Checking weather and tides
Before you go out on the water, always check the weather using a marine weather forecast. Land and general forecasts do not take into account wind speed over water, which is double that over land.
It is vitally important to be aware of the current weather conditions in the area you plan to boat in, and also how conditions will develop over the course of your trip – and a bit longer, just in case.
Five vital checks
There are five things to take note of in terms of weather and tides when planning your boating trip:
- Are warnings current for your boating area?
- Are there weather conditions affecting safe navigation and comfort?
- What are the wind trends?
- What are the wave conditions?
- When is the next high and low tide?
Use our Boating Vic website and app to do these checks: Know the weather
Internet weather services
Visit BOM's Marine weather and ocean service for the latest weather charts, satellite and radar images as well as warnings and forecasts for the next four days. This site also provides links to tidal information, sunset and sunrise times as well as full schedules for all radio and phone services.
MetEye shows the official forecasts produced by BOM in an interactive map. 6x6 km gridded forecasts are available for wind, waves, weather and much more in three hourly increments, for up to seven days ahead.
For boaters in areas of marginal mobile phone coverage,or whose offshore access is limited to satellite internet communication channels, the Marine Lite weather service provides text-only Marine forecasts and warnings.
Radio weather services
VHF Marine Radio Victoria
Broadcasts Victorian coastal waters forecasts – including Bass Strait (4 zones) as well as Port Phillip, Western Port and Gippsland Lakes – on VHF channel 67 at 06:48 and 18:48 EST.
Broadcasts an initial weather warning on VHF channel 67 as soon as possible after receipt.
Broadcasts current weather warnings at 00:48, 02:48, 04:48, 06:48, 08:48, 10:48, 12:48, 14:48, 16:48, 18:48, 20:48, 22:48 EST on VHF channel 67 following initial broadcast until notice of cancellation is received from BOM.
Broadcasts notices of cancellation of weather warning as soon as possible after its receipt and at the next scheduled Victorian coastal weather forecast broadcast.
Broadcasts of, and cancellation broadcasts of, weather warnings will be preceded by a SECURITE announcement on VHF channel 16.
Learn more about Marine Radio Victoria
BOM broadcasts weather forecasts to eastern Australia from Charleville on:
- 8176 and 12365kHz – all hours
- 4426 and 16546kHz – all day (7am-6pm)
- 2201, HF 6507kHz – by night (6pm-7am)
Scheduled broadcast times for Victorian coastal waters are: 0130, 0530, 0930, 1330, 1730 and 2130 EST (add one hour for EDST).
Warnings are broadcast every hour starting 0000 EST.
Telephone weather services
From December 2019, all BOM weather telephone services are on 1300 numbers, with calls charged at the local rate (approximately 27.5c per call).
- Port Phillip and Western Port – Local Waters: 1300 978 022
- Victorian Coastal Waters: 1300 915 615
- Full State Service: 1300 978 022.
You can find the full list of telephone services on the BOM website.
This video explains how to access and understand marine weather forecasts.