Knowing when the conditions are right to go boating is an important skill. It is very frustrating to get up before dawn, head all the way down to the water to find the conditions are terrible. Below are a few things you can look for to make sure conditions are favourable.Look online for weather forecasts. The internet will provide the most up to date boating forecasts. Just remember to use a government site where possible and always be sure to check when the site was last updated. If it was updated a few days before you are going boating then the information may no longer be relevant.Boating conditions from newspapers and news reports is often old so don’t rely on these updates.
Try to go boating when the swell is 1.5 Metres to 2 Metres or less (Under 6.5 foot). If the swell is any larger than this it may make the boat trip slow and uncomfortable especially for smaller boats.Try to go out when the wind is offshore (the wind is blowing from land to ocean). A sea breeze will once again slow you down and make the seas far more rough than a offshore breeze.Try to aim for the wind to be 15 Knots or less. Any more than this and the water will get choppy. Even if the wind is offshore, as you get deeper out you will find the ocean getting more and more rough.Always try to scan the water before you go out. Look for any hazards such as reefs breaking or a change in wind direction.
If the wind is travelling the wrong way for your boating trip, consider changing your trip into a bay or inlet or an area where the incorrect wind will have minimal impact.Remember, get up to date forecasts and be sure to only use your boat when the conditions are favourable (especially if you are a small boat owner).