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Old 04-19-2020, 09:09 PM   #1
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Best site to evaluate east coast weather window

I've been planning to have captains deliver our new-to-us vessel from Ft Myers, up the East Coast and to Syracuse this spring. My wife and I would take it to Lake Superior from there. Given the enormous amount of uncertainty in everything today, and due to changes in the opening schedule for the Erie Canal, that's changing. Now I'm just going to get it to Albany NY ASAP and figure out the rest later. We hope to leave a week from Friday (May 1st) if all goes perfectly, and a week later if need be.

What combination of websites would you be using to evaluate the weather window for that trip? Clearly it's too far out for the forecast to be meaningful now, but as the actual departure approaches.

Thanks,
BD
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Old 04-19-2020, 09:48 PM   #2
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I may see you along the way. I will be leaving around the 1st of May heading for Chesapeake Bay.

Weather sites will depend to some degree whether you're going up the coast or AICW. For the later, windy.com is fine. For coastal cruising, I will look at windy.com, noaa marine weather and wunderground.com for maps. Intellicast.com was a great site that was absorbed by wunderground.com and they no longer provide the 48 hour wind forecast maps, real shame.

Ted
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:05 PM   #3
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Thanks. That would be really neat if we did see you. What's your cruise speed?

My hope is that we can run long days outside and make great time. I mean this is a delivery not a pleasure cruise. But you don't usually get what you want so I'm prepared for both.

Water levels on Okeechobee seem pretty low too. Hope no problems there.
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Old 04-20-2020, 03:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BDofMSP View Post
Thanks. That would be really neat if we did see you. What's your cruise speed?

My hope is that we can run long days outside and make great time. I mean this is a delivery not a pleasure cruise. But you don't usually get what you want so I'm prepared for both.

Water levels on Okeechobee seem pretty low too. Hope no problems there.
BD
It's been almost 2 years since I asked the same question so info below on cost and features may be slightly dated.

For weather planning and departure planning, I still like the old school synoptic charts issued by NOAA forecasters. For some reason, I find them easier to make decisions on whether I can expect a small period junk to muscle through, or whether the junk will be sustained and better to sit in port. Passageweather.com has a similar interface but does not have the luxury of human interpretation as do the NOAA forecasts.

Buoyweather.com is pretty good for point forecasts. I find the GUI very intuitive. It does require a subscription of about $50/yr to be useful. It's been over a year since I've used it.

Finally, PredictWind. These days, it's the de facto routing app but at something like $250/yr for usable functionality that includes route planning including ability to run scenarios for multiple departure dates, it is a bit expensive (note - if you want effect of current included , that requires a $500 subscription!!!!). It is handy and mostly intuitive, though setup more for sailors so you have tinker with the "polars" feature. There are other route and departure planning apps that build off Windy.com interface that are less expensive, but names escape me right now.

Best success on muddling through the hurdles and restrictions.

Peter
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Old 04-20-2020, 04:26 AM   #5
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Passageweather is another one Iíve used whenever I run outside. Itís been really useful so far.

A lot of folks use Fishweather too, but I donít care for it míself.

Whatever you use, Iíd recommend assuming that itíll be about 20% worse than forecast.
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Old 04-20-2020, 05:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BDofMSP View Post
Thanks. That would be really neat if we did see you. What's your cruise speed?

My hope is that we can run long days outside and make great time. I mean this is a delivery not a pleasure cruise. But you don't usually get what you want so I'm prepared for both.

Water levels on Okeechobee seem pretty low too. Hope no problems there.
BD
I'm a slow cruiser at 7 knots, and will be inside most of the way. Weather this time of year limits the number of offshore days unless you want to bounce. With the exception of a few large bodies of water, my boat is comfortable in 30+ knot winds on the AICW. On pretty days, I'm happy to run up the outside. Yes, the Okeechobee will be very low. You should be fine if you stay in the channel. Looks like some rain coming this week. Hopefully it will keep the level stable or add a few inches.

Ted
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:23 AM   #7
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I have become a fan of Windy.com ( also avail as is & android apps) and it served me well on Great Lakes 2019.
Pg&e 11 of the attached has a brief intro to Windy that I wrote for our ABC-FLX chapter.
It's free and if you set up an acct is very customizable. You can either save favorite locations or a route to easily check fcsts ahead and again as you get closer.
No experience off shore but Richard WXX3 aboard Dauntless was the one that originally got me looking at Windy.Drum 2019-05.pdf
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Old 04-20-2020, 06:46 AM   #8
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NOAA Marine Forecasts, Tides, and sometimes Currents forecasts (I've found easy to access weather and tides via the tabs in the BoatUS app, various Weatherunderground displays especially for inshore, windy, and the tides and currents forecasts built into our plotter and backup application.

And for offshore, ideally some buoy info (BoatUS app). The last time we were offshore we got bounced around quite a bit; there weren't any useful nearby buoys to check before we went through the inlet...

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Old 04-20-2020, 08:15 AM   #9
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I would join the AGLCA, Americas Great Loop Cruisers Association. It costs about a hundred or so for a year. It is a very active forum type of group who share ideas and experiences for all sections of the Loop.

It also has "want ads" where you can generally get all the charts and books from previous "Loopers" at a bargain rate.

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Old 04-20-2020, 09:26 AM   #10
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Another vote for https://www.windy.com
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:49 AM   #11
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Windy.com is my go-to for weather data too.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
I have become a fan of Windy.com ( also avail as is & android apps) and it served me well on Great Lakes 2019.
Pg&e 11 of the attached has a brief intro to Windy that I wrote for our ABC-FLX chapter.
It's free and if you set up an acct is very customizable. You can either save favorite locations or a route to easily check fcsts ahead and again as you get closer.
No experience off shore but Richard WXX3 aboard Dauntless was the one that originally got me looking at Windy.Attachment 101670
This is our favorite as well.
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Old 05-22-2020, 02:22 PM   #13
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Disregard. Missed your other thread.

Sidney
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