Boaters know how important it is to check the weather before leaving the dock—both current marine conditions and marine forecast.
It can make a huge difference to your boating experience, if you make a wrong decision and end up in heavy wind and high waves and/or thunder storms that are uncomfortable for you and your passengers.
It could even become dangerous or even worse, it could......
be a frightening experience resulting in a decision to never go boating again. Bad experiences are hard to erase—especially for your First Mate. Avoidance is a much better solution.
But, boaters are finding that the marine forecast isn't always right and more often changes after they leave the dock making it hard to plan their long trips. Some boaters are nervous of setting out for fear it could become a rough ride.
Boaters have access to and should check several sources for weather forecasts and current conditions. MAFOR is only changed three times a day, but you can monitor weather on your plotter or smart phone hourly. Some have satellite images and radar with animation so you can see what's coming and hold or alter your course accordingly.
A few sources are:
- MAFOR on your VHF Radio
- Environment Canada Weather Office
- NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
- The Weather Network
- Weather Trax
- Many more apps for smart phones
Which source works best for you?
Leave your comments below and include your location so other boaters can benefit and have better information for trip planning.