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Weather Routeing

Principle of Weather Routeing


Introduction
Ship weather routing helps to develop the most efficient track for ocean voyages based on
forecasts of:
Weather,
Sea conditions, and
The ships individual characteristics for a particular transit.
Within specified limits of weather and sea conditions, the most efficient is used to mean:
Maximum safety and
Crew comfort,
Minimum fuel consumption,
Minimum time underway, or
Any of one of the above or a mixture of the above factors.
The mariners first resources for route planning in relation to weather are the routeing charts and
the sailing directions.
These publications give climatic data, such as wave height frequencies and ice limits, for the
major ocean seas of the world.
They recommend specific routes based on probabilities, but not on specific conditions.
A ship routing agency, acting in an advisory service, attempts to avoid or reduce the effects of
specific adverse weather and sea conditions by issuing:
Initial route recommendations prior to sailing
Recommendations for track changes while underway (diversions), and
Weather advisories to alert the master about approaching unfavorable weather and sea conditions
which cannot be effectively avoided by a diversion.

The initial route recommendation is based on a survey of weather and sea forecasts between the
point of departure and the destination.
It takes into account the hull type, speed capability, cargo, and loading conditions. The ships
progress is continually monitored, and, if adverse weather and sea conditions are forecast along
the ships current track, a recommendation for a diversion or weather advisory is transmitted to
the ship.
By this process of initial route selection and continued monitoring of the ships progress for
possible changes in the forecast weather and sea conditions along a route, it is possible to
maximize the ships speed and safety.