There are several ways, but probably the least expensive is to listen to the WX broadcasts by the Coast Guard and other entities on the HF/SSB frequencies. This means you must have a receiver on board capable of receiving those reports, and you must know the schedules and frequencies.
If your boat
is not already equipped with a SSB radio
, you can buy a relatively inexpensive receiver for under $100 which can do a pretty good job. They sell under various names (Degen, Tecsun, and others) and are mostly made in China
. You might do some research
online to find out which ones are the current
Times and frequencies for USCG offshore
and high seas broadcasts can be found on their website. Also, the commercial marine
station WLO in New Orleans
on a number of their working frequencies. The ham WaterWay net provides East Coast
weather at 0745 EDT daily on 7268 LSB, and the MM Net on 14300 sometimes provides weather info.
Nearshore (under 25 miles or so), you can get WX via VHF
from a network of coast stations.
There's a wealth of weather info on the WWW, if you have a way to get it (e.g., via satphone to someone ashore with a good Internet
There are several satellite-based solutions to obtain WX also, but they aren't cheap!