Are you planning to go out on your boat this weekend? If so, did you check the marine forecast?
A marine forecast is a weather forecast for any area you plan to take your boat out. It gives you a range of weather conditions that boaters can expect in a specific area during a specific time. Why is this important? Because weather and wave conditions can change rapidly. If you weren’t expecting severe weather, you could find yourself in a very bad place when things suddenly change. For example, would you like to suddenly encounter winds over 40 miles per hour? Are you and your boat even prepared to handle that?
Marine forecasts are typically good up to 12-24 hours, and they account for these conditions:
- Wind speed and direction
- Wave heights and periods
- Roughness of near-shore waters
- Significant weather events
- Weather advisories and warnings
Boaters, Prepare for Severe Weather
So, where does a boater like you get a marine forecast? Usually from any source for weather forecasts, including online weather sites such as the one hosted by the National Weather Service. Since most marine forecasts have a 12-24-hour window, it’s always best to check conditions right before you pull away from shore. If you get tipped off about severe weather, postpone your trip for another time or even another day. Why take the risk?
Even if the NOAA weather report calls for sunny skies, it’s still best to be prepared. Marine experts recommend having a marine VHF transceiver with built-in NOAA weather radio channels on board. This can give you regular weather updates while you’re out on the water. And if you regularly travel 25 nautical miles from shore, marine experts also recommend getting a high-quality HF single sideband transceiver. These devices keep you connected in case of emergencies. You can find both of these items in Solid Signal’s online inventory.
Our Ode to Safe Boating Week
This and the six other safe boating blog posts is our tribute to this national event. Safe Boating Week was created in 1958 by the United States Coast Guard. Its purpose is to promote safe and responsible boating. Here are the four biggest takeaways for any boater:
- Always wear your life jacket. Always.
- Have a life jacket for every passenger on your boat.
- Insist that your passengers wear them.
- Attach a GPS personal locator beacon to your life jackets.
Safe Boating Week 2020 kicked off on May 16, 2020. As it ends, we recommend that boaters remain committed to safety all year long. Think about it. If you own a boat, and you take people out on that boat, then you really should be keeping everyone’s safety in mind at all times. If these Safe Boating Week blog posts have taught us anything, it’s that it’s best to prepare ahead of time. I’m sure hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Oh, there’s one more thing I’d like to say…
…We Have Your Marine Needs Covered!
Do you need something for your boat? Check out the full line of marine electronics products that Solid Signal carries. You’re sure to find exactly what you need, including some of the items mentioned in the video above. And, if you want satellite TV on your working boat, fleet, or pleasure craft, our Signal Connect division is your contact. Marine satellite TV is their specialty, and they’re always happy to discuss the benefits with you. You can reach them at 888-233-7563, or by filling out the form below.