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Old 19-07-2009, 10:32   #1
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The Sailing Meteorologist

Howdy all

I'm a Weather Forecaster for the Air National Guard, Trained by the USAF. By the time I'm ready to cast off the lines and take a long distance cruise I should have my BS in Meteorology with quite a few years of forecasting and briefing pilots under my belt. I was wondering if this ample knowledge and my ability to convey it would be in any demand at a local port/dock. Not as a Primary income but to just give me and my crew a little spending money.

I also have experience with maintenance as my last field with the AF was as a F-16 Jet engine mechanic, I hope to get my self very familiar with diesel engines "I love learning new stuff!". Would these skills be looked for an the Marina setting? Could this also give me a little spending money?

Does anyone have any experience using these skills, How'd you go about getting the word out? Just walk around shaking hands or toss up a little cardboard sign on your boat?

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Old 19-07-2009, 12:36   #2
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And a howdy to you too,

First off, I know absolutely nothing about this business. What inputs are required for you to practice such voodoo? More specifically, do you have to be in an area to provide a forecast for it?
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Old 19-07-2009, 12:40   #3
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Most places where there is a marina there will be postings. I would think an invitation for a couple of beers would be payment enough, or I will just turn on the SSB. I would not look for much income if any at all. The only possibility I can think of is custom routing for payment, but that is usually when quite a distance is covered. Now that would be a whole other logistics situation on payment?......i2f
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Old 19-07-2009, 12:42   #4
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Making money on weather forcasting is a challenge in the yachting community. Some people pay subscriptions for custom or semicustom forcasts for their area. There is tons of free information downloadable by high frequency radio and more expensive weather data by satellite. I don't think you could make a living off it unless you became a paid weather router for racing yachts and flotillas. I never paid for weather information during my circumnavigation, and I never felt the need to pay. There was so much free stuff out there.

Working on engines is an entirely different matter. If you have expertise in this area, you could make money at any port in the world. You wouldn't get rich, but you would make spending money for sure. Most yachties will fix minor mechanical problems themselves, but when things get complicated, they are glad to have someone around to help out.

In fourteen years of ownership, I have had one diesel engine worked on by a mechanic only one time. I did everything else myself.
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Old 19-07-2009, 12:47   #5
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There are quite a few qualified meteorologists out there cruising. They all work for free!! Chris Parker who is quite well known now
Carib WX - Caribbean Weather Information
started out giving reports from his little Pearson or maybe it was an old Morgan in the Bahamas. He still gives the weather free but you can also subscribe to his e-mail service if you donate and get personalized service. So the chances of making a buck at it while cruising is pretty slim.
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Old 19-07-2009, 16:04   #6
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Can't say I'm to surprised. But hey free beer at the local pub definitely sounds good! I was thinking the only way anyone would honestly pay for this kind of service is if they wanted a very in depth Briefing on what conditions to look for, with information from Synoptic to Micro scale.. all that good stuff.

As for what kinda Magic I need to get my voodoo Off the ground, just a basic Internet connection is fine to gather lots of products to build a forecast. I need to start looking into what kinda information you can gather from these "Weather Fax" systems I keep hearing about. Anyone got the details on that?

Or I could get off my bum and research it myself

Just for the record I'd never charge anyone for a quick forecast or a simple explanation. I was thinking a bit large scale, fully detailed briefing with resource martial printed, Toss in a bit of climatology for the area they plan on sailing to/around. As the pilots say, its just better to get the information right out of the forecasters mouth. Explained in detail, and their to answer any questions.

But like you said there is allot of good free information out on the intar-webs. I like the thought of being able to do 2 of my favorite things at once, Sail and Weather.
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: That's not... you are very much lacking in imagination.
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