Predict thе Weather Aѕ Wеll аѕ thе Guy оn TV

Thе weather resources оn thе Internet аrе mаnу аnd varied. Thеу range frоm highly sophisticated dedicated sites tо national newsfeeds thаt produce fаіrlу comprehensive weather reports, tо regional news organizations thаt feature weather аѕ part оf thеіr online news service. Thеѕе саn bе frоm TV аnd radio stations оr local newspapers. In addition, thе major search engines hаvе а weather feature thаt аllоwѕ уоu tо consult fоr forecasts іn уоur local area.

In аll cases, however, thеіr weather information іѕ gathered principally frоm national sources – іn аlmоѕt аll cases, thе National Oceanographic аnd Atmospheric Administration, оr NOAA. We’re gоіng tо review hеrе thе principal dedicated weather sites online, аnd give а quick critique tо whаt thе search engines аnd national news sites provide.

Pеrhарѕ thе bеѕt knоwn dedicated commercial weather site іѕ weather. com, а spin-off оf thе cable television network Thе Weather Channel. Thіѕ website аllоwѕ уоu tо punch іn уоur zip code fоr local weather, оr а city/town nаmе fоr ѕоmе оthеr location. Thе site wіll give уоu temperature readings, wind chill аnd precipitation forecasts. It wіll provide forecasts оn аn hour-by-hour basis, fоr thе weekend, аnd wіll peer іntо thе future wіth а ten-day forecast оn оnе page. Graphics include satellite photos аnd Doppler radar representations оf storm movements.

Muсh оf thіѕ information іѕ gathered frоm thе NOAA’s National Weather Service website. Hеrе уоu wіll find “official” U.S. weather, marine, fire аnd aviation forecasts, warnings, climate forecasts аnd information аbоut meteorology . Thе NOAA hаѕ а massive network оf weather stations nationwide, providing readouts fоr highly localized areas. It’s аlѕо user friendly, wіth а wealth оf visual information рrоvіdеd bу satellites аnd оthеr graphics tools. Thеrе іѕ а vast amount оf marine weather data аvаіlаblе hеrе аѕ well.

Thе Weather Underground іѕ а spin-off оf thе University оf Michigan’s weather website. Weather Underground іѕ а commercial site peppered wіth advertising thаt presents іtѕ forecasts based оn zip code, city, оr оn а clickable U.S. map. It аlѕо hаѕ international forecasts – click bу country – аnd а comprehensive list оf maps оn іtѕ home page thаt show national trends fоr ѕuсh factors аѕ temperature, wind, visibility, precipitation, snow depth, etc. Register

Thе University оf Michigan аt Ann Arbor’s weather lab іѕ аmоng thе pioneers оf online weather products. Currently, thеу maintain а quality national weather forecast site – but реrhарѕ thеіr mоѕt valuable resource fоr weather addicts іѕ thеіr list оf 300 links tо weather related sites.

Intellicast іѕ аn advertiser supported national site thаt wіll аlѕо email уоu уоur daily forecast. Thеіr site offers а clickable map аnd thе usual categories оf satellite аnd long range forecasts. weather. org іѕ аnоthеr оf thе lesser national websites thаt іѕ exclusively fоr weather. Thеіr site hаѕ аn interesting map оf worldwide conditions thаt іѕ constantly changing аѕ thе center оf thеіr homepage. Alоng wіth thе usual localized аnd national weather feeds, thе site offers weathercams, tides аnd currents, аnd commentary frоm thе Farmers Almanac.

Othеr dedicated locations include AccuWeather. соm аnd Weatherbug. com. Weatherbug offers downloadable software thаt рrоvіdеѕ уоur local weather forecast аnd weather report. Yahoo аnd Google bоth provide weather forecast features, аѕ dо thе national news feeds. CNN. соm wіll provide international weather news аnd fіvе day forecasts bу location. USA Today hаѕ global forecasts аnd information оn meteorological topics ѕuсh аѕ global warming .

Finally, Unisys hаѕ chosen tо showcase іtѕ Weather Processor analysis software package bу building а website fоr global weather information. Nоt ѕоmеthіng you’d expect јuѕt lооkіng аt thеіr main homepage. Apparently еvеn people whо dо tech consulting аnd enterprise servers nееd tо knоw іf it’s gоіng tо rain.

The app Marineforecaster® is the ultimate tool for Marine Weather Forecast. If you regularly travel by boat or engaged in the sea and sea sports, definitely you want to have all essential information about prognosis and conditions in your area of interest. Application Marineforecaster® covers all sea areas of the sector.

Live weather knowledge from over 2000 stations across the world from NOAA marine weather forecast and NOA of Greece.

Use the Maps option and check Specific Depths Worldwide – Useful info for Ports, Marinas, etc

If you want to sail with confidence, knowing that you could research in real time about the current nearshore marine forecast conditions of your sailing root, then just click our official web site and choose the appropriate button of Play Store’s to download and use it. And of course, when you download your copy of Marineforecaster Weather App you don’t danger a cent.

Share this important live-saving info about Live Weather Stations with other users and check the rest of our futures.

Grab your copy of Marineforecaster Weather App on Google Play or Apple Store now!

Essential tips when using an anchor

Duncan Wells passes on the benefit of years spent at anchor with his definitive guide to the do’s and don’t’s of dropping the hook

Anchor
Entrusting your boat and the lives of her crew to a piece of metal you can’t see can be unnerving

Essential tips when using an anchor

Avoid a lee shore

Make sure that you are not about to anchor on what is or may become a lee shore, with the wind blowing onto the shore. If your anchor drags and the engine fails to start, you will need enough room to leeward to set the sails and begin to claw your way off the shore. Always anchor on a weather shore, where the wind is coming off the land. Check the forecast to make sure that any wind shift during your stay will not put you on a lee shore.

Check the chart for restrictions

You can anchor anywhere you like, except in a fairway, a channel or a prohibited or restricted area. An anchor sign on the chart marks a popular anchorage. An anchor with a cross through it tells you anchoring is not allowed. Don’t anchor in oyster or mussel beds.

Check the sea bed

Anchor

Sand and gravel: not ideal for anchoring

See what the chart says about the sea bed. Is it suitable for your anchor? Here’s a general guide:

Mud Good for most anchor types, but those with a large surface area will be more reliable

Silt Good for most anchor types

Clay Once set, holding is good for most anchors. An anchor with a sharp tip will set more readily

Sand Variable, depending on sand hardness but an anchor with a large surface area is preferable

Gravel, rock and weed These bottom types are generally unsuitable for anchoring

Check the depth

Will you still be afloat at Low Water? Have you let out enough cable to remain anchored at High Water? Even if you can get this from your GPS, mobile phone, or tablet, I’d still check it with the almanac and the relevant tidal curve. Allow enough under-keel clearance at Low Water.

Care for your ground tackle

Anchor

Attach the bitter end of the anchor chain or warp with a thin line that can be cut easily

Check the condition of your anchor and cable. Is the bitter end lashed to the boat? Never attach it with a shackle. Instead, use a lashing or thin rope that you can cut quickly with a knife if you need to lose the anchor and cable in a hurry. The anchor itself should be quickly deployable, attached to the boat by a lashing or a split pin.

Anchor

Attach the anchor to the yacht via a retaining pin or lashing, but ensure that it’s quickly deployable

Is your cable entirely chain, or is it a rope and chain combination? Rope, when we use it for anchoring or mooring, is called warp. In a combination, we always have 10m of chain between the anchor and the warp. You are going to trust your boat and your life to the anchor and the cable, so always check the recommended weight of anchor and gauge of chain or warp for your tonnage of boat. Err on the side of caution.

Measure the scope

Anchor

I use silks tied to the chain in the order of how you’d pot snooker balls (yellow, brown and pink are at the others end of these flakes)

Veering (letting out) the correct amount of cable is key and often where things go wrong. The textbook says, rightly, that you need a minimum of four times the depth for chain and six times depth for warp. In the real world, it’s easy to get confused, but you really have to know how much cable you have out.

There are different systems of marking the cable, but I use silks tied into the chain. They don’t interfere with the chain on the windlass gypsy and if you use warp, you can thread them through a strand or bind coloured cotton around it. Silks are also easier on your hands than plastic cable ties and more durable than painted chain links.

Anchor

With warp, you can thread the silks through a strand or bind coloured cotton around it

Then you need a code. You could run the colours alphabetically, every 5m. I use the order in which one pots snooker balls! No, I don’t play, I just seem to have remembered this. So on my yacht it goes like this: red 5m, yellow 10m, green 15m, brown 20m, blue 25m, pink 30m, black 35m, then double up two red for 40m, two yellow for 45m and so on. Put this code inside the foredeck locker so all the crew know how it works.

Signal

Anchor

Display an anchor ball by day to show other vessels you’re not under way

You need to display an anchor ball by day and an all-round white light by night. When I arrive at an anchorage in the dark, I set the anchor ball as well as the light, so I don’t have to get up at dawn.

Watch for swinging

If you’re joining other boats at an anchorage, see how they are lying and try to estimate how much cable they’ve got out (going on height of tide). Then you can allow enough swinging room for changes in the direction of wind and tide. Long-keel boats will lie to the tide more than the wind. Yachts with a short fin keel and high topsides may lie to the wind more than the tide.

Guard against dragging

Use transits ashore, or bearings to marks, or a GPS anchor alarm to check if you are holding. I simply put a hand on the cable outside the bow roller from time to time. If all is quiet, it’s holding.

Use a snubber

Anchor

This snubbing line prevents the chain from snatching and takes strain off the windlass

Attach a length of line, stretchy nylon preferably, to the chain using a rolling hitch, then make the line fast to a cleat and run the chain out until it goes slack and the tension is taken on the line. Apart from taking the pressure off your expensive windlass, this also acts as a snubber.

Anchor

In a swell, put a split pin or lashing across the bow roller to stop the chain jumping out

If there is any swell, put a split pin between the bow roller cheeks or tie a lashing across to stop the cable from jumping out.

Keep watch

If you’re taking care of all of the above, you should be able to relax at anchor. Once I feel I’m well anchored, I’ll sleep right through the night. It can be a good idea to wake in order to watch the boat through the turn of tide, but with experience of your anchor and of different conditions, you’ll be able to gauge how necessary this is.

The post Essential tips when using an anchor appeared first on Yachting Monthly.

Original Article

Brought to you by Marineforecaster Application imported from Yachting Monthly

Marineforecaster App – Your Mobile Weather Station

Time and Tide Wait for no Man (or Woman)!

There is a lot of truth in the old adage for boating people especially. But, what is the tide and what does it mean to you?

Experienced boaters and commercial mariners know how to work with the tides, newbie boaters and inexperienced sailors are advised to attend an approved training course to receive guidance about tides and learn the basics before setting sail.

Tides are a natural global phenomenon that occurs with predictable regularity across the world. The gravitational pull of the Moon as the world rotates causes the oceans to lift skyward and as the clock ticks that lift is released causing water levels to drop back down causing a surge that in turn gives the rise of the tides. As the Lunar pull is exerted the tides go out – an ebb tide, as the Lunar pull is released we get a flood tide.

Marineforecaster’s Tide Data- Weather Option

 

Tides, then, are very long-period waves that move through the oceans in response to the forces exerted by the moon, the sun, and the rotation of Earth . Tides originate in the oceans and affect the coastlines where they appear as the regular rise and fall of the sea level.

 

Low tide corresponds to the lowest part of the wave, or its trough. The difference in height between the high tide and the low tide is called the tidal range.

 

 

Interesting facts:

 

The Canadian Bay of Fundy has the highest tides along with Anchorage Alaska with waves of 40 feet in height – over 12 metres!

Southampton United Kingdome has double tides each day as water rushes from the North Sea around the Isle of Wight and back toward the Atlantic Ocean, making it a superb natural sea port.

The full and new moons normally create better fishing conditions because of the spring tides. The reason is that fish are easier to catch when they are feeding and  the tide and currents dictate this condition.

Because the Earth rotates through two tidal “bulges” every lunar day, coastal areas experience two high and two low tides every 24 hours and 50 minutes. High tides occur 12 hours and 25 minutes apart.

While tides are usually the largest source of short-term sea-level fluctuations, sea levels are also subject to forces such as wind and barometric pressure changes, resulting in storm surges, especially in shallow seas and near coasts.

So, why are tides so important to boating folks?

Consider that at low tide water may be abscent from the Marina basin, not a good time to sail!

Whereas at high tide and water flooding into the moorings it is possible to sail.

By knowing when the tide is coming in it is possible to plan your trip, and this applies to sailing anywhere in the world.

There are places in the world where incoming tides move with lethal speed, Morecambe Bay in England for instance where the incoming tide will outrun a man – many people have drowned (historically) by not respecting the power of the tides, don’t be one of them!

Always check the tides before doing anything else, talk to experienced boaters in your Marina or Club house about local tidal conditions – sand banks and obstacles that will be uncovered by a receding tide, look at the experienced hands if they are sailing it should be safe for you too, follow the basics as taught on professionally run courses.

Never take risks, safety always come first.

Sail safe, sail free.

 

Marineforecaster

Author : Roger Langley

Three methods for seizing shackles

Shackles are often under high load. If one shakes open, the result could be dangerous. Chris Beeson shows how to make sure it won’t

Seizing shackles
This spinnaker block shackle somehow managed to hang on by jamming itself in place, but it wouldn’t endure actual use

Three methods for seizing shackles

RYA Yachtmaster Chris Beeson has raced and cruised over 40,000 ocean miles in his 37 years as a sailor

I used to be doubtful about the necessity of seizing shackles. Nip the pin up tight with a shackle key or pliers and how can it possibly come loose? My mind was changed in 2011, while checking the rig of the old Jeanneau we used in our Crash Test Boat series. This was the rather concerning sight we found at the masthead.

The spinnaker block shackle’s pin had shaken itself free. Had we hoisted and flown an offwind sail, it would have draped itself expensively over the bow, possibly tearing itself in the process, as soon as the halyard chafed through on its mast exit.

What if a shackle securing a cruising chute sheet turning block rattled itself loose? You would have all the load in the sheet firing a block across the cockpit with potentially lethal consequences.

The problem is that boats are subject to a lot of vibration. Wind through the rigging creates vibration, current across an anchor chain creates vibration, engines cause vibration, so does sailing into waves. Shackle pins will work themselves free and problems will result. To prevent them doing so, we seize them.

We use one of three methods of seizing, or securing, the pin to ensure that it simply can’t loosen. One is using threadlock, which glues the pin in place but not with ‘super-glue’ adhesion so it can still be undone with standard tools.

A second method is using electrical cable ties, though it is worth remembering that these are subject to UV degradation and probably won’t last more than a season if they’re always out in the sun. The third method, the gold standard method of seizing shackles, is to use Monel wire. That isn’t subject to UV degradation and has excellent corrosion resistance properties.

Seizing with glue

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

We used Loctite 243 Blue, but search online for ‘threadlock’ if you want to see a range of alternative products that will do the job just as well as this one

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Apply the threadlock to the thread of the shackle pin. It’s not very viscous, so make sure you’ve got something down to protect the deck from any drips

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Once you’ve got good coverage on the entire thread, screw the shackle pin into the shackle, again watching out for any drips

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Use pliers or a shackle key to nip up the shackle as tight as you can. This will help the glue to adhere without any risk of movement

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

This is the finished result. It’s the quickest and neatest of the methods and there’s no external seizing to foul on anything. Very tidy

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

This is the only method of seizing available if you are using the flush-pin type of shackle that’s often found in ground tackle set-ups

Seizing with cable ties

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Cable ties are cheap to buy online or from many hardware shops. Thread it through the pin’s hole, then through the shackle’s loop

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Next push the tie through the ratchet lock and pull it up as tight as you can. This will prevent the shackle pin from unscrewing itself

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

To make the cable tie seizing as compact as possible, use pliers to pull the tie through the ratchet lock as tight as you can manage

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Snip off the excess length of tie leaving only a very short stub, to reduce any risk of the tie fouling or chafing on anything. It looks much neater, too

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

The finished article. It’s the quickest, simplest method and a good short-term solution. ideal for shackles that need to be undone occasionally over the course of the season

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Here we see a cable tie seize on a shackle used to connect anchor and chain. It’s exposed to the sun, so is likely to become brittle from UV degradation after a year or so

Seizing with Monel wire

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

To start, with the shackle pin nipped up tight, cut a piece of wire about 15cm (6in) long and hold 5cm (2in) of it under the side of the shackle

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Poke the wire up through the hole in the shackle pin then down through the shackle itself and repeat so you have two loops of wire around the shackle and through the pin

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Use pliers to tighten the wire as much as you can to snug down the seizing onto the shackle. This helps to prevent any movement in the wire

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

With the second loop of wire wrapped and tightened, use pliers to twist the two ends of the wire together, again keeping it tight

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

Once you have got five or six twists on the ends, snip off the excess wire, press the twist against the shackle body and you’re done

Seizing shackles

Seizing shackles

This is Monel wire seizing on a spinnaker halyard block shackle. It’s a strong and durable solution for shackles that you can’t inspect regularly

Original Article

Brought to you by Marineforecaster Application imported from Yachting Monthly

Marineforecaster App – Your Mobile Weather Station

Wind Fills Sails but…

People often use the old saying, ‘Knowing which way the wind is blowing’ but in fact this is vital information and may not always be as it would seem.

Winds are designated based on from where they originate, a wind blowing from the sea in the direction of the shore is an on-shore wind, conversely a wind blowing off shore – out to sea is an offshore wind, clearly the force of the wind is also a key factor.

Obvious?

Good, knowing the difference is a good start especially for new and inexperienced boaters.

However, reading the signs helps sailboat skippers cope with heading out to sea or returning to shore and combined with tidal information is essential knowledge. Keeping a weather-eye means checking for changes in the wind because it can veer away from its original direction and sneak up from somewhere else – what starts as an on-shore wind can swing (veer) around and become an off-shore wind making sailing back to the Marina more challenging for new boaters, the stronger (or stiffer) the wind the tougher the challenge.

It is worth mentioning that topographical variations affect the wind also, inland waters, lakes, inland seas and upper reaches of rivers and basins etc are affected by winds making inland sailing challenging and sometimes much worse, always check with the experts on land at the sailing club or marina for expected wind/weather conditions before setting out. As discussed previously wind can herald the onset of other weather conditions such as rain, plus turbulence.

Similarly wind along the shore-line can be affected by the prevailing land heights, when we walk along a cliff top the wind may be strong but when we are in the lea of the cliff – at the bottom – we are sheltered from it, the same applies to boaters at sea level.

Thereby hangs a serious point, winds can quickly affect body temperature, even on a sunny day a stiff breeze can reduce core body temperature causing hypothermia, it makes sense to wear – or have with you – warm clothing for just such an occasion. The same information is universal, where ever people sail the same wind information and concerns apply, and because boaters are used to sailing in warm waters it doesn’t mean that basic rules do not have to be observed. Certainly in hot countries the risk of sun stroke or heat stroke are probably greater but serious boaters will always err on the side of caution, always hope for the best but plan for the worst, even three kilometres out at sea is a long way if someone succumbs.

cautions-in-hypothermia-first-aidHypothermia takes about 30 minutes to set in for an adult – less for a child or smaller person. Water conducts heat/cold 25 times faster than air making body heat loss far quicker for someone in the water. Hyporthermia can take between an hour and two hours to kill someone. Clearly in the extreme North and Southern hemispheres water temperatures will be much lower and cold shock will make loss of life far quicker.

Serious boaters should undertake First Aid training to ascertain what must be done in such circumstances. Time is of the essence.

Sailing and boating are about having a great time on the water. Accidents often occur because people either don’t know the basics or choose to ignore them often endangering other people who then have to mount a rescue. Accident prevention does make perfect sense.

All boaters, sail or motorised, are advised to attend a professionally run course of training and then follow the rules.

Love sailing and enjoy.

 

 

Marineforecaster

Author : Roger Langley

My Boat Has Been Damaged, How Do I Get It Fixed?

A lot depends on the extent of the damage of course, the off season is the ideal time to make repairs to your boat, as many of us in the Northern Hemisphere will be doing over the next few months, if you need something done properly advice is at hand.

Are you able to perform professional quality repairs yourself, or do you need to look for a repair yard that can do it for you?

Is your vessel a sail boat or a power boat or cruiser? Engine repairs are often beyond the ken of amateurs meaning that calling in the experts is necessary which may be expensive but safer, safety especially at sea – inland or otherwise – is vital.

[arve url=”https://youtu.be/HVnhkNVXwAY” thumbnail=”22537″ title=”My Boat Has Been Damaged, How Do I Get It Fixed?” description=”Is your vessel a sail boat or a power boat or cruiser? Engine repairs are often beyond the ken of amateurs meaning that calling in the experts is necessary which may be expensive but safer, safety especially at sea – inland or otherwise – is vital. ” /]

Yacht and Boat Chandlers carry vast stock of essential items for yacht and boat repairs plus just about anything else that one could need from decking sealants varnish and stain, to provisions for those stocking the galley prior to a cruise. Plus, many fittings, loos, galley equipment etc are available for sale. The owner/operators will usually know who does what in their location so asking for information whilst doing a bit of shopping is wise.

Marinas will also know the best local repairers and may have dry slips to enable boaters to haul a boat out of the water for maintenance and repairs. It is worth checking Marinas out in your location, the best ones may have everything that you need for repairs and of course a berth from which to sail, maybe a Chandlers on site and repair shops too. Not forgetting great food and drink.

Many boats have fibre glass hulls in which case knowing how to conduct repairs to the skin is important, fibre glass patching is a skilful business and many folks do their own, your Chandlers will usually carry patching kits, however, if the damage is on a large scale then a commercial boat repair yard may be the answer. Broken parts, winches, sail repair kits, replacement shackles and ropes, rigging, cleats, even outboard motors can be sourced easily at the best Chandlers. The benefit of buying from a recognised Chandler is convenience and confidence, they only sell the best kit available and will guide inexperienced people in making the best purchases for each specific need.

It is important to make sure that repairs are carried out correctly, the forces and stresses placed on the components and the fabric of a boat are immense, botched repairs can be catastrophic or at the least seriously non-cost effective – why spoil the boat for a hap’eth o tar? The same is true of outboard motors and propeller driven boats, do it right and stay safe!

Happy sailing, folks, stay safe and enjoy!

Marineforecaster

Author: R. Langley

 

Editors Digest Feb 2019










Hello dear friends and users of Marineforecaster. The January Newsletter along with that of February 2019. As we mention when you sign up, we do not have the intention of breaking down your emails and tiring you with daily email output.

However, we want to give you real news and articles that are topical, informative and easy reading.

2019 began with a lot of turmoil in the climatic conditions around the World. In recent days we have seen in the United States a severe polar vortex causing extremely cold temperatures (-55 degrees Celsius) that froze everything including people and animals causing loss of life to those exposed to these extreme conditions.
The warmer the Arctic becomes the more Jetstream will weaken, as the Jetstream acts as a natural boundary between cold polar temperatures and the warmer air masses in southerly climes the greater the imbalance will become as we reach a tipping point in Global Warming, with major impact on all concerned. At the opposite of the extreme weather picture we have Australia suffering temperatures of +55 C.

Unfortunately, the phenomenon of Global Warming by human interventions has created extreme weather phenomena such as the creation of 4+ hurricanes, behind one another, leaving behind large-scale catastrophes, both in human lives lost and also creating problems for the economies of the nations that are at the heart of these events.
The phenomena are not local, and in countries like my own, Greece, which has a mild Mediterranean climate, we are currently experiencing anticyclone and extreme weather phenomena at a frequency of phenomenon and impact not previously known in our empirical data.

Our commitment to weather forecasts at sea has made us very sensitive to anything that affects the weather and the safety of those who navigate the sea or engage in water sports.
“Weather forecasting always runs the risk of getting it wrong as previous successful forecasts are not 100% guaranteed to predict what is yet to come.”
So, we have to be careful about how we assess a weather forecast and how we share the information.
Because we at Marineforecaster are passionate about safe navigation and because safety first always comes first, we have created an additional parameter to enable us to see if the forecast goes hand in hand with reality. We have added the live weather stations around the world so that we can cross reference the forecast data with those stations already being used by Marineforecaster.

So, for example, as a user of the Marineforecaster app if the forecast gives me a ‘2’ level of intensity whilst I get ‘9’ Beaufort data from the corresponding station in the cruise area, of course I will postpone the departure.

We have written many articles on safety and the need to learn correctly how to operate sail boats and cruisers et al, acquire knowledge from experienced and acclaimed captains, attend a sailing school, or become a part of a community that will help us and teach us the right way things are done. All articles are available on the web site.
We have a duty to our families and to ourselves to return safely after every excursion.
Once you know the basics you will learn from your own mistakes making you a better sailor based on experience, people who don’t learn and improve and take foolish risks for example become a pariah putting the lives and pleasure of other people at risk.

‘The smart man learns from his own mistakes whilst the genius also learns from the mistakes of others …’

We wish you all a Good month!

Sail Safe!









Hotel Echo Lima Papa = ?

Communication is a Two-way Process,

How do we communicate with other people when sailing? Wave?

There is an old joke about a swimmer gesticulating frantically, ‘Is he waving or drowning?

Any right-minded person would assume the worst and go to their assistance just in case. However, it does make a valid point about communication. According to studies only 7% of our communication is verbal, whilst 55% is physical nonverbal, and the remaining 38% is tone or the way that we say it. Next time you have a conversation with someone try and mentally step back and check this out, for example, to a child if you say stop in a conversational tone, they probably will continue doing whatever they are doping, however, if Mom or Pa says ‘STOP!’ in command mode (especially Mom) chances are they will stop what they are doing.

My point is that communications become more difficult when we cannot see the other person with whom we are trying to communicate, and that applies to people who sail or fly etc. Therefore, we need to communicate clearly in a way that says what we need to say succinctly and in a commonly understood format. NB. No slang, profanities, or offensive language.

Sailing is great fun for all our boating friends but doing so without a means of communicating when things go wrong is counter intuitive. OK, coastal boaters in familiar waters may say, ‘who needs a radio?’, whilst serious boaters would not go to sea without. Online communications are superb and have a part to play increasingly, however for the moment let’s look at radio comms because they are still the most effective means of communication for most boating folks.

A Marine Radio is a VHF (very high frequency) radio that operates between 156 and 174mega Hertz, in some countries additional channels are used. Marine radio is installed as standard on larger ships and on the majority of sea-going boats (and on some inland waters too), marine radios are vital in calling for assistance in an emergency plus contacting Marinas and Harbours. Marine sets are transceivers allowing two-way contact, only operating on standard frequencies or channels. Channel 16 – 156.8 MHz being the international distress channel. Transmission power ranges between 1 and 25 watts, giving a maximum range  5 nautical miles (9 km; 6 mi) between aerials mounted on small boats at sea level. FM or  Frequency modulation used, with vertical polarization, meaning that antennas have to be vertical in order to have good reception.

Modern-day marine VHF radios offer basic transmit and receive capabilities, check with your chandlery or specialist supplier for advice on the best choice for your needs. Permanently mounted marine VHF radios on seagoing vessels are required to have certification of some level of “Digital Selective Calling” (DSC) capability, to allow a distress signal to be sent with a single button press.

That’s the tech stuff, we urge all sea going boaters to not only make sure their marine radio is in good working order but that they are aware of how to use it before setting sail.

To facilitate communication when using your marine radio it helps to remember that a/ pronunciation is very important, b/ language – ensure that you use recognisably language – and keep to the rules for language use, and c/ because you cannot see the other person you are down to 7% of your communications capability so making yourself understood is paramount. Speak clearly and check regularly that the recipient understands.

English language is universally used in marine communications although this may not always be the case at a local level – where many boaters do their sailing.

To make communications easier in English the NATO phonetic alphabet to enunciate words that could be misunderstood, the words ‘red and read’, ‘wood – would’, for example.

 Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.

Hotel Echo Lima Papa = Help for example.

Professional advice and tuition in the use of Marine Radio is a life saver, literally, do not go to sea in any vessel without knowing the basics.

Sail safe.

Marineforecaster

Author: R. Langley

Heavy Weather Is Dangerous If Not Taken Seriously!!!

Only the very foolish go to sea without checking the weather beforehand and acting sensibly.

Wind speeds are generally acknowledged as fitting into the bands of the Beaufort Scale a universally known and often used warning. The Beaufort Scale begins at 0 which is calm, then the scale rises numerically through to 6 – strong breeze at which point the Gale Pennant is flown to indicate a risk to safety. Beyond 6 and up to 12 the Beaufort Scale shows increasing risk and 10 through 12 is indicated by Storm Warning Pennants – a red flag with a black square at the centre, 12 is hurricane/typhoon strength. In short Gale force 6 and above, head for port on the shortest possible heading.

Charter businesses, fishing and sailing businesses and those operating yacht and boat businesses should understand that any wind speeds of 5 or 6 will put their boats at risk and of course that means the passengers too!

From the boater point of view, a good deal depends on the knowledge and experience of the skipper, commercial boats and their crews will usually take a pragmatic view of the weather knowing that heavy weather can cause loss of life. Seasoned skippers will know how to judge the situation and will check with the Coast Guard services or Harbour Master, where there is one locally, to ascertain the degree of risk and any ban on sailing. And, look out for Gale Pennants they are not for decoration!

However, not every sailor is so experienced and there are many who just drift out of an inlet to fish or sail a little without the level of knowledge or training to know better. Across the world the seas can go from placid and welcoming, warm enough for one to fall asleep maybe, and in a very short time heavy weather, rain squalls, and crashing waves can occur catching the unwary out. More than a few such occasions have ended up costing lives. Please, remember if you put your self and your boat at risk someone will have to put their lives at risk to save you.

To all boating buddies, if you do not know the local weather conditions ask locally, check with the authorities locally, watch what the sailing clubs and marinas are doing – if they are hunkered down keeping the bar warm do the same! If the bay is thick with sail boats and cruisers enjoying the ocean join in the fun but keep a weather eye open just in case.

What is a weather eye? If you don’t know you need to take some training and qualify, join a sailing club and learn your craft and learn about the weather in relation to your sport and then follow the rules. Don’t be a dead head, be smart and enjoy sailing.

Marineforecaster

 

VHF device when sailing in Greece

Tips on how to use the VHF device while sailing

 

VHF device when sailing in Greece

• VHF radios are not toys. Don’t clog important channels with idle chatter, and never, never make a false Mayday call. You are putting lives at risk, and you can be prosecuted.
• Always monitor channel 16. If you receive a distress call, record it and your position in your log, and be prepared to render assistance if at all possible.
• When sending a message, press the handset’s push-to-talk (PTT) button, and speak slowly and clearly into the microphone. Use the phonetic alphabet to spell out important information, and always confirm a received message.
• Don’t attempt to hail another user while the hailing channel is active. Breaking into an active radio transmission is bad VHF etiquette at best and could possibly interfere with an emergency transmission. When hailing another boat (on channel 9 or 16), establish contact and then quickly switch to an established working channel.
• Never use profanity, always transmit using minimum power, keep conversations as brief as possible, and remember that most VHF calls are audible to any radio in range that is monitoring your channel. So watch what you say; you never know who is listening.
• When you go shopping for a VHF, make sure that it has the proper NMEA connections to allow it to interface easily with your GPS.
• Last but not least, never say “over and out” at the end of a transmission. “Over” means “over to you”; “out” means you are ending the transmission. When you have completed your conversation, just say “out.” Same holds true for “roger, wilco.” Nothing says VHF rookie like “roger, wilco” followed by “over and out.”

Tune to Channel 16 when sailing in Greece

When tuned to channel 16, “Radio Olympia” is the name of the Coast Guard station in Greece. Calling “Radio Olympia” you can ask for weather forecast, medicine support, or a MayDay. To make a call:
1. Press the PTT and say “Radio Olympia” – “Radio Olympia” (up to three times)
2. “This is sail boat “X” (up to three times)
3. “We would like a weather forecast for Saronic golf, Over”
If you have no reply, you call again three minutes

 

Origin of Article  Sailing in Greece