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How would you plan weather routing?

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Danvilletim, Mar 15, 2016.

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  1. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Location:
    isleton, ca
    Im interested in hearing how you guys plan and determine a weather window? What sites do you use? What's your criteria?

    Our specifics:

    We are planning to depart San Francisco Bay on 3/24 to San Diego. First night is n Morro Bay, then Avalon, then San Diego.

    - Leg one 184 miles @ 18kts - 10.5 hrs 716 gallons
    - Leg two 191 miles @ 18knts. 10.7 hrs. 745
    - Leg three 72 miles @ 18knts 4 hrs. 280

    Total fuel 1741. Tanks 2200. Don't mind 12 hour days so might slow down for an hour or two.

    Where do you check weather for week out forecasts? What's your no go numbers for wave height / period?




    We are a 62 Striker with newer Cat 3412s ans plan on running 17-19knots
  2. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Location:
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    NOAA Marine Weather ...search departing city then use interactive map to follow route. Inner and outer waters forecast about five days out but changes from day to day updating. Good for USA.

    Magic Seaweed ...search region for maps and forecast. Wind and swell charts. Good worldwide.

    Both give wind speed/direction and swell size/spacing/direction.

    Have some flexibility in your schedule. Run when it's nice. Stop when it's not. It's no fun having to get somewhere "no matter what."
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  3. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    If the weather is not so great you could add a stop in Monterey between San Fran and Morrow Bay. And a stop in Santa Barbara between Morrow Bay and Avalon.
  4. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    Location:
    Somewhere Sunny
    I also use www.windfinder.com
    I've used it globally, and it's very good for coastal forecasts
  5. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Great info. Coming North we stayed at Sanata Barbara and Monterey also. Ran 10 knots the whole way. This time I still have 4 days but prefer 3 legs with two nights in Avalon. Running faster. Hopefully we can get a mooring on Easter weekend.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  6. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    Location:
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    I also consider light data in my planning.

    How many hours of day light will you have?

    Any moonlight?

    will you be entering unfamiliar complex ports in low light?

    I prefer to plan arrival at least one hour before sunset and have at least one port that I can duck into if I have an unexpected mechanical or weather condition
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I am not familiar with the left coast but for trips to the Exumas I rely on passageweather.com Their wind and wave height forecasts are pretty accurate and the colored graphics make it easier to detect patterns and shifts.

    I also use the windfinder and WindAlert apps for wind data and forecasts

    I thnk every one has its own limits based not just on boat and size, but who is on board as well as where the waves are coming from. The boat I run is not stabilized and with a skylounge, tender and jet ski up top... She s a roller! I try to avoid anything over 3' on the beam.

    Typing this from the Tongue of the Ocean which as per the Passage weather forecast is like a lake today!
  8. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    I use NOAA, Passage and Buoyweather, NOAA frequently changes the perdition the day before so the long range is not very accurate. I try to stay withing the small craft warnings as my no go requirement. I like period 2 times the height but will go out at 1.5 times the height for short periods of time. The predominant weather will be off your stern from the stbd quarter making for a better ride. The sea conditions will increase by a factor of two around Pt Arguello and Pt Conception. I like passing those Pt. at 3 miles, watch out for private/weather buoys. Two harbors on Catalina usually has moorings on the west end of Catalina. Should be a fun trip.
  9. Silver Lining

    Silver Lining Member

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    Location:
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    Like others we use passageweather, NOAA marine, and specific buoy data. If going well offshore to Eleuthera, the Exumas, or running offshore between FL and the Chesapeake, I track the weather for a full week in advance using passageweather. I also find it useful to have historical data from specific buoys to know detailed prevailing conditions. If more severe weather is brewing it is also very helpful to look at various models to get a higher probability of storm progression and better estimate uncertainty in the forecast.
  10. CaptNeil

    CaptNeil Member

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  11. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for the tips. Trip went great 3 days and 1900 gallons. Avg running was 20 knots. Point Conception saw 8-10 and 20knots but the Beamy striker held a straight course in following seas. Hot 28 knots surfing down a few. We used magic seaweed and sailflow iOS app. And purchased weather routing service from commanders weather. This was an excellent sub $100 purchase that allowed a couple invaluable 10 min calls. It really gave me the confidence to under stand what I was seeing online.

    Only weird thing on the trip is that we hit a whale or something. 60 miles out of Morro, load bang, shutter, bloody wake. Any one do that? Freaked me out! No apparent damage.
  12. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    Glad your trip went well. A viking hit a Whale and sustained a lot of damage. Count your lucky stars.

    Could you explain a little more on how the weather service helped you understand the online predictions?
  13. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    The weather routing gave me the chance to talk out loud about what I saw. They also pointed out that staying put in Morro bay one extra night meant 8-10 off pt conception and not 12-15. Well worth it.

    I also do nite that both the weather routing and online source were over stating the wind. 20-25 knots forecasted was more like 10-15 and we went right by the weather bouy.
  14. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    Thanks for the response, I tend to agree that the weather predictions are over stated.