Best Barometers

Best Marine Barometer?

The question arises whether or not there are any reliable marine barometers. There are many factors involved in determining if a particular device is suitable for use. These include: reliability, accuracy, cost, ease of use, and how accurate it actually measures sea level pressure (SLP). Some devices may be able to measure SLP accurately but they will have other limitations such as being inaccurate at low altitudes and having limited range. Others may be very expensive but lack these qualities. A few may even be unreliable and useless.

One of the most common marine barometers used today is the Sea Level Pressure Gauge (SLPG) which consists of two parts: a float that floats in water and a sensor that sits on top of the float. The sensor measures sea level pressure while the float stays submerged under water. The float moves up and down depending on the amount of pressure in the water. The sensor then sends readings back to a computer where it is converted into an analog signal that can be read by a calculator.

Another popular type of marine barometer is called the Altimeter. An altimeter uses a combination of air bubbles and gravity to determine altitude above sea level (about 9 feet). When the device is placed underwater the air bubbles change their configuration and send pressure signals to a computer that is linked to an analog gauge.

The most accurate barometer of all is called the Wet Bulb Barometer which is made up of two thermometers; one sensor measures temperature from the hot environment and one sensor from a wet environment. These sensors are protected by glass envelopes filled with alcohol. These sensors are then placed in separate compartments with the same amount of water. The amount of water is slowly decreased until a temperature equilibrium is reached. The amount of water has great significance because it affects the temperature of the thermometers.

You should also consider what you will be using the barometer for. A common misconception is that the higher the altitude, the lower the pressure. In actuality, air pressure increases as altitude increases because the air becomes less dense. A barometer that measures air pressure at low altitudes may not be as accurate at high altitudes.

Many barometers range in price from about $100 to over $3,000. There is always a trade-off between price and quality. You get what you pay for so be sure to do your research before making a purchase!

Marine Barometer Final Verdict

Determining the best marine barometer is not easy as there are so many options available today. Our advice is to find a barometer that best suits your needs and is affordable. A good place to start would be visiting your local marine store or doing an internet search for “marine barometers”.

Best Barometers Final Thoughts

Measuring altitude and weather conditions used to be a tedious process that would take up much of your valuable time. With the invention of accurate and affordable marine barometers such as the ones discussed above, measuring conditions has never been easier. Whether you’re a professional or hobbyist, having access to accurate barometer readings will make your life much easier.

Happy (and safe) sailing!

Sources & references used in this article:

Evaluation of mineral thermometers and barometers applicable to garnet lherzolite assemblages by DA Carswell, FGF Gibb – Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 1987 – Springer

The Democracy Barometers (Part II): Attitudes in the Arab World by A Jamal, M Tessler – Journal of Democracy, 2008 – muse.jhu.edu

Bad blood, spoiled milk: Bodily fluids as moral barometers in rural Haiti by P Farmer – American Ethnologist, 1988 – Wiley Online Library

Amphibole thermometers and barometers for igneous systems and some implications for eruption mechanisms of felsic magmas at arc volcanoes by K Putirka – American Mineralogist, 2016 – pubs.geoscienceworld.org

The democracy barometers (part I): formal versus informal institutions in Africa by M Bratton – Journal of Democracy, 2007 – muse.jhu.edu

The Democracy Barometers (Part I): The Rise of Populism and the Left in Latin America by MA Seligson – journal of Democracy, 2007 – muse.jhu.edu

Biodiversity barometers by T Brooks, E Kennedy – Nature, 2004 – nature.com