Sorry Floyd, I have to disagree on this one.
I've used a very long time the scale of Beaufort.
Actually, when there was no windguru, windfinder or internet available, it was the only scale I knew.
On Teletext we could find in the early days only wind reports in Beaufort.
Those days, the times that I stould on the beach and on the water with the wrong sail, cursing myself, were countless.
Now it rarely happens to me, because I've learned a very important lesson: "to measure is to know"
Don't trust you eyes nor the wind reports, only your anemometer !
I agree that you cannot alway measure from the beach the exact wind force further on the water, especially off-shore or when there are obstacles, but that's another thing. I always try to find the best spot to do the measurements. This can sometimes be a completely different location than the location where I start surfing. I know, this is not always possible.
The things you see regarding the water state and wind force can be amazingly deceptive.
In general I would say, that with on-shore wind people tend to overestimate while with off-shore wind people tend to underestimate the wind force.
I've seen plenty of times a water state with no white caps, while it was F5 and on the contrary also plenty of white caps with hardly F4.
It can also depend on the weather, sun or clouds can make a lot of difference on the visibility of the water state and white caps.
Besides of this deception, for me there is quite a big difference between an average of 16 knots or an average of 21 knots, although both represent F5.
IS87 / IS101 / IS122 / US147
Last edited by BelSkorpio; 5th July 2011 at 04:52 AM.