You wake up to the aroma of fresh coffee, hop out of your cabin, grab a cup and settle into a sunny spot in the cockpit. “What’s the weather like today?” you ask. Crucial! As sailors, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into as you plan your day sail in the bay, a week-long charter in a tropical paradise or an open water passage across the pond. But what are the best sources of weather apps for me?
Glad you asked! At LTD Sailing – “Living The Dream!” there are certain weather apps that we use on a regular basis. We are going to make your job easier by listing those options so you don’t have to spend any time floundering through the maze of information on line. Aren’t we nice? With input from our instructors and from our years of experience passage planning, boat deliveries and sailing all over the world, we’ve put together a list of our top five favorites.
Wind Guru is a wind and weather app that we print out at the start of all our trips. This gives us an idea what we will experience for the week. Why print it out? Why don’t you just save paper and use your phone? Well, because technology isn’t always our friend as you may have experience at some time in your life. As a sailing school, bad weather doesn’t always mean we will find a safe harbor and break out the rum. In Grenada, 15 – 20 knots of wind is normal and when a squall comes through, you might be looking at adding a few more knots as well as blinding rain. it’s our job to help you learn how to deal with all that. But, when your on vacation, perhaps with newbie sailors, for the welfare of everyone on board, your best choice would be to stay put.
Wind Guru gives you information on: wind speed, possible gusts, wind direction, wave direction, how big the waves will be, the wave period (length between waves), and precipitation (rain). You can print out information for the entire week so you can plan accordingly. Be like the boy scout – be prepared!
Crown Weather advertises as “Your One Stop Weather Information Source”. We like this weather app for the awesome visuals. We subscribe to the PLUS app because it gives us access to more detail and will send us an email alerting us to anything scary. There is also a lot of free information, as well. Crown Weather will take information from weather sites like NOAA and analyze them for you in an easy to understand format.
Easy Tide is another one of our favorite weather apps as it helps us when we sail between the islands – specifically Grenada to Carriacou. Knowing how to navigate between tides can save you potentials HOURS of sailing and sometimes not so fun sailing. We made the mistake of leaving a little late once with some newbie sailors and although WE were having fun, we ended up turning around and going back the next morning as they were DONE. . Critical lesson to learn. Be kind to your friends!
Predict Wind is “The World Leader in Wind Forecasting”. We love the graphics in this weather app! It’s fun to see how the wind moves around the islands. We watched this hourly when the hurricanes hit the BVI. Grenada is below the hurricane belt but you should always respect Mother Nature! There is A LOT of data in this app so you might not have enough bandwidth on your phone to take advantage of all of it. BUT there is an option to have less data if you are using a Iridiium Go satellite link.
This is a weather routing service for longer passages such as crossing the Gulf Steam. Chris Parker provides weather forecasting & routing advice mainly to small private yachts. Basically, you hire this service and they ask you all kinds of questions – like the type of boat you have, when you are leaving etc. then they consult with you on the best way to go. These services start at around $65 USD but you can also purchase a package to encompass your entire trip which is around $250 USD.
Another weather routing service for longer passages. The weather app employs several professional meteorologists to assist you in your voyage. It is comforting to know that there is a knowledgeable group of individuals watching out for you so you can focus on sailing. Right?
Check Out Our YouTube on Top 5 Weather Apps
We hope this these weather apps help you in planning your next dream vacation! As always, if you need any help,
just contact us – we are here for you! [email protected]
If you have a favorie weather app the you use, please let us know.