Boaters need to pay close attention to the weather. They think in terms of the next few hours: microweather forecasting. The log allowed me to both track my observations over the past hours and days, and capture essentials from weather-radio forecasts for the next hours and days.
It didn't work very well. The medium was the problem. PDA screens are small. They are hard to see in the bright sun. Entering data was slow without a full-sized keyboard. I couldn't get a sense of the weather by scrolling the screens.
So, I reverted to a small notebook, of the kind Hemingway used in the pre-electronic age. That worked much better.
What boaters need for managing the weather:
- Voice access to someone on or near the waters ahead, to get a clear picture of the microweather.
- A notebook and pen or pencil.
- Voice radio to receive marine weather forecasts.
- Internet access.
- Digital barometer.
- Electronic wind direction and wind speed measurement.
- Air thermometer (optional, water thermometer even more optional).
- Real time weather information overlaid on the GPS chartplotter.
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