We take a hard look at who provides the top weather service at the best overall price.
When it comes to marine weather a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when you’re trying gather accurate and timely weather information aboard your boat.
Marine VHF radio broadcasts are great for getting local wind and sea conditions but for getting the big picture of an approaching squall linenot so good.
The best way to get the big picture and see approaching weather in time to make a prudent decision on the safest course of action is when youre looking at an up-to-date graphical presentation like the one you might find on your home computer.
Nowadays you can get the same picture on your chartplotter display by hooking up with a satellite weather service provider like Sirius or XM.
A number of marine hardware makers have joined forces with one of the nationally known satellite radio service providers to supply a wide variety of weather information to marine users for moderate monthly fees.
At present, the two systems are not compatible so if you subscribe to one you will not be able to receive signals from the other. We take a look at who provides what type of weather services and for how much money.
We reviewed the XM satellite weather data using a Garmin GDL 30A weather receiver coupled to a 10.5-inch Garmin 3210 multi-function display.
The Sirius satellite weather system was tested with a Raymarine SR100 weather receiver providing the signal to Raymarines highly rated E120 multi-function display featuring a 12-inch screen.
Our opinions and ratings on each marine weather provider were formed by looking at how much weather information each supplied, how fast data was received and updated, and how well the data was presented to the user.