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Old 08-04-2005, 01:13   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Currently based near Jacksonville FL; WHOOSH's homeport is St. Pete, FL USA
Boat: WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 591
ZipGet - a new source of European weather f'casts

For those who harbor plans of a cruise in Europe, you might want to read up a bit on ZipGet. This is a tool developed by a British cruising sailor that provides ‘one stop shopping’ for obtaining weather forecast products in any area of the Med or Northern Europe. It is inexpensive (£20/year subscription fee) and can be used by both lightly equipped boats – provided they have a cell phone and a way to send/receive email with it – as well as those boats using HF email who can receive attachments with their email (e.g. Winlink works well with ZipGet).

In Europe, it is very common for boats to have cell phone coverage when making departure decisions or even while underway. ZipGet’s author, Chris Hart, sailing the Beneteau 36 ZOSTERA, carries no SSB radio but wanted multi-day forecasts with isobar charts, wind projections, wave projections, and at least one multi-day text forecast for their Atlantic and Med cruising…and so that’s what anyone using ZipGet can now receive as well. One sends in an email with Lat and Long coordinates in the Subject line, waits a moment, and then pulls down those 4- and 5-day forecast products. Also appealing is that one can use a ‘get’ command in the body of the email to request any text URL info available on the internet, which will be compressed and included in the one group file that is sent.

For more information on ZipGet, visit I’ve written up a longer discussion on ZipGet at, John Stevenson’s helpful website, which includes download time estimates, file sizes and sample f’cast product collections for different regions of Europe. Chris provides the opportunity to sample the service for free for those interested in doing so.

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