Atlantic Crossing Weather Tools Webinar (Part 2) was recorded on 20th October 2021

Here is the link to the video on Youtube https://youtu.be/jcYnrmRwaWw

The topics covered in this webinar include:

  • Using the Offshore App while on Passage

  • Connecting to your Satellite device

  • Offshore App Settings for Satellite downloads

  • Tools in the Offshore App

Below, we answer the eight most commonly asked questions:

1/ Can I get the link to the Part 1 webinar?

2/ What is the recommended file size for Iridium GO weather downloads?

3/ What are boat polars, and how do I set them up?

4/ Can I find out more about GPS Tracking?

5/ What is a YB3i, and why would I get one?

6/ What is CAPE, and how can I predict severe weather?

7/ What is the difference between the PredictWind App/ website and the Offshore App?

8/ Can I download PredictWind weather files other ways apart from the Iridium GO?

1/ Can I get the link to the Part 1 webinar?

The first webinar in this series was the Atlantic Crossing Weather Equipment Introduction Webinar. It covered our recommended weather, and communications set up, including the Iridium GO!, compatibility, the PredictWind Offshore App brief overview, GPS tracking, rallies, and buddy boats.

You can find the recorded webinar and FAQs at https://help.predictwind.com/en/articles/5648423-atlantic-crossing-weather-equipment-introduction-webinar-part-1.

2/ What is the recommended file size for Iridium GO weather downloads?

We recommend keeping the file size below 200kb, but you can download more if you have the patience to wait for it. The rule of thumb is 100kb takes 10 minutes via the Iridium GO, whose data speed is 10-12KB/ minute.

3/ What are boat polars, and how do I set them up?

Polars describe your boat speed and wind angle in any given weather situation. Setting the polars in your PredictWind account is essential to get an accurate weather route. It is vital you set the polars in your account before using the weather routing and departure planning tool on any of the PredictWind platforms.

See the help at https://help.predictwind.com/articles/2884506-how-to-set-up-boat-polars-all-platforms for detailed instructions on setting up boat polars.

4/ Can I find out more about GPS Tracking?

PredictWind can provide a customized GPS tracking web page for your boat. Your friends and family can access this web page and do not require them to have a PredictWind account. The web page can be viewed in a web browser or embedded in your blog or website.

You can utilize our GPS tracking and blog post features with an Iridium GO, YB3i, YB Tracker, inReach, or manually update your position report via the Offshore App.

Check out our Help Centre Section on GPS tracking at https://help.predictwind.com/en/collections/1680697-gps-tracking for more information.

5/ What is a YB3i, and why would I get one?

The YB3i is the ultimate tracking device with truly global coverage using the Iridium satellite network.

  • Many customers have both the Iridium GO and YB3i, one of the reasons being is that they can cancel their Iridium GO airtime plan while coastal cruising in cellular range and still have automated tracking so you can check your boat is safe 24/7/365. The running costs are much cheaper compared to the Iridium GO at US$19.95 per month.

  • The YB3i acts as a backup communication device should anything happen to the Iridium GO. You can do this using the YB Tracking Connect App. This app allows you to send and receive short messages via email or SMS. YB Tracking provides this service, and you will need to buy credits using the YB Tracking App.

  • If you have an alloy, steel or carbon boat, this causes issues for Iridium GO GPS tracking as the GPS signal being sent from the Iridium GO unit will not penetrate the hull. The Iridium GO does not have an external antenna for the GPS signal. The external antenna is for the Iridium satellite system, not GPS tracking and positioning. In this case, use the YB3i, as it is mounted above the deck. For further information on the YB3i, please see https://www.predictwind.com/yb3i/.

6/ What is CAPE, and how can I predict severe weather?

CAPE stands for Convective Available Potential Energy and is the amount of fuel available to a developing thunderstorm. More specifically, it describes the instability of the atmosphere and provides an approximation of updraft strength within a thunderstorm. So, CAPE is used by weather officials to understand what the potential might be for thunderstorms and how powerful those storms might become if they do materialize.

The standard measurement of energy is represented as Joules Per Kilogram. A high CAPE value might also be expressed by weather experts using the term “high instability”. When we talk about a highly unstable atmosphere, CAPE values are usually in excess of 2500 J/kg’s which would supply ample energy for strong updrafts and violent thunderstorms, should they develop.

You can learn more about CAPE and other indicators for predicting severe weather at https://www.predictwind.com/news/indicators-predicting-severe-weather/.

7/ What is the difference between the PredictWind App/ website and the Offshore App?

There are multiple ways you can view a PredictWind forecast:

  • The PredictWind website https://forecast.predictwind.com/ is used on your PC/ Mac using a web browser like Chrome, Safari. You need complete internet services to use this. It is location-based, i.e. you add your location, and we generate a forecast for that spot. This is our primary platform for subscription management, billing, and setting boat polars.

  • The PredictWind App is installed on your mobile device and is an online tool. It needs Wifi or cellular connection to view the forecast. It is location-based, i.e. you add your location, and we generate a forecast for that spot.

  • You can use the PredictWind Offshore App on PC, Mac, Apple or Android devices. It is an offline tool for downloading compressed GRIB file weather data and weather routing via an internet or cellular connection, at sea via satellite like the Iridium GO or email request. It stores files locally on the device to review offline.

8/ Can I download PredictWind weather files other ways apart from the Iridium GO?

There are multiple ways to download PredictWind weather data while offshore. Our Offshore App is compatible with the Iridium GO (recommended), Optimizer*, GlobalStar, high-speed satellite devices, email requests, SSB with pactor model.

*If you have an Optimizer connected to the following devices, you can direct download GRIB files and routing.

Iridium handset, Aurora, Glow, MCG101, SatStation, Sattrans, Thuraya, Isatphone, Iridium Pilot, HNSBGAN, GSM.

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