Now you can get all the ship reports within 300 nmi of your location at sea that were transmitted over the past 6 hours to the Voluntary Observing Ship program, worldwide. Just send an email to
with your lat and lon in the SUBJECT LINE of the message (in decimal degrees as shown below) and you will get the reports back by return mail. This is a free service compliments of Starpath School of Navigation.
Here are two samples you can try: approach to New York City (40.123N, 72.456W) and the approach to Bremerhaven in the North Sea (55.60N, 3.50E). View a sample report.
For more information, instructions, and abbreviations used, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word " help" in the subject line. View the help file email.
The reports are compiled by the National Data Buoy Center in collaboration with the US Voluntary Observing Ship program. These data are available online at the NDBC. We are simply forwarding it to vessels at sea via email as a convenience to them.
In coastal waters this is a way to get near live weather data in the offshore direction. It is also a way to calibrate your barometer when sailing offshore if you have any doubts about it.