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Old 25-02-2024, 16:38   #1
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Is Garmin Inreach marine weather useful?

Anybody used it? Certainly not the best, but is it useful for knowing which way to run away from a storm?



I will normally use things like windy and predict wind through starlink, but that will not be good in bad weather. Also have HF.
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Old 25-02-2024, 16:51   #2
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Re: Is Garmin Inreach marine weather useful?

Have used both the basic forecast and the premium marine. They are as good as some forecasts. Not a lot of detail, but better than nothing. If you have good VHF or Internet access, then you can likely get better forecasts. HF should certainly let you get better.


But Inreach is available everywhere via satellite, so you can always get some information, which as I say, is better than nothing.
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Old 25-02-2024, 16:58   #3
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Re: Is Garmin Inreach marine weather useful?

Have used my InReach Mini extensively on South Pacific Ocean passages. I find it very good within the parameters that it works under. The forecast facility is wind speed/direction, sea state in 4 hourly intervals for the impending 24 hours. I only have it set to basic and for my current locale. It can be set to work on way points.

I have only sailed and so running away from storms is somewhat unlikely.
Also I don't have the resources for a Sat phone or SSB and so the InReach ticks many boxes:
  • Low power demand
  • People at home can monitor progress
  • Reliable (in my experience) weather forecasts
  • Short two way texting
  • Inexpensive
  • Can turn service on and off as needed without costs
  • Very reliable (in my experience) and little to go wrong

Downside
  • Using the Mini directly through its tiny keyboard (ie not using the phone App) is tedious and slow
  • Without the phone you can only reply to texts

OP I fail to see any point to you buying a unit given you have StarLink and HF radio.
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Old 25-02-2024, 17:01   #4
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Re: Is Garmin Inreach marine weather useful?

So Inreach marine weather is only 24 hours? Not useful.


I wonder if there is any service that will SMS a forecast back to the Inreach.


(BTW. HF *receivers* are cheap and probably a good back up.)
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Old 25-02-2024, 18:04   #5
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Re: Is Garmin Inreach marine weather useful?

It's been months since I've used the inReach, but I'm pretty sure the standard forecast is for roughly three days, and the marine is for five or seven days.

As with all forecasts, they are only as good as the source. I don't recall where Garmin gets its forecasts, but they seem generally as good as any others for my area (Newfoundland).

As I say, the real strength for me is that we can access the forecasts anywhere. If I have Internet (cell-data) or VHF access, then I don't bother with the inReach. But there are times when satellite communication is all we have. So in those cases, it's gold.
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Old 25-02-2024, 18:50   #6
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Re: Is Garmin Inreach marine weather useful?

The InReach marine weather comes from OCENS who also provides the Iridium weather. The data is every six hours for six days. It costs $1 per forecast. It’s as good as any single model forecast.

The drawback is that the forecast is only for the single lat/lon you choose. There’s no GRIB or other “big picture”. It’s certainly enough for normal weather but not enough to track hurricanes or storms that might be approaching. If unsettled weather is about, I have my son ashore send me InReach text messages that provide more detail of the bigger weather picture.

But since I got Starlink, the InReach is only a backup - should the Starlink fail or I find myself in the liferaft.
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