On the afternoon of July 25, a fast moving storm packing 70 mph winds, rain and lighting swept across the Chesapeake Bay. Over the next two hours, US Coast Guard Sector Baltimore, MD, received 37 calls from mariners in distress. Unfortunately many boaters and anglers, unaware of the supercell's fury, were caught unprepared. But it didn't have to be this way.
Today there are dozens of hi-tech ways to receive up-to-the-minute weather information aboard your boat. The BoatUS Foundation recently reviewed 28 products and services to see which provided mariners with the best information and has issued its recommendations for its top picks.
The review, which covered satellite and phone-based weather services for the coastal inshore and inland boater, included free cellular phone text messaging services to fee-based subscription services that display weather information on a chartplotter. Foundation staff limited their focus to the actual content and depth of weather information provided.
The BoatUS Foundation's weather service picks are:
Best Free Flip Phone Option: NOAA's mobile.weather.gov
Best iPhone App: MarineCast
Best Blackberry App: Mobile Mariner
Best Free App: WeatherBug
Satellite Weather: XM WX Weather
To view the full report and details on each pick's features, go to www.BoatUS.com/foundation/Findings/49.