The Boater's Weather Guide by Margaret Williams

Weather is an important part of fishing, especially when out on a boat. The Boater's Weather Guide (Margaret Williams, Cornell Maritime Press, ISBN 9780870336249) is a concise and wonderfully illustrated guide for both learning about weather and learning how to predict it when fishing on a boat. Whether inland on a lake in a rowboat or offshore out on the open waters in a pilothouse, weather is an important part of fishing.

Weather: Climate, Temperature, Humidity, and Clouds

The first part of Boater's Weather Guide can be described as a great teaching guide on the fundamentals of weather. Knowing the basics of meteorology and the forces behind weather will help determine and forecast what you think the weather will do. Relative humidity and precipitation are explained, as well as air masses and different kinds of storms. Inside the chapter on clouds, Williams includes a thumbnail view of 17 different types of clouds which are based on the three basic cloud forms: cirrus, cumulus, and stratus.

How Weather Affect Boaters

Wind will have an effect on the ocean by the fact that if there is no wind then there are no waves, and the day will be glassy out on the water. The Beaufort Scale was created by Sir Frances Beaufort in 1805 and it is still used today to look at the surface of the oceans to estimate the strength of the wind. Williams gives the full chart and explanation of this scale, including what the wind speeds and their effects at sea for each number are, which goes from 0 (glassy and flat) to 12 (hard hitting waves and hurricane force winds).

In the book, it states that according to Coast Guard statistics, 63 percent of boating related fatalities are related to weather, so getting a handle on the weather is important such as watching not only the forecasts before you go out but also the tell-tale warning signs when you are out in the water. Among the weather instruments the author talks about and describes are barometers, thermometers, anemometers, wind vanes, and psychrometers.

Book Overview and Chapters

The Boaters Weather Guide is divided into two parts: Forces that Shape Our Weather; and Weather and the Boater. The first part gives an overview on weather forces and explains their relationship to each other. Important topics include: Climate and Weather; Highs and Lows; Heating and Cooling; The Earth's Wind System; and Fronts and Storms. The second part shows how the weather directly relates to boaters of all types, including fishermen and recreational sailors. Chapters include topics such as Handling Heavy Weather; Coastal Patterns; and Weather Planning for the Offshore Voyager.

For those that are into charting weather forecasts, included are examples of different weather logs and explanations of different weather map symbols. All in all, this book makes an excellent reference tool for not only boaters going out in any type of water, but for weather enthusiasts who enjoy tracking and predicting weather trends at home.

Book Information:
Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.