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The Importance of Weather Forecasting in Safe Boating

by PredictWind 1 Apr 21:06 NZDT
The Ocean Race 2022-23 - 29 April , Leg 4 Day 6 onboard 11th Hour Racing Team. Rain clouds, ready to influence the fate and fortune of the race day, form on the horizon © Amory Ross / 11th Hour Racing / The Ocean Race

PredictWind is a world-leading weather forecasting tool for boaters. Weather conditions such as storms, high winds, swells and currents can cause havoc for those on the water. From regional lakes to the biggest ocean, understanding and being able to forecast weather conditions can be crucial to your survival. In this article, we’re going to look at the importance of understanding weather risks and how to use weather forecasting tools like PredictWind to sail safely to your next destination.

Understanding weather risks

If you spend a lot of time on the open water, you already understand the importance of understanding weather risks. Boaters are faced with a huge number of weather challenges every day, and many things can impact water safety. Weather plays a huge role in how enjoyable your boating experience is, from tidal movement to storms and high winds. More than just affecting your enjoyment, weather events can also put lives at risk.

So, if you want to stay safe on the water, you first need to know what you’re up against. Fortunately, PredictWind gives you accurate weather data that helps you plan your travel safely. However, to maximize the effectiveness of weather forecasting tools, you need to understand how to interpret weather data.

Before you embark on any journey, ensure you know what to look out for. PredictWind helps by offering a range of easy-to-understand alerts, but knowledge is power when it comes to weather and boating safety.

Staying prepared for weather challenges

Most boat owners know the importance of safety and ensure their vessels are filled with all the appropriate safety equipment. The types of gear you need can vary depending on the size of your boat and where you intend to use it. We won’t list them all, but most boats should include things like life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, emergency VHF radio, lights, ropes, EPIRB and many more.

Equally important as your regular safety equipment is accurate weather forecasting tools. When planning your next trip, you need to understand what conditions lie ahead of you. This allows you to plan accordingly. PredictWind offers you a range of weather maps for clouds, wind, gusts, waves, rain and more, allowing you to plot your trip safely.

By checking the forecast ahead, you may choose to delay your departure or stay a little longer at certain locations to ensure a safer trip.

What is PredictWind?

PredictWind is a weather forecasting app like no other. It uses both global and regional weather models to provide the world’s most accurate weather data, no matter where you are. Wind and weather updates occur every hour, rather than once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Providing weather information is just the tip of the iceberg, though. PredictWind is packed with features, such as the departure planner that helps you identify the optimal departure time for a safe journey.

Alerts and notifications are plentiful, so you’ll always be aware of conditions that may require your attention. Importantly, PredictWind isn’t just for people with large vessels, either. You can use this awesome technology to stay safe while kayaking, fishing, yacht racing, windsurfing, cruising and much more.

How PredictWind improves boating safety

We could go on for hours about all of PredictWind’s individual features because there are a lot. It’s also very customizable, depending on your needs. You choose the subscription and features you want, so it’s nice and flexible. Here’s a snapshot of how PredictWind improves boating safety.

  • Departure planning: PredictWind identifies the best departure time to reach your next destination safely.
  • GPS tracking: More for avoiding collisions rather than weather events, PredictWind also offers a powerful automated identification system (AIS).
  • Weather routing: Choose the safest routes to avoid potentially dangerous weather conditions.
  • Accurate modelling: PredictWind uses the world’s most reliable and trusted weather models to deliver better accuracy.
  • Local knowledge: Accurate regional modelling for boaters operating closer to shore.
  • DataHub: The DataHub plugs into your boat’s instruments, bringing all of your technology together.

In very simple terms, PredictWind helps you forecast upcoming weather conditions and plan for safe passage.

Tips for maximising PredictWind’s features

The basic PredictWind subscription gives you a tremendous amount of weather data to help keep you safe. But you can get a great deal more value if you choose a subscription that gives you more features.

For example, one feature available in the professional subscription is AI Polars. PredictWind’s DataHub collects information from your boat’s instruments regarding how your vessel performs in certain conditions. This way, route planning is even more tailored to your specific needs.

Departure planning is another awesome feature. It takes into account winds, tides, currents and more to give you the perfect time to leave for your next destination. You can rely on this information for both speed and safety.

Overall, you’re going to get a lot more from weather forecasting software if you understand a little about weather. You don’t need to be a meteorologist, but we do recommend learning a little about weather and how it pertains to boating. PredictWind gives you enormous data, so the more you can interpret, the safer you’ll be.

Continuous innovation for improved water safety

The great thing about weather forecasting is that it’s always advancing. Tools like PredictWind are constantly getting better, but even raw weather data keeps improving. Forecasting tools become more reliable as we learn more about the oceans and the weather.

While not weather-related, PredictWind has recently launched its automated identification system, Over the Horizon. It has the capacity to show GPS tracking data out to 300 nautical miles, which gives boaters plenty of warning before potential collisions.

Technology such as PredictWind continues to pave the way towards safer waters for everyone. By understanding more about weather risks and forecasting, we can all play a part in avoiding dangerous situations.

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