We’re probably all quite familiar with the traditional ways to get weather forecasts. If you’re sailing in UK waters, the Shipping Forecast is a useful resource, you can get forecasts whilst onboard via your VHF radio (check with the marina to get timings and channels), and then there’s Navtex (Navigational Telex).
Nowadays there’s also an abundance of great websites and apps which can be used to get the latest information. Practical Boat Owner review the most popular, and there’s a decent piece of advice in there too:
“The value of using several forecasts cannot be overstressed. There is considerable benefit in having input from a human forecaster who can use intelligence and experience to interpret the computer output.’ So, look at as many online forecasts as you like – but don’t forget to check the synoptic chart as well, just in case”.
To elaborate a bit more on the Shipping Forecast. It’s well worth listening to if you’ve never heard it. The terms used are strictly defined so that forecasts are as concise and consistent as possible, which means that for the untrained ear it’s almost indecipherable! I created a short overview of what the terms mean, and you can read about its history here