This web article gives links to Internet resources for cruisers. Most of these resources we used during our cruising period and found useful. Even though we no longer actively maintain this web page, we hope you find the links here helpful. We do check them periodically to remove or fix broken links. Let us know if you have suggestions for items to add and we'll put them here.
There is a tremendous amount of information available on the Internet pertaining to weather--reflecting, we hope, the recognition that it is the Earth's air, water, and land that allows us to inhabit this wondrous corner of the universe, that releases the winds that allow us to sail across the seas, and that can destroy all of our constructions/artefacts in the blink of an eye.
- The NWS' Tropical Prediction Center gives an immediate picture of developing tropical storms.
- The latest Tropical Weather Discussion gives the most uptodate NWS information on tropical system development.
- NOAA's Ocean Prediction Center continually issues marine warnings and forecasts. This website also provides access to weather forecast and fax schedules. The former Marine Prediction Center was renamed the Ocean Prediction Center on January 28, 2003. The website links previously had "mpc" in their URL's which is being changed to "opc". This website is undergoing change and is currently confusing to navigate.
- NOAA's Caribbean Weather Charts are found on a different part of the NOAA website.
- The Caribbean Weather Center was established and operated for many years by David Jones from Tortola, BVI. David provided forecast and routing information to sponsoring vessels. Sadly, David died on November 7, 2003, after an 8-month illness. In January, 2004, Chris Parker on Bel Ami took over the Weather Center and began providing weather advice to cruisers on the radio in the time-slot previously used by David Jones. 8104.0 USB at 0830 AST.
- Herb Hilgenberg provides weather and routing advice to boaters in the Atlantic, or even the Pacific. Listening to Herb is a must for an ocean or offshore passage. 12539.0 USB at 1500 EST.
- Locus Weather is a weather routing service operated by Ken McKinley in Camden Maine with links to Jenifer Clark's Gulf Stream.
- The National Weather Service main page provides access to marine and non-marine weather resources.
- NOAA's Satellite Images page gives satellite images showing cloud and moisture cover of the US, Caribbean, Atlantic, and Hawaii.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration main page provides links to all NOAA agencies. Note that the organization of NOAA's website is a bit confusing, and changes periodically.
- The Navy's Weather Site provides access to weather information covering much of the world.
- NASA's Global Hydrology and Climate Center is a fount of information on weather and climatology.
- The Johns Hopkins Ocean Remote Sensing site is another useful resource particuarly for the Gulf Stream
- Weather Buoy data are useful for finding out actual conditions reported from weather bouys in the National Data Bouy Center's system.
- San Francisco State University's Geosciences Center is a great place to learn about weather and internet resources.
- Starpath in Seattle offers software and training on marine weather, radar, navigation and other topics of importance to sailors.
- The University of Wisconsin Space Science and Engineering Department has abundent weather information and links.
- NASA's Oceanographic Resources webpage provides ocean information and links to oceanography research entities.
- The U.K. Met Office is the home page for weather forecasts in the United Kingdom.
- Sailor and Meteorologist Bill Biewenga's Home Page is a fun place to access and learn about weather.
- Everett Hinkley's Juneau Weather Page is a great source for Alaskan weather and has links to other resources.
- JVComm32 software for receiving weatherfax on a laptop can be downloaded from this site.
- The Center for Tropical Storm Risk in London makes useful predictions of hurricane risks each year.
- The University of the West Indies' Center for Seismic Research provides up-to-date information in volcanic and earthquake risk and activities in the Caribbean.
- This GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) website has been produced by the author of the Australian GMDSS handbook. The site is a good place to go to gain an understanding about this complex system which is changing radio communications (equipment and rules) on board cruising boats.
- Sailmail is a non-profit organization run by volunteers which provides the capability to send e-mail over the SSB radio using the marine frequencies. Subscription to Sailmail involves an annual charge, but no ham license is required and there are no restrictions on the content. Both Sailmail and its close cousin, Winlink (see next bullet) use Airmail software which can be downloaded freethrough their websites. Together, the volunteers that run these two organizations provide an outstanding service to the cruising community.
- Winlink is a non-profit organization run by volunteer ham radio experts. Through Winlink, e-mail can be sent over the radio on the amateur frequencies, and weather information can be downloaded from the Internet. A General Class ham license is needed to subscribe to Winlink, which is free of charge. Because it uses the amateur frequencies, no business transactions can be handled through this means.
- The ARRL Band Plan shows which frequencies can be used for what purposes with which class of Amateur Radio License. Also the ultimate resource for all ham radio stuff. The American Radio Relay League is where to go for resources related to education, licensing, and the use of Ham Radio.
- The Caribbean Safety and Security Net is on the radio every morning to collect and disseminate information about safety and security incidents in the Caribbean.
- The Federal Communications Commission regulates use of the radio waves in the USA.
- The Cruising Club of America offshore communications memorandum explains how to operate the ICOM M710 and 710RT. Much better than ICOM's instruction manual. Also gives instructions for rigging an emergency SSB antenna in the event of a rigging failure.
- The Maritime Mobile Services Network provides communications assistance to cruisers travelling outside the USA.
- The Hurricane Watch Net provides communications assistance during periods with active hurricanes.
- The Cruiser's Log has a list of Radio Nets around the world.
- The list of radio nets on the Radio page of this website is also a good resource.
- British Admiralty Charts for the UK and the Caribbean are now available in "Leisure Folios" (similar to the CYC folios for the Caribbean) consisting of a set of coastal and harbor charts of a chart-table size inside a plastic folio cover.
- Canadian Charts and publications provide useful coverage of Canadian waters.
- Blue Water Books and Charts was our US source for charts and cruising guides.
- Doyle Cruising Guides are essential references for cruising in the Caribbean.
- Marine Warehouse in Miami, with offices in the Caribbean, can locate items and ship needed equipment and supplies to the Caribbean for you.
- The Australian Yacht Winch Company. Callipygia had Barlow and Barient Winches. Both companies have gone out of existence, but after quite a bit of research we found we could get parts for winches here.
- SARCA (the Sand and Reef Combination Anchor) is manufactured in Australia where it is used by the Coast Guard and police as well as Australian cruisers. My crew learned about it from S/V Blue Heaven, who gave it a resounding recommendation for being suitable for both sand and rock in the Melbourne, Victoria, area.
- The Annapolis Port Book is a directory of marine equipment and service providers in the Annapolis, MD, area.
- The Boater's Directory provides leads to marine equipment and services in all regions of the US.
- Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) is an international organization, formed in 1952, to share cruising experiences and information among members cruising around the world. The monthly Commodores’ Bulletin has no advertising, and consists of real accounts of the adventures of SSCA members in their own words. The SSCA has more than 10,000 members sharing the dream of sailing the seas as a lifestyle. This common aspiration bonds members into a caring, supportive family, which reaches out with international friendship and goodwill. Members are committed to leaving a "clean wake" by treating others and our environment with profound regard.
- You'll find a whole lot of information and useful links on the Cruising Resources website.
- Through the Power Squadron's excellent training program gave us basic training in Seamanship, Sail Theory, Coastal and Celestial Navigation, and Engine Maintenance.
- The Maryland School of Sailing & Seamanship gave us high quality hands-on and theory training on all aspects of cruising and navigation through their very thorough and comprehensive Sailing Certification Program.
- We did our final training preparations with Nautech Enterprises through a series of excellent training seminars held at the Maritime Insitute of Training and Graduate Studies. Thereafter, we completed our shakedown cruise as part of Nautech's New England 600 Cruising Rally in June, 2000. The NE600, from Annapolis to Camden, Maine, was specifically designed for beginning cruisers. Nautech was established by Jim and Margie Favors in 1998 when they themselves were preparing for the cruising life and realized there was a definite gap between what was being offered to cruisers and what was necessary for safe, successful, and well-planned excursions. Unfortunately, Nautech went out of business in 2005.
- Practical Sailor is a monthly newsletter describing reviews and comparisons of sailboat equipment.
- The State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs gives you everything you ever need to know when planning to travel abroad. An excellent resource with health and safety tips and warnings, passport and visa information, and links to foreign country websites.
- The World Factbook gives maps, population, economic, government, transportation, and other statistics on every country in the world.
- IAMAT is a non-profit organization established in 1960 whose aim is to advise travellers about health risks, the geographical distribution of diseases worldwide, immunization requirements for all countries, and to make competent medical care available to travellers by English-speaking western-trained doctors.
- International Marine Insurance Services near Annapolis is where we get our boat insurance.
- SEARCH assists voluntary search and rescue organizations operating in the SW North Atlantic and Caribbean. Cruisers who venture into the Bahamas and on down the Greater and Lesser Antilles should be aware of the limitations of emergency services to come to their assistance, should they need help. If you are used to the comforting umbrella of the US Coast Guard being on the other end of your VHF radio, you should be aware of limitations far from the US coast. Whilst the Coast Guard does give itself a responsibility for this whole region, as a practical matter cruisers' primary sources of assistance in an emergency are local search and rescue (SAR) facilities (if any) of the nearby countries. SEARCH supports several voluntary organizations scattered over this region. As you move away from the US, these are: (a) BASRA Nassau; (b) Turks & Caicos Rescue Association (TACRA); (c) VISAR in the British V.Is.; (d) St Maarten Sea Rescue Foundation (SMSRF), with units in nearby Saba and St Eustatius; (e) CITRO in Curacao; and (f) Search & Rescue Foundation of Aruba (SARFA).
- Noonsite aims to provide a one-stop website featuring essential information on all matters of interest to sailors planning an offshore voyage anywhere in the world, whether already underway or still in the preparatory stages. Noonsite is the culmination of Jimmy Cornell's work on the global cruising scene for the last quarter of a century and a distillation of his best-selling books World Cruising Handbook and World Cruising Routes.
- Sailnet is a handy resource for sailors and cruisers. In particular, we've found it's e-mail archives useful in researching specific boat problems, and periodically we participate in its very active e-mail Listserv for communication among Tayana owners.
- St. Brendan's Isle is the mailing service in Florida we used while cruising, and still use now that we're on land. This is run by former cruisers, Doug and Linda Moody.
- The U.S. Coast Guard website allows for online processing of forms and is a source of information about the agency.
- The Seismic Monitor provides immediate information in seismic activity worldwide.
- Visit our friends on Chinook of Canada and see all her travels
- A list from the SSCA provides access to dozens of cruisers' websites.
- The Cruising Yacht Sitering is based in New Zealand.
- Website of Chesapeake Bay sailor John Stephenson has many handy links, including to some very useful information provided by Whoosh for cruisers crossing the Atlantic to the UK.
- We first met Jasp (Joe, Amanda, Sam, and Paul) on their Island Packet 40' in Guadeloupe.
- The Cruiser's Log has links to websites of many other cruisers.
- Grabill Country Meats ships excellent canned beef, chicken, turkey, and pork. These products have no additives and we used them much of the time when fresh meat was unavailable or of dubious quality. We loved this stuff!
- Brinkman Turkey Farm Another source for canned meat, including ground meat which is reputed to be terrific.
- The Washington State Creamery produces canned cheeses.
Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)
This page was last modified on
August 9, 2009
Copyright 2005 The Trouser Rollers. All Rights Reserved.