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Old 27-10-2010, 10:45   #1
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Weather Routing

Hi all, well here we sit in Georgetown SC. waiting for a weather window to head outside and continue south. I would like some info on using a weather router to help us with weather forcasting and was wondering who to use for email weather forcasting and the best way to contact them. Any info would be great.
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Old 27-10-2010, 18:02   #2
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If you have internet access, try Chris Parker. I think you can ask him for advice free online in the morning on the web. Here is the schedule: http://www.caribwx.com/ssb.html

Here is the link to the online web session:
https://my.dimdim.com/caribwx/

Go online at one of the times to the link above, you will hear him give a forecast for the ocean areas, mainly carribean. Then, he takes HF radio calls from sponsoring vessels (boaters that paid). After he is done, you can ask questions about the weather outlook. While you are away from internet access, if you have HF radio, you can contact him as well for about $200 a year during his radio broadcasts.

Also, if you have HF radio, you can try Herb. He gives routing information in the afternoon for free.
http://www3.sympatico.ca/hehilgen/vax498.htm
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Old 27-10-2010, 20:04   #3
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Not a huge fan of routers, personally. the first one my skipper used put several hundred miles on our route for what turned out to be no good purpose and the second one got sacked on the 3rd day because the skipper on that particular trip didn't believe him!

I've also listened in mild disbelief to an exchange between a well-known "weather nazi" and a delightful sounding lady who was actually out there (mid atlantic)when the guru told her that she couldnt possibly be experiencing the weather conditions that she was reporting...

I dont sail on a bad forecast but 5 days out - what the heck - deal with it or maybe you shouldnt be out there? T
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Old 27-10-2010, 20:31   #4
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I found what looks like an excellent book on the subject for the DIY person like me. I put a lot of faith into the 4 day barometric charts over here and it would be interesting to learn how these turn around the higher atmospheric conditions.

http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Weather-Avoidance-Route-Design/dp/0939837781/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1PJXMFTWH8DXL&colid =FIQJ0T68TH4P

If anyone has a copy of the same feel free to post a review before I go out and blow my budget.
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Old 28-10-2010, 06:19   #5
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Preview the book here
Heavy Weather Avoidance and Route ... - Google Books
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Old 28-10-2010, 08:07   #6
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Heavy Weather Avoidance

Thanks Shane and Gord for the info on that book. It looks like a really useful addition to the library so I placed an order.

Shane, you might like to try BookDepository.com as it works out a few dollars cheaper than Amazon due to free shipping.
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Old 28-10-2010, 09:35   #7
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I like to use two methods of getting forecast, then I can make my own decisions.

1) Grib files - You can use either an expensive reader such as OCENS or Expedition, or a free reader such as Grib.us. You can get the files via email or through an ftp server.

2) NOAA weatherfax - via SSB, or have someone send you the images via email.

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Old 02-11-2010, 14:51   #8
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Most of the time I use the same as Jack with the addition of Navtex in the right areas(Europe for example).
But we have also used Commander's Weather when we crossed the Atlantic and after a few days they contacted us (SSB Email) recommending we go further south, we did and after talking with other people who crossed at the same time it was the right choice.
We used them again for the crossing from Galapagoes to the Marquesas and they recommended we head further south to catch the better winds, but I stayed north anyway, more in the current (following Cornell's opinion) and that time we did better than the boats who headed more south.
We are getting ready to go from Fiji to New Zealand this week and will again use Commander's Weather. But only as one additional source of information, but probably the one I will listen to most.
The cost for a forecast and routing suggestion is about $60 and we send in daily position reports to them. If they see anything they think we should consider they email us.
Opinions about using weather routers vary. Two people that I really trust their opinions disagree. John Neal from Mahina Expeditions always uses Commander's. Beth and Evans on Hawk never trust a weather router.
But, for $60 it seems like a great source of another opinion.
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Old 02-11-2010, 15:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurferShane View Post
I found what looks like an excellent book on the subject for the DIY person like me. I put a lot of faith into the 4 day barometric charts over here and it would be interesting to learn how these turn around the higher atmospheric conditions.

http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Weather-Avoidance-Route-Design/dp/0939837781/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1PJXMFTWH8DXL&colid =FIQJ0T68TH4P

If anyone has a copy of the same feel free to post a review before I go out and blow my budget.
Before buying read this article Mariners Weather Log Vol. 52, No. 3, December 2008. The book expands on this theme + big ship route design.
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Old 02-11-2010, 15:51   #10
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Man O Man... you guys take all the fun outa sailing.... bet you use a GPS Tom Tom when your driving as well....
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Old 02-11-2010, 16:03   #11
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A router is always tell you to go somehere else. He has to justify his fee.
He's not just going to say: "Yeah mate, keep going. She'll be right!" or "Geeze, keep this up and you'll have my job".
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Old 02-11-2010, 16:34   #12
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I've used:
Commanders Weather - www.commandersweather.com/
Weather Routing Inc (WRI) - Weather Routing, Inc. (WRI)[/i]
Southbound II

The first two are excellent but expensive and run on a daily basis. They charge more for email vs voice.

Herb's Southbound II is very well known. He's free and does an excellent job as well.

Chris Parker is another excellent source. I know him but aside from attending his seminars have not used his services.
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Old 02-11-2010, 17:12   #13
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I've used Commander's Weather and Chris Parker. Both were very accurate. I made my own routing decisions, based on what they provided and what I garnered from other sources, but I found their advice to be right on the mark. I could have just gone with their forecasts alone. If you're transiting high-risk areas, like Cape Hatteras, it doesn't hurt to have some professional advice to add to your own arsenal of weather knowledge. Think of it as insurance.
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