Why do I need Weather Receivers / Monitors on my boat?
Although the number of boaters installing weather receivers and monitors has been rising steadily in the last decade, there are quite a few who are yet to adopt this trend. Having these instruments in the boat safeguards you and other people from the risk that may arise from bad weather.
The most popular instruments are as follows:.
A boater can also choose to be receiving weather updates through a radio receiver. There are several weather stations that broadcast news and information about the weather. They will talk of the expected sunshine, daily temperature, chances of storms or rainfall and much more. The user simply needs to tune the receiver to get the latest updates.
A wind vane is among the simplest weather instruments. It indicates the direction of the wind. This allows a user such to take advantage of the direction and strength/ speed of the wind (especially useful for sail boats). Rainfall and storms also follow the direction of the wind. A boater will consequently stay-off the path of a storm or hurricane. Modern vanes come attached to an anemometer for easier reading.
An anemometer is used to measure the velocity/ speed and pressure of the wind. Commercial types may also be referred to as ventimeters. It measures the speed using Royal Meteorological Society's (RmetS). Strong winds normally indicate the possibility of strong storms. Several versions of the wing instrument exist. They include tube, vane, cup, hot-wire, ultrasonic and more.
A barometer is a simple tool that measures the pressure in the atmosphere. The readings which are pegged on the sea-level are recorded using RMets. Having knowledge about the atmosphere gives a person an idea on the expected type of weather. Aneroid, Mercury and Barograph are the common types of barometers.
A hygrometer is usually confused with the psychrometer. They both measure humidity in the atmosphere. However, a hygrometer uses thermal conductivity, capacitance and resistance to measure the percentage. Simply put, it's an electrical type of psychrometer. The humidity is measured in dew points.
A thermometer will always be mentioned when discussing weather receivers and monitors. This is a simple device that measures the temperature in the air/atmosphere. Traditional types consist of a bulb and tube containing alcohol or mercury. Modern ones use MMTS (Electrical Max/Min Temperature Sensors) and may be digital. The temperature is read in Celsius (°C) or Fahrenheit (°F).
This is among the oldest and most basic weather instrument. It is a simple sock (piece of cloth) that is hung from a point on the vessel. By catching the wind, it indicates the strength and also indicates the direction. It gives a rough idea on the strength and direction of the wind. It forms part of the weather station in a boat.
Anyone that spends time on the water will benefit from having some of the above mentioned weather sensors and instruments; whether it's a small speedboat, mid-size fishing boat, the luxurious yacht or cruiser. Fortunately, most of the weather receivers and monitors have become digital. This has improved clarity as well as accuracy. Iboats.com has the selection and variety of weather instruments to fit all your boating needs.
Check the Weather Before Boating
This video will explain the importance of checking the weather forecast before you go boating.
Speaker 1: One of the biggest things we see in this area, in the Gulf of Mexico is, in the summertime we have thunderstorms that come up at a moment's notice. We have the center of the state that heats up and it draws the cool gulf air to the center creating massive thunderstorms which then move to the coast. If when you finally see a thunderstorm, it's too late you're going to have to go through it or avoid to be able to get back to shore.
Speaker 2: A lot of people, they don't pay any attention to the weather prior to going out. They get outside and the weather turns foul on them. Checking the weather before you leave the dock should be you're number one thing to do.
Speaker 1: We'll have the VHF Radio with the weather channel on-board the vessel at all times. Prior to starting out on your trip follow the local weather. Local weather now is so good on the news that you'll be able to tell if there's something that's going to happen, if there's going to be a storm at irregular time, if the wind's going to be high, if there's small craft advisory, when high and low-tide is - just be aware.
Boating in Severe Weather
This Boat-Ed safety course video emphasizes the importance of staying alert to weather changes before you go boating. Also it goes over several points for what to do if caught in severe weather, including how to secure your boat and look after the safety of your passengers.
One way to avoid disaster is by watching the weather. Weather can change suddenly and create unexpected situations for boat operators. Even meteorologists have trouble predicting changes in the weather so stay alert.
If you get caught in severe weather check your PFD to be sure it's properly fastened. Reduce speed but keep enough power to maintain headway and steering. Have your passengers sit on the floor close to the centerline for their own safety and to make the boat more stable.
If there is lightning, disconnect all electrical equipment and stay clear of metal objects. If possible, head for the nearest shore that's safe to approach. Point your bow into the waves at a 45 degree angle. Personal watercraft should head directly into the waves.