Experienced boaters know that they need to have a close eye on the weather, both current and forecast as well as water conditions before heading out. They need to take into account the capabilities of their boat in relation to the conditions for the waterways they intend to enjoy. Wind strength and direction, if a storm is a forecast for later in the day, if strong swells are current or forecast to build are all important indicators and can impact boating safety.
Tidal activity is also important to check. Most boat owners will check low and high tide times on the daily weather forecast but may not look further ahead to indicators. Tides are important for a number of reasons. The draft on your boat for one, having enough leeway to get through channels. Another is the strong currents that tidal changes can create which may create problems in some waterways especially in estuaries, channels and when crossing bars. For fishers – well, keen fishers are going to know exactly how the tides play with different fish species in their favoured fishing spots.
While none of that is particularly new, did you also realise the significance of keeping a careful watch on the phases of the moon when planning boating activities?
Recently we were fortunate in Australia to have an amazing view of a rare event – a super moon, also known as a pink moon. Many locations saw it up close with some sensational photographs capturing the event. This super moon event triggered the BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) to post a mention on social media of the effect the moon has on weather.
As part of our series of articles on better educating our boat loan customers on aspects that can enhance and improve their boating enjoyment and safety, we’re providing an explainer on tidal movements and the effect of the moon on weather conditions.
The Moon and Weather
The BOM explained that the primary driver of the earth’s weather is the sun. It heats the earth’s surface as well as the oceans and the general atmosphere. But it is the gravitational pull of the moon that has the greatest responsibility for tides.
The tidal effect fluctuates in response to the alignment of the moon and the sun. When they line up the tidal effect increases. This is during a full moon or a new moon. Extreme tides are called spring tides but that is not a reference to the spring season. It is a reference to ‘springing forth’.
Tidal Variations around Australia
If you are planning to travel by trailer boat to other areas of Australia, then taking note of the tides is very important. The variations in tides can be dramatic in different areas of the country. Under a metre in the southwest and over 11 metres in the northwest. The gravitational forces of the sun and moon create the complex system of tidal changes that are seen throughout the earth’s oceans.
As well as noting the low and high tide depths and times, boaters should also be considering the tidal range in the area. Areas that experience a large tidal range, which is a big difference between low and high, typically have stronger tidal currents. It is these currents that can play havoc on boaters. The range varies from place to place. The shape, depth and other aspects of individual bays, basins and estuaries play a role and can create a funnelling effect.
There are other complex meteorological that contribute to tides but the moon and sun alignment is a simpler concept and more accessible to boaters for reference. Phases of the moon are noted on most weather forecasts and calendars can be sourced to show sun and moon times in advance. This may assist you to plan your boating. Reminder to have the http://www.bom.gov.au/app/ readily available for updates and changes.
Boat Buying Considerations
Understanding tidal range and tidal movements are significant when selecting a boat. Having an idea of tides and weather in the waters you intend to boat will be relevant to the type of boat you purchase. Sailing boats and yachts particularly need to take note to avoid running aground in low tides as do large cruiser owners travelling in rivers and estuaries. But trailer boat owners also need to know when the time will be right to go with the tide, especially when launching and returning to the ramp.
Having a solid understanding of the effects of the weather, moon and other climatic conditions on boating conditions can greatly enhance your boating enjoyment. What also enhances that is sourcing boat loan with the cheapest interest rates. View our boat loan calculator to estimate potential repayments
When sourcing a boat loan, you’ll realise that lenders don’t all ‘go with the tide’. Individual lenders have different interest rates for their boat loans as you can see from our boat loan interest rates. Jade Boat Loans, you could say, goes against the tide with our consistently cheaper interest rate loans. And just like understanding tidal movements can enhance your boating enjoyment, our cheap boat loans can enhance your boat owning experience.
Contact 1300 000 003 for a quote on lending.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION AND SPECIFIC DETAILS CONTAINED IN THE CONTENT OF THIS ARTICLE HAVE BEEN PREPARED AND ARE PRESENTED PURELY AS GENERAL INFORMATION AND NOT INTENDED AS THE ONLY SOURCE OF FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR BOAT BUYERS AND LOAN BORROWERS. FOR THOSE THAT CONSIDER THEY REQUIRE SPECIFIC ADVICE, THEY SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR. LIABILITY IS NOT ACCEPTED IN REGARD TO ERRORS AND MISPRESENTED DATA AND DETAILS HEREIN.