ClearPoint is an ambitious new weather service that attempts to go global with features similar to those that have made XM and Sirius Weather so popular under their North American satellite footprints. ClearPoint enables a navigator to automatically and regularly download an amazingly broad suite of up-to-the-minute data and forecast types and then to mix and match them on one screen, in this case ClearPoint's own well-designed PC program. I missed the animation and storm-cell tracking seen on XM and Sirius, but ClearPoint offers features not yet seen on those services, like the ocean chlorophyll and altimetry mapping so valued by sportfishermen. Offshore, there's simply no comparison between ClearPoint and the traditional weather forecasts discussed in the column. But ClearPoint is not free—the High Definition version that I tried costs $395 for six months—and neither are offshore Internet downloads. ClearPoint support, impressively responsive even on a weekend, helped me calculate that using the program to the max meant downloading 12 megabytes of data per day. Multiply that by FleetBroadband's $13.50/Mb rate, and it's clear why a ClearPoint upgrade will soon let users control data requests. On the other hand, Internet data delivery likely means that unless you're offshore, you can probably use ClearPoint (a free seven-day trial is available) most anywhere, megabytes be damned.
ClearPoint (Glomex U.S. distributor)
This article originally appeared in the January 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.