Weather plays a critical role in sailing, influencing course, speed, and onboard safety. As sailors on board Ambra, we understand the importance of accurate and up-to-date weather information, both onshore and offshore. We used PredictWind as a weather forecast app and routing on our Atlantic crossing.


PredictWind Weather Routing Map

PredictWind Weather Routing Atlantic Crossing on Ambra


In this blog post, we share our experience in obtaining the most reliable weather forecasts using Predictwind, an exceptional weather forecast service for sailors. We’ll explore the challenges of offshore communication, choosing the right platform, and optimizing weather updates to ensure a smooth and safe journey. We will not focus in on weather information analyzing the current environment, clouds, pressure, radio, NAVTEX or VHF news in this blog article.



So, buckle up (or should I say, strap on your life jackets?) and let’s sail into the world of weather forecasting on board Ambra!


1. Understanding the Challenge of Offshore Weather Forecasting:

Crossing the Atlantic poses unique challenges, especially when it comes to obtaining weather updates offshore. Satellite systems and SSB communication can be slow and costly, making it essential to have a reliable backup system in place.

Some services offer dedicated applications or services (via Email update or Grib files) to be used via satellite communications. Starlink as a broad band service onboard, could be an option to use onshore weather apps and services (need more bandwidth) but might not work reliable offshore. You should consider a backup system using satellite coms or SSB on top. In addition Starlink has a higher power consumption (check out ).

SSB is complex and costly as well. You need to obtain the LRC license and install the system. The connection is not always reliable and very slow. However, it is voice system as well and you will able to communicate with user groups on weather, technical issues or travel informations worldwide.

Sat Com is quite expensive and you need to use a firewall on all systems you use onboard to prevent updates or downloads of apps in the background. Our beloved friends unintentionally stumbled upon a teeny-tiny virus file while hanging out at the marina. EUR 800 later, our friends learned a valuable lesson.


Before settling on a weather service, consider your preferred platforms, such as Windows, Apple IOS, iPad, iPhone, or Android devices. Having a backup device on board is crucial in case of any technical issues. We use Iridium Certus Vessellink 200 system to download Emails and weather forecasts.



2. PredictWind: The Ultimate Weather Forecast Service:


After extensive research, we found PredictWind to be the best and most reliable weather forecast service for sailors. PredictWind supports all relevant weather models and offers animated data in various formats. Whether you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or Apple IOS laptop, PredictWind ensures seamless compatibility. Additionally, PredictWind’s support for B&G allows you to download weather forecasts directly onto the plotter for easy access.


We use Apple devices and are able to download the weather forecast to our iPhone, iPad or Apple IOS laptop. Depending on the weather and sea state (waves) it might be easier to download the weather updates on an iPad before you open up the laptop. In case one system fails we have a backup as well.


3. Optimizing Weather Updates for Efficient Data Usage:


Offshore data rates can be limited, so it’s vital to control the weather update parameters and details to minimize the size of the files you need to download. PredictWind’s Offshore App enables you to customize the area, time, and detail level of the forecast, ensuring efficient data usage. By focusing on essential parameters like wind and pressure and leaving out already downloaded information, we significantly reduced our data consumption.


We downloaded prior to our departure in Gran Canaria all weather parameters for the next 16 days (size several MBytes). Later offshore we downloaded only the 24/48h forecast for the relevant area (starting from the actual position plus the expected etmal). We focused mainly on incremental wind updates (size few kbytes).


PredictWind Offshore App Options to select weather forecast download details


4. Leveraging PredictWind’s Weather Routing Option:


And the fun didn’t stop there! We had PredictWind’s weather routing option at our service, like a virtual GPS for weather. By selecting the relevant Polar model for our vessel, PredictWind optimized our sailing route based on wind direction and speed. Adjusting the polar settings (down to 80%) for the additional weight on board (imagine five sailors, full diesel and water tanks and enough food for an army) further improved the route’s efficiency.


But wait, there’s more! PredictWind has this magical support for B&G, which is like a secret treasure map for sailors. We downloaded weather forecasts and routing directly onto the plotter, and suddenly, we were sailing like pros!


Polar Diagram and Routing Options in PredictWind


5. Alternatives – Onshore Weather Routing Services:


Alternative, you can subscribe to onshore weather routing services. You will receive daily weather updates by Email and the routing for the next 24 hours. The ARC onshore team did send us a daily 24h weather update as well and a list with the current position of all participants.


6. Tracking Squalls and Weather Anomalies:


As we sailed closer to St. Lucia, squalls became more frequent. To anticipate and prepare for these weather anomalies, we utilized our radar system at night.


In addition, we used a barometric sensor (connected to a Raspi PI and Influx DB) acting like our very own weather detective! It gave us an early warning, and we’d be ready for those sneaky squalls, day or night!




With PredictWind as our weather forecast service of choice, our journey on board Ambra was made smoother and safer. By considering our preferred platforms, optimizing data usage, and leveraging PredictWind’s weather routing option, we maximized the efficiency of our Atlantic crossing. In addition we used the GPS tracking page to share our progress with family and friends

So, my fellow sea adventurers, if you’re planning your next sailing escapade, let me tell you one thing – PredictWind is your trusty first mate, your weather sidekick, and your navigator through the stormy seas of weather forecasts. Check it out, starting with a free subscription

Fair winds and following seas! Ahoy! 🏴☠ ⚓ 🌊


More information on PredictWind on