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Swiss sailor 19-03-2014 13:03

Receiving weather data at sea
 
Hi all

From my experience, I know exactly how to get weather information in the Mediteranian Sea, when internet access is not available. There is Navtex, the VHF radio and many more ways.

I plan to cruise on the East Coast of Florida, the Keys and the Bahama and have no experience in this area. The boat is equipped with VHF radio, radar, chartplotter, barometer ect. But there is no SSB /HAM radio nor SatPhone aboard. As long as there is a mobile internet access available, plenty of information can be accessed on the internet. But now, when leving the proximity of the coast, how can I get the required data in this area?

Is there something comparable to Navtex? Can I get the information with a SSB radio receiver (if yes, what frequencies and any recommendation for a particular product)? Is there a service, broadcasting meteo information over the VHF radio on a given scheddule?

Your help is verry welcome.

Fair winds

Marco

theaton 19-03-2014 14:41

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
I'm not sailing yet but I have been preparing. I use my ham radio and a laptop running Ubuntu linux and a program called fldigi to receive NOAA weather fax transmissions. There are packages for Windows as well. There are also standalone units such as Product Detail - FAX30

The frequencies and schedules can be found at New Orleans Radiofax Schedule with Links

svseachange 21-03-2014 20:29

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
Most cruisers in the Bahamas listen to Chris Parker on SSB. He broadcasts on a variety of frequencies throughout the morning. I was able to pick him up on my Kaito SSB reciever with wires clamped to my standing rigging. Many cruisers in the area also subscribe to his service so they can ask questions directly afer the broadcasts and/or phone and email.

We downloaded grib files via Zygrib and Iridium or local Internet connections for our primary weather info and listened to Chris Parker via SSB for context.

Swiss sailor 22-03-2014 00:22

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
Thank you guys!
Is there someone who's broadcasting weather info via SSB for the East Coast Florida and the Keys? Or does everybody access the internet to gather the information (having a mobile network in reach should not be a problem I guess).

If you are using weather fax / Navtex, to what company did you sign off to receive the data? Are there more services than Sirius around? Any comments on the quality / reliability? I have seen, that Sirius is charging a fortune for offshore data and forecast.

Marco

Brian T 22-03-2014 03:07

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
...yeah and Serius is a bit of a dodgy company in general. I've had them on and off in my jeep for a few years, and the company has pissed me off A FEW times by playing games with my bill. Since they merged with XM there's no alternate competition ;(

-Brian

Tellus 22-03-2014 04:40

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Swiss sailor (Post 1498825)
If you are using weather fax / Navtex, to what company did you sign off to receive the data? Are there more services than Sirius around? Any comments on the quality / reliability? I have seen, that Sirius is charging a fortune for offshore data and forecast.

check out wetterwelt.de
Meeno Schrader, CEO, and his team are pro´s and sailors, providing all data worldwide via pactor. Did it for races and for the "normal" daysailor.

Hud3 22-03-2014 05:04

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
As svseachange noted, Chris Parker is the primary source for many cruisers in the Bahamas and SE US, as well as the eastern Caribbean, if you get down that way.

You can listen for free, or sign up for custom forecasts for a fee. His broadcast schedule is here: Marine Weather Center - Marine Weather Center Services

Capt RonB 22-03-2014 05:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Swiss sailor (Post 1496744)
Hi all

From my experience, I know exactly how to get weather information in the Mediteranian Sea, when internet access is not available. There is Navtex, the VHF radio and many more ways.

I plan to cruise on the East Coast of Florida, the Keys and the Bahama and have no experience in this area. The boat is equipped with VHF radio, radar, chartplotter, barometer ect. But there is no SSB /HAM radio nor SatPhone aboard. As long as there is a mobile internet access available, plenty of information can be accessed on the internet. But now, when leving the proximity of the coast, how can I get the required data in this area?

Is there something comparable to Navtex? Can I get the information with a SSB radio receiver (if yes, what frequencies and any recommendation for a particular product)? Is there a service, broadcasting meteo information over the VHF radio on a given scheddule?

Your help is verry welcome.

Fair winds

Marco

For under $200 you can get an SSB receiver like the Sangean ATS 909, Sony Yachtboy, or similar and tune in Chris Parker. You will also need to improve the antenna.

Dulcesuenos 22-03-2014 05:29

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
Do you need to pay to listen to chris parker or it free? Or to s the subscription just for a custom forecast for your boat?

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

Hud3 22-03-2014 05:34

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
Free to listen, fee for custom weather.

I signed up for a passage package, and we conversed every morning via SSB after his regular broadcast. He was remarkably accurate.

Swiss sailor 22-03-2014 07:08

Re: Receiving weather data at sea
 
Thank you all for the comments so far.
Listening to Chris appears to be a good source for my plans.

I noted that the SSB portable radios can be helpful as well.

I have already read some posts about the Kaito K1103 SSB portable radio. Most of the users were pretty satisfied with the radio. Ron mentionned the Sangean ATS 909. What are the pros and cons for the Kaito and Sangean?

Marco


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