Marine Weather Books

Coastal WeatherCoastal and Offshore Weather: The Essential Handbook, by Chris Parker
is now in its 5th Edition. Click here to purchase your copy of the Essential Handbook

If you have never read a book on marine weather, this is the perfect introduction to the subject.  Most topics are covered on 1 or 2 pages, so it’s easy to digest.

If you have read lots of weather books but didn’t completely understand them, then this is the perfect book to give you the foundation to understand other weather books.

And, if you have mastered several other marine weather books, then this is a good book to expand your understanding, as I approach the subject very differently from any other weather book.

Reader Testimonials

You make difficult concepts so much easier to understand than other weather books. I gave my copy to a friend leaving for the Bahamas this week and would like to order two more copies.
Barb Schrader, PE Teacher

LOVE it! weather book I've read & we own several including Michael Carr's purple book -- which is pretty good too. Yours is easier to understand…
Jan Griffin, s/y Winterlude

Your handbook is, without a doubt, the best cruiser oriented manual on SE US/Bahamas weather. Your weather overview was at the right level for the cruiser (I have been studying this stuff for 20 years and yours is the most concise and clear).
Bob & Ann Todd, s/y Jule III

Over the past 30 years of sailing and flying, through all of the weather courses, I’ve never read a more comprehensive yet understandable book on weather. Chris Parker offers a clear picture of what has confused most of us all these years.
Craig Noden aboard Ragtop

I read your Gulf Stream Crossing advice in "Coastal and Offshore Weather" and it was the most concise and clear advice on the subject I have heard. I am a 1968 graduate of the Naval Academy and had my first training in navigation and weather there. Some friends (recently) hit a terrible, un-forecast storm…which had apparently spun off a TROF with its north end over PR. Via SSB and e-mail I tried to respond to their pleas for information on the storm, but could find nothing about it in the forecasts or reports. The only thing I saw and reported to them after the fact was a satellite image with intense clouds in their location. I mention this because I just read your section on Squalls and the importance of satellite images in this regard. I wish I had read the book before.
Carl Gaines, s/y Diva

I just purchased your book, Coastal & Offshore Weather, from Nick Wardle (BASRA) here in Nassau. I must say that your presentation of the subject is very clear. I have several other weather books but in terms of what is essential to the cruising sailor you have focused the subjected better. I have a question regarding GRIB files that can can be downloaded using Winlink and viewed with OCENS Grib Explorer. Which model runs do you consider the most informative - GFS or WW3. I used to just be interested in wind direction and speed and wave height but I see from reading your book there is more to the overall weather picture.
Patrick, s/v Intrepid

[Your weather book] gives a very good understanding of the underlying physics related to weather phenomenon that makes all of the forecasting information make sense.  You have a way of putting what has always been a difficult subject matter into easy to understand analogies and laymen's terms making understanding complex weather patterns easier. 
Jay and Jen Johnson, S/V Rum Runner

Click here to purchase your copy of the Essential Handbook

Other Essential and Useful Items

Sony SSB receiver
This $135 Sony is probably the best under-$200 shortwave receiver.  85% of Amazon reviews are 4 or 5 stars.  I own one, and listened to SSB/HF broadcasts on one while Cruising on s/y Bel Ami.  In my experience, this radio is a better value than a "Yacht-Boy".  Includes clip-on wire antenna.

Sangean SSB receiver
This $280 Sanegan is probably the best under-$300 shortwave receiver.  75% of Amazon reviews are 4 or 5 stars.  If you want the best reasonably-small, portable SSB receiver, this is it.  Versus the Sony, this Sangean has more features, greater sensitivity, better & easier tuning, and arguably better sound.  But at nearly $300, the Sangean is a hunk of change.  For a little more money, you may be able to find an even better used Ham/SSB receiver, or, if you're really serious about receiving SSB/HF radio, splurge for a new ICOM R-75 ($620).

ICOM M802 Manual
One more in Captain Marti Brown's "Idi-Yachts" series of easy-to-understand books, this users manual is a must for anyone with an ICOM-802 radio.  The 802 has many features and capabilities, and works very differently from ICOM's other radios.  ICOM's 802 manual is lacking.  If you want to get the most from your ICOM 802 radio, Capt Marti's book is a must-have!

Marine SSB Radio for "Idi-Yachts"
Captain Marti Brown's "red book" introduces the reader to SSB/HF/Ham radio in an engaging and easy-to-understand fashion.  I only wish this book had been available when I was trying to learn about SSB radio.  If you are comfortable operating your SSB/HF/Ham radio, then you've moved beyond this book - but if you're new to this, Captain Marti's explanations will speed you along the learning curve!

HF Radio Email for "Idi-Yachts"
Captain Marti Brown's "green book" introduces the reader to doing data/email over SSB/Ham radio in an engaging and easy-to-understand fashion.  It includes a CD with audio samples of what you'll hear when trying to do email over HF radio.  This is not a manual on how to use a specific HF email provider - rather, it is an overview of options for data/email over HF radio.  Like Captain Marti's "red book", her "green book" is intended for beginners.

Modern Marine Weather
Once you've read my book on weather, "Coastal & Offshore Weather, the Essential Handbook", you'll be ready to move on to other weather texts - and David Burch's new book is an excellent 2nd step in your understanding of marine weather.  The accompanying workbook (a separate item you can purchase when buying this book) is a unique reinforcing tool to ensure you fully understand David's topics.

Modern Marine Weather Workbook
What a great idea!  Combine a good weather book (David Burch's "Modern Marine Weather"), with an interactive workbook.  David reinforces concept learned in his weather book - a great learning tool, this workbook ensures you have a real understanding of marine weather.