We want the other 42% of boaties to check the weather every time they hit the water too. Fire up your phone, computer or VHF radio, check the forecast, come back alive,

...said Safer Boating Forum chair and Maritime NZ Deputy Director, Sharyn Forsyth.

Forsyth also reminded boaties that New Zealand weather can change at the drop of a hat.

The best time to check the forecast is just before you head out. There’s a big difference between a blue skies scorcher and a grey day of torrential rain and gale force wind. The marine weather forecast provides key information that tells you how to prepare – or whether to head out at all!

Failing to check forecasts to avoid boating in bad weather and sea conditions is one of four key risk factors for Kiwi boaties, identified by the Safer Boating Forum. Forum research showed that weather conditions – including swell and tides – were a significant factor in 47% of recreational boating fatalities.

Where to check the weather

The most convenient sources of marine forecasts, including the 5-day outlook are:

  • MetService’s Marine Weather app
  • MetService’s website
  • VHF radio – the Maritime NZ maritime radio service provides forecasts announced on channel 16
  • Coastguard on VHF radio channels 20, 21, 22 and 23, including the “NowCast” continuous broadcasts in many recreational boating areas.