Boating Tips: Understanding Wave Forecasts

Welcome to Boating Tips with MarineMax! Understanding the wave forecast can give you insight to understand when to go boating and when to stay home. Ask your questions, make comments, and learn a thing or two about your favorite outdoor activity.


Wind can be an influence on wave height. High winds can whip up calm seas into a choppy mess. Depending on where you are and the land around you, wind can impact coastlines differently. An example of this is a leeward shoreline, that is a landmass or island that is protected or “out” of the wind. Here you will find calm waters.


Wave heights are measured off of a flat plane, so whatever the forecast calls for, four footers for example, are a actually giving you an eight foot drop (rise and drop).  


Wave periods are measured in seconds and is the gap between one wave and the next. So in the event of very short wave periods, it means that the waves are constant one after another making it likely to be rough conditions.  

Safety First

At the end of the day, your responsibility as a boat owner means making sure that everyone comes back to the dock safely. Because of this, it is very important to understand the weather conditions before getting out on the water. MarineMax offers plenty of classes to help you to be a better boater so that you can have fun and be safe. We’ll see you out there. 


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