Safe Boating Course


CHAPTER 3: Trip Planning and Preparation

Monitor Weather While on the Water 

Since the weather can change very quickly, particularly when you're out on the water, it is vital that you pay close attention to weather forecasts and anticipate weather changes whenever possible.

Here are some tips for keeping on top of weather changes while out on the water:

  • Always keep an eye to the sky. Fog, dark clouds and lightning are clear signs that bad weather is approaching.
  • Monitor barometric readings. A rising barometer is a sign that good weather is coming while a falling barometer indicates that foul weather is likely.
  • Pay close attention to shifts in the wind direction and temperature; these are signs that the weather is changing.
  • Be mindful of the West as bad weather usually approaches from this direction. Storms from the East often pack quite a wallop.
  • Continually monitor your radio and weather channels and ask for information about local weather patterns by radio, especially if you're in unfamiliar waters.

Finally, take note of what other boaters are doing. If they're heading for shore, it can give you a heads up about coming weather changes.