The quality of ship data within the equatorial western Pacific is investigated using statistical analyses, and by comparison with data from neighboring island stations extracted from National Weather Service analyses. Results indicate that ship-measured sea surface temperature has an inherently small spatial scale. Surface pressure, on the other hand, has an inherently large spatial scale, which allows sparse measurements to record large-scale variations precisely. On the average, ship-measured wind, spatially averaged within a lane located near 150°E, is as good a measure of the large-scale wind flow as are the winds recorded at the sparse island stations within the western Pacific. Inaccuracies in the spatially averaged ship elements indicate that further smoothing of the data is required.