My dad and I noticed this cruiser boat heading out, straight towards all that stormy weather. My dad tried so hard to get them to turn around... But unfortunately, it never happened.
- Max

Know the weather

It’s crucial for boaters and paddlers in Victorian waters to know the forecast conditions for your whole trip, not just for the time you intend to head out.

The Bureau of Meteorology offers several trusted tools for boaters. The Coastal Waters and Local Waters forecasts provide expected wind, wave, weather and warning conditions for Victorian waters. The Bureau's network of weather stations measures the wind and weather conditions along Victoria's coast in real-time.

A general forecast for the region does not provide enough information for going on the water. For example, a forecast for the whole of Port Phillip Bay would not reflect that the weather you encounter at Portarlington may not be the same as the weather you encounter at Queenscliff or Rye.

Use MetEye to help you assess localised wind and wave conditions for three, six and nine hours ahead. Check out the MetEye for boating video.

Be prepared to change your plans if the conditions are not favourable.

Looming clouds on the horizon may indicate that a change is on its way, so they should prompt you to check again for mention of thunderstorms, frontal systems, or limited visibility in the forecast.

If you know a cold front is heading your way, plan to get back to shore a few hours before it’s due to hit.

A sudden change of conditions could make getting back to shore dangerous, especially for paddlers facing fatigue, and sudden waves could knock you from your vessel. A change in wind direction may change the amount of fuel or time you require to get back to shore.

Pin this factsheet to your garage wall: Weather guide for marine activities

Learn how to utilise forecasts: Marine weather factsheet PDF, 315.1 KB

    Here's why

    • Each year marine rescue organisations respond to a large number of calls for assistance from boaters caught in life-threatening situations.
    • Understanding the impact of weather hazards can help boaters be better prepared or change their plans for safer conditions.
      - Bureau of Meteorology

    Here's how