Check weather forecasts before heading out on a boat so as not to put the boat or persons on board at risk. Weather forecast information can be obtained from many sources, including personal observations, newspapers, radio, television weather channels, radiotelephones, and Environment Canada.
The following terms and definitions have been set out by the Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Service, Environment Canada and are typically used in weather forecasts:
- Light winds: winds 10 knots or less.
- Moderate winds: winds 11 to 19 knots.
- Strong winds: winds 20 to 33 knots.
- Gale warning: winds 34 to 47 knots.
- Storm warning: winds 48 to 63 knots.
- Hurricane: winds 64 knots or more.
Before heading out, check navigational references to identify places for shelter in case of inclement weather. (Use Charts, and Sailing Directions and Cruising Guides available from CHS to locate safe harbours.) Be prepared before you head out and ensure all passengers are wearing PFDs or lifejackets.