Before you set sail, make sure you understand the direction and strength of the wind

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Author: Nicole Borg

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July 01, 2022

Before setting sail, it is very important to make sure that your journey won’t be impacted by problematic weather conditions. A few weeks back, we provided you with a detailed interview with Simon Rowell, the British Sailing Team’s meteorologist that focused on how to get your own 15 minute weather forecast. Now, we want to help you understand a bit better the direction of the wind and the kind of wind speeds that make it safe to sail or potentially dangerous.

Wind Speed Chart

Let’s first start by looking at the speed of the different wind forces. A chart that will come super handy when the weatherman says “Force 4 wind”.

F11 – 5 km/h
F26 – 11 km/h
F312 – 19 km/h
F420 – 28 km/h
F529 – 38 km/h
F639 – 49 km/h
F750 – 61 km/h
F862 – 74 km/h
F975 – 88 km/h

Wind Direction Chart

Now that you know the speed of the wind, you are ready to move to the next step: wind direction. The next chart,

North WesterlyUp to F4 – Good sailing conditionsF5 – Seek captain’s adviceF6 and above – poor sailing conditions
NorterlyUp to F3 – Good sailing conditionsF4 – F5 – Seek captain’s adviceF6 and above – poor sailing conditions
North EasterlyUp to F3 – Good sailing conditionsF4 – Seek captain’s adviceF5 and above – poor sailing conditions
EasterlyUp to F3 – Good sailing conditionsF4 – Seek captain’s adviceF5 and above – poor sailing conditions
South EasterlyUp to F3 – Good sailing conditionsF4 – Seek captain’s adviceF5 and above – poor sailing conditions
SoutherlyUp to F4 – Good sailing conditionsF5 – Seek captain’s adviceF6 and above – poor sailing conditions
South WesterlyUp to F4 – Good sailing conditionsF5 – Seek captain’s adviceF6 and above – poor sailing conditions
WesterlyUp to F4 – Good sailing conditionsF5 – Seek captain’s adviceF6 and above – poor sailing conditions

Visual Wind Direction Chart

You have no compass? That’s ok. We’ve put together a map that also integrates all of the above! This will help you understand the positions and wind directions based on Malta’s localities.

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