We always listen, but personal information = his service, was $150. It was money well spent! There were large thunderstorm systems about, but with his help, we just zig zagged through them. Not that we never had weather, but none that was dangerous or lasted long.

I still make all of my own decisions, but I liked having them based on as much detailed info as possible...

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Old 12-03-2011, 14:48   #20
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Re: Weather Routing Sevices

I think that all serious offshore racing crews use some sort of shore based team to guide them in mid- and long term decisions. The on the spot and short-term decisions are made onboard but with a big influence from the shore support too.

The other group of people who use weather services are bigger boats with less experienced owners on more demanding passages.

The third group are owners and crews of boats of all sorts and sizes with some sort of shore connection (often via a sat phone) but little or nill understanding of the weather. This will include sailors and rowers, backpackers, mountaineers, etc..

I have not yet met an experienced cruiser with good weather skills to use a router. Such people tend to invest in equipment instead. However, I believe that for the more demanding areas (I would guess the arctic waters, the Southern Ocean, etc.) even such experienced sailors will seek some form of shore weather support.


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