How to Get NOAA Buoy Data via FTPMail

Over the years, NOAA/NDBC buoy data has been instrumental in my weather- and condition-related decision-making processes.

These buoys offer near-real-time information about actual wind and sea state. Knowing the actual conditions where you’ll be sailing is immensely useful.

Recently I was wondering… Is this buoy data available offshore?

The answer, it turns out, is YES.

There are two ways discussed here: FTPMail and Dial-A-Buoy.


If you’re already using FTPMail for synoptic charts, etc. then this is for you.

Send email to

cd data
cd latest_obs
get 46026.txt

…replace “46026” with the lower-cased ID of the buoy you’re interested in. In fact, the FTP server appears to be a mirror of the NDBC data directory.

Need to know what the buoy IDs are? See here.

Need to know what FTPMail is? Drop a comment below.


If you’re within cell phone range, then call 888-701-8992. Enter 1, followed by the buoy ID (see above), and you’ll hear the most current data from that buoy.

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