You should never leave the dock without first checking the local weather forecast and water conditions. 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.
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.
You can get weather and water condition information from TV, radio or from one of the weather channels on your VHF radio. At certain times of the year, weather can change rapidly and you should continually keep a "weather eye" out, especially to the west, in order to foresee changes which might be impending.