Please select your home edition
Hyde Sails 2021 - Basic LEADERBOARD

Global Solo Challenge - Weather information on board a sailboat

by Global Solo Challenge 30 Oct 2021 04:53 PDT
Approaching Cape Horn heavily reefed © Global Solo Challenge

Every skipper, whether on a sailing or motor boat, must always have a clear idea of the current weather situation and the expected forecast.

Before leaving port, at least it is advisable to listen to the weather report broadcast continuously on VHF channel 68 or the relevant channel in your country. If you sail abroad, find out about the reference services in the country you are going to.

Even before arriving by boat you can keep an eye on the development of conditions via the internet. Even on the quay on your laptop, ipad, iphone or other smartphone, you shouldn't ignore this source to stay up to date. Remember that a forecast is just a forecast and it is perhaps superfluous to say that the conditions you will encounter may be different!

Acquire an overview

When looking at the forecasts, don't focus exclusively on your navigation area and on too narrow a time window. Try to get an overview of the previous and next weather evolution for a large area around you. This is because while the forecasts are fairly accurate overall, the real weather could be slightly ahead or behind. A depressive centre could pass a little further south or north bringing very different conditions.

The first step would therefore be to view the synoptic maps with the current situation and subsequent forecasts. From here you can quickly check if there are any important weather systems approaching. In particular, warm or cold fronts with associated precipitation and probability of sustained winds.

Synoptic and weather maps

You can view the synoptic maps of your country on your national forecasting website, I also recommend using the maps developed by the British meteorological service, MetOffice, which enjoy an excellent reputation for their readability and cover all of Europe.

The interpretation of synoptic charts

Synoptic charts require a bit of habit and knowledge to interpret them. A meteorology course or a book can help you understand better but with a little patience you will also find plenty of online resources. It is only your curiosity that will get you to understand them: The basic principles are not very difficult.

The synoptic maps are a graphical representation of atmospheric pressure but also contain a lot of additional information. The difference in pressure between two areas is what generates moving air flows, therefore the starting point for understanding the movements of the air masses. You will also hear about warm and cold, occluded and stationary fronts and stable and unstable air masses.

Continue reading the full article here...

Related Articles

Global Solo Challenge reaches 40 entries
An incredible milestone for the event First, we received two new entries bringing the total to 40. It is such an incredible milestone for the event. We never imagined the first edition of the Global Solo Challenge could receive so much interest. Posted on 12 Jan
How to deal with seasickness and manage it safely
Seasickness poses major problems when sailing and can become a big risk factor Seasickness is caused by the interaction between the organs of balance, the visual and tactile systems and the brain. While being thrown around a boat, our brain cannot reconcile the messages it receives. Posted on 23 Dec 2021
Polyphasic sleep: sleep management solo and crewed
The fundamental principles of polyphasic sleep management Polyphasic sleep management when sailing single-handed is one of those aspects that terrorises each and every sailor who has not yet sailed by themselves. It is not a simple subject to deal with and requires plenty of practice. Posted on 20 Dec 2021
Preparing for a solo circumnavigation
Preparation is key to success, but the list seems never-ending Preparing for a solo circumnavigation by the three great capes is an enormous challenge. So much so that getting to the start line is often just as hard as the navigation that will follow. Posted on 17 Dec 2021
What brings people to like single-handed sailing?
Global Solo Challenge skippers asked for their reasons Sailing single-handed is one of those things that bring unparalleled sense of satisfaction and achievement. I remember my first solo Atlantic crossing, I was mesmerised, I loved it. Posted on 14 Dec 2021
What lessons can you learn from sailing?
Global Solo Challenge skippers interviewed Sailing can be considered a sport, but many prefer to refer to it as a discipline. Sailing, especially single-handed and long-distance, requires an incredible number and combination of skills. Posted on 4 Dec 2021
The biggest solo circumnavigation challenges
What are the recurring thoughts of many Global Solo Challenge skippers Preparing boat and skipper for a non-stop single-handed circumnavigation by the three great capes is no easy task. Many are the challenges during preparation, financial, practical, as well as during the navigation itself. Posted on 29 Nov 2021
Why did they sign up for Global Solo Challenge?
We asked our skippers what brought them to the race We asked our skippers what brought them to sign up for the Global Solo Challenge and below we picked a selection of answers which gives a feel of how the event is perceived by entrants. Posted on 27 Nov 2021
Racing ropes: making the right choice
The world of ropes is much more full of variations than we might think The ropes for a sailboat seem at first glance all the same except for the colour. Nothing could be that far from reality. Some ropes have truly remarkable technical properties. Others are not quite as noble and we need to understand the differences. Posted on 6 Nov 2021
How to apply antiskid on deck or paint numbers
More lessons and tips from the Global Solo Challenge In many classes such as Mini 650s, Class40s and Imoca60 it is mandatory to paint your boat number on the deck, in Cat Zero events you also have to paint an area of 4sqm in high visibility colour. Posted on 17 Oct 2021
Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTERHyde Sails 2021 - Basic FOOTERCoast Guard Foundation FOOTER 3