You should never leave the dock without first checking the local weather forecast and water conditions. Weather and water conditions play a big role in your safety on the water. Before heading out, make sure you get the latest forecast for your area and that you understand what it means. You can get weather and water condition information from TV, radio or from one of the weather channels on your VHF radio. Environment Canada provides marine forecasts in many ways. If you have a marine radio, you can get weather updates while you’re on the water. These forecasts provide information on wind speed and direction, weather, visibility and freezing spray (if applicable). Forecasts are issued several times a day. Some forecasts discuss current conditions while others discuss the conditions to expect over several days.
As Skipper, it is your sole responsibility to determine, from the conditions, your skill level, and the vessel's capabilities, when to cancel or alter your trip. Checking these conditions prior to leaving the dock is just as important in planning your trip as checking for fuel and required equipment. Special attention to weather and weather indicators can make the difference in a pleasant day on the water and potential disaster.