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Old 22-10-2012, 12:13   #1
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North Atlantic Weather Router (besides Herb)

I'm delivering a Beneteau 49 from Eastern Long Island to the Virgins in early November, probably via Bermuda although may be non-stop. The boat has a sat phone but no SS, so can't use my usual: Herb Hilgenberg. Does anyone have recommendations for a relatively inexpensive paid weather router that I can check in with daily for forecast updates and route recommendations via sat phone? The owner says he'll provide me with NOAA forecasts etc. by phone, but frankly I want an experienced professional. Thanks!
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Old 22-10-2012, 13:58   #2
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Re: North Atlantic Weather Router (besides Herb)

Commandersweather.com

They have been doing routing a long time and have served us well in the past anywhere in the world. With your sat phone you just download their emails with their weather forecasts and their advise on routing. They are maned 24 hours around the clock so you can email them and get a timely new forecast if needed.

As a delivery skipper you know that all information you receive from any router is just that and you should make your own choices when all is said and done.

Good luck with your delivery.
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Old 22-10-2012, 15:53   #3
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Re: North Atlantic Weather Router (besides Herb)

Lee,
1) You must "pre-register" with Herb nowadays (his new procedures are on his website....)

South Bound II VAX498 - Ship routing and weather forecasting

And, I believe he will do routing on HF-SSB, even if you do not have an HF-SSB transmitter....but DO have an HF-SSB receiver, and a way to send him daily weather and position reports...
If you ask him ahead of time, and make assurances to send him daily reports via e-mail while underway (to give him daily weather and position reports), he should still be able to give you decent weather routing...(note that he DID this, this past spring/summer, but you must ask him ahead of time to confirm that he will do so again!!!!)

But, phone call routing from Herb, is not available.....so, if you've got no SSB on-board and no e-mail capability, then you're stuck talking by sat phone with a paid weather router....

{Without an SSB transceiver on-board (albeit rare), I assume the boat DOES have at least HF-SSB receive for US NWS/NOAA Offshore / Hi-Seas weather broadcasts via USCG....and also assume that it DOES have some sort of sat comm data conection capability???}



2) And, I assume that you and/or the owner have made arrangements for use of sat comm when in a heavy weather??? (such as a fixed ext ant and/or a full docking station w/ fixed ext ant.)
As, trying to talk to a weather router on a handheld sat phone, when out in the cockpit, when the weather is bad, etc. is VERY problematic...almost impossible!!!
And, trying to get a data connection to work with a handheld sat phone without a fixed ext antenna isn't easy even in good weather...and in bad weather it's a bear, if posible at all!!!




3) Lee, I'm sure you didn't wish to imply that the NWS/NOAA's Ocean Prediction Center's weather forecasters aren't some of the most experienced professionals around!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by leecarlson View Post
The owner says he'll provide me with NOAA forecasts etc. by phone, but frankly I want an experienced professional.



4) Perhaps, passing on this posting to the vessel's owner will help???


Fair winds...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 22-10-2012, 17:43   #4
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Re: North Atlantic Weather Router (besides Herb)

John is right you should really have a docking station and a fixed antenna plus a provider for the sat phone like UUplus. A routers information can be very complex at times and trying to write it down while holding sat phone in bad weather will not work. You need to be able to receive your routers info by email so you can carefully go over it before making the choice of what you need to do.
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Old 24-10-2012, 14:31   #5
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Thumbs up Re: North Atlantic Weather Router (besides Herb)

Thanks John & Steve, I wasn't aware that Herb might do routing as you outlined; that might work as the boat has both Globalstar and Iridium phones with data capability, so I should be able to email info to Herb, and it has a SS/HF receiver (albeit not a great one).

I'm an experienced offshore sailor, with enough years under my belt to do a pretty good job of forecasting my own weather, and with the ability to download GRIB files via sat phone to my laptop via satphone I can get pretty accurate weather forecasts, but I'm smart enough [I hope :-) ] to know that a weather professional will do a better job than I will. And no, I wasn't disparaging the good folks at NOAA, just the owner's ability to reliably pass on that info if I needed him to and couldn't pick up the offshore broadcasts using the onboard HF receiver. And not really disparaging him, just human nature and the old game of "telephone" where more information gets left out the more times it gets repeated. :-)

And yes, the boat does have dedicated antennae for both phone systems, (as well as an emergency antenna), so no problem there.

I've just never delivered a boat offshore that didn't have a SS/HF full setup, so hadn't had to look at paid options for weather routing. I think unfortunately more inexperienced owners are opting for the gee-whiz aspect of satellite phone technology instead of the old tried and true (but sometimes difficult to use and understand) SS.

Thanks again,
Captain Lee C.
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Old 24-10-2012, 15:01   #6
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Re: North Atlantic Weather Router (besides Herb)

Chris Parker does routing also. I've used him on a couple of longer routes and been quite pleased. See Marine Weather Center - Bahamas & Caribbean Marine Weather Services
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Old 24-10-2012, 15:15   #7
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Re: North Atlantic Weather Router (besides Herb)

you could try frank singleton as well
Frank Singleton's Weather and Sailing Pages / Franks-Weather | The Weather Window
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Old 26-10-2012, 22:01   #8
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Re: North Atlantic Weather Router (besides Herb)

Chris Parker does an excellent job daily weather either ssb or internet
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