Olympian, America’s Cup winner, and founder of PredictWind, Jon Bilger, explains how to find the right weather window for cruising sailors
How can you choose the best departure date? The right weather window is crucial to planning an offshore passage. A weather window refers to a period of favourable weather conditions that allow for safe and efficient passage – for either the beginning, or majority, of your passage.
We will look at how to choose the best window. We’re particularly focussing on using PredictWind, though the same principles apply to other sources of weather data.
Plan your route
First, plan your route. Consider seasonal weather patterns, and use tools like Historical Weather or Pilot Charts to find past weather data. They provide averaged monthly wind speed, direction, and waves along with other atmospheric information.
Forums, cruising associations or rally organizers are other sources of information. Jimmy Cornell’s World Voyage Planner and Ocean Atlas includes historical data on average…