I’ve always dreamt of having real-time weather from the boat while I am away, and for analyzing trends after a day of being on the water. Most of the attempts I’ve made in the past have used stations and instruments that were meant for a fixed location which have issues on a boat. I’ve found a few new ways to do this which have me really excited.

The Hardware

The biggest challenge using a home-style weather station is that it is not meant to be on a moving platform. I wrote about using an Ambient Weather station with weeWX software a few years ago, and that is still a great solution if you want accurate data only while away from the boat.

However, I wanted weather data no matter where I was. In particular, I wanted very accurate wind and temperature data from multiple data points – apparent & true wind direction and speed, and inside, outside, engine room temperatures.

After considering a number of options, I settled on an Airmar WX-220 NMEA 2000 instrument. This device reports apparent and true wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, as well as air and wind chill temperature. It also has a GPS, compass, gyro and accelerometer.

The Airmar has been around a while, and is not that new technology-wise, but it is very well supported by various software and solutions, which is important for my use case.