Whether you’re planning a long excursion or just a day trip on the water, careful weather preparation beforehand is key to a safe and fun boating experience. Even on short boat trips you can run into some rocky rifts in the waters and it’s best to be as prepared as possible. Nowadays, technology has advanced from the weathervane to handy, digital weather apps to help you stay safely informed while out at sea.
First Thing’s First – Knowing Your Boat and Your Passengers
More than likely you will encounter questionable weather at some point. Whether you rent or own your Stuart marina boat, you should be aware of the vessel’s capabilities should a weather issue arise. Long time boat owners should be aware of the vessel’s accessories and abilities to handle rocky weather. It’s also important to know your passengers, as well. Does the vessel have an enclosed cockpit or cabin? Enclosed cabins often accumulate sea mist or fog. Trying to navigate the boat while peering through a foggy window can be difficult if it’s an enclosed cabin. Windshield wipers are a must in preparation for fog. Does it have a radar that you can easily tune in to local stations in case of weather-related problems? More importantly, your boat safety gear and checklist should always be included on your trips. All of these preparatory actions can make for a smooth boating experience for you and your passengers.
Mobile Apps More Accurate Than the Naked Eye
Gone are the days when mariners put their trust in their natural surroundings to warn them of storms. As technology continues to advance, we can see the forecast even days ahead of time. Keeping in mind that nothing is solid and technical difficulties arise, but we still can rely on tablet and phone applications to direct and alarm us of stormy weather. The most widely used applications to have on a boat are the North American Mesoscale Forecast System (NAM), the Global Forecast System (GFS), and the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operate these divisions and each model works differently. The GFS will predict weather as far as 14 days ahead but has been known for accuracy 1-4 days prior to sailing. The HRRR and NAM model work similarly in range. All three models provide close accuracy, especially when used together.
The most efficient way to observe the weather is by paying close attention to the local forecast through the National Weather Service and pairing the reported conditions with the application models.
Whether you’re looking for the latest vessel or a marina in Stuart Florida, Riverwatch has you covered. We service your boats mechanical and aesthetic needs, provide boat slips and easy storage, and much more. Contact us today for more information!