Marine Weather

Modern Marine WeatherHere it is! The course you’ve been waiting for.

Marine Weather (ASA 119) teaches boaters how to take weather into account in the planning and navigation of voyages, both local and global. Captain Tony Green does seminars on the subject at the Minneapolis Boat Show. Tony received rave reviews for the Marine Weather course. “This was the most thorough, complete and valuable course on marine weather I’ve ever seen or taken,” Captain Sue E.

Anyone who ventures onto the water should do it with weather confidence and weather strategies. This weather course is highly beneficial.

Weather is a vast subject with many facets, but when it comes to marine weather it really boils down to wind prediction. Wind drives a sailboat and creates the waves. Severe weather and associated strategies are a concern, but sailors spend far more time dealing with too little wind than too much wind. In addition to avoiding too much wind, this course teaches you how to find more wind when there is little to none to be had.

Students will learn to integrate marine weather into their overall navigation using the latest technological tools as well as traditional maritime skills such as the barometer, wind, clouds, and sea state observations. Also included are the theory, properties and behavior of squalls, fronts, storms, hurricanes, fog and global wind patterns and the study of weather maps.

With weather being the most pressing factor in a journey by sail, this course is a must-do.

Prerequisites: None

Classroom Location:
Shorewood Yacht Club
600 West Lake St.
Shorewood, MN 55331.

Directions: From I-494 and Hwy 7

• Go west on Hwy 7 to County Road 19.
• Turn Right on County Road 19 (Oak Street).
• Pass through one stoplight.
• Keep going on Route 19, as it curves to the left, SYC is on the right (the sign is a small blue sailboat).
• Turn right and drive over the pedestrian trail, following the drive left. The Yacht Club (gray building) is directly ahead.
• Park on the far (west) side of the clubhouse.

Classroom Location:
Windmill Marina
16065 32nd Street South
Afton, MN 55001

Directions: From I-94 and County Road 18 / Hwy 95

• Take County Road 18 South (Saint Croix Trail N) from Hwy I94 for 4.4 miles (south)
• Turn left at 32nd Street South (just in the town of Afton)
• Go through Marina entrance (approximately 1 block from Saint Croix Trail N) to parking lot A (on left) and then to building in middle of parking lot. Park in front of building.

Course Fee: $249, including materials and ASA certification upon successful completion.  $25 discount for couples (any two people signing up together).


Fall 2015 (Dates are subject to change)
3-hour evening sessions 6-9PM (or as close as possible) OR Saturdays 9AM-4PM, with lunch break


W1-Windmill: Tuesdays 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 11/24, 12/1, 12/8/2015 (exam) CLOSED


Independent Study Class / Correspondence.  This course can be completed by those unable to attend our regular classes. We like to interview prospective students in this category.  Please Call.  Cost $169.

Throughout the course we emphasize how you combine your own observations of wind, sea, clouds, and barometer to better interpret the official forecasts obtained from radio or facsimile as well as make your own forecast if you lose the official sources. We also help you develop practical rules of thumb that will contribute to sound, efficient decision making underway.

 Topics include:

  • Radio sources of weather and how to interpret them
  • Basic principles of Highs and Lows — ridges and troughs
  • Weather maps: what kinds, how to get them, how to read them.
  • All about barometers
  • Fronts, squalls, storms, and hurricanes
  • Tropical versus extratropical cyclones
  • Sides of a storm and storm avoidance
  • Cloud ID and interpretation
  • Fog — sea fog and radiation fog
  • Global winds — prevailing westerlies, trade winds, doldrums, monsoons, roaring forties, screaming fifties, polar easterlies
  • Pacific High, Aleutian Lows, and counterparts around the world
  • Local winds and weather, including Lake Superior
  • How to use a barometer, wind shifts, and clouds for shipboard forecasting
  • Waves and swells, significant wave height, sea state forecasting
  • Beaufort scale
  • Winds and terrain — land and sea breezes, shoreline wind shifts, drainage winds, channeled winds, convergence zones
  • How to predict wind shifts inland and at sea
  • Use of the internet for weather study and planning

Course Outline for Evening Class

Day 1: Introduction. Pressure and Wind.

Day 2: Global Wind and Currents. Strong Wind Systems.

Day 3: Clouds, Fog, and Sea State. Wind and Terrain.

Day 4: Weather Maps Review. Sources of Weather Data.

Day 5: On-board Forecasting and Tactics. Special Topics. Test Review.

Day 6: Examination. 


Course Outline for Saturday Class

Day 1: Introduction. Pressure and Wind. Global Wind and Currents. Strong Wind Systems.

Day 2: Clouds, Fog, and Sea State. Wind and Terrain. Weather Maps Review. Sources of Weather Data.

Day 3: On-board Forecasting and Tactics. Special Topics. Review and Examination. 


Call Northern Breezes Sailing School at 763-542-9707 to register or with questions.

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Northern Breezes Sailing School
3949 Winnetka Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN  55427
Call For Free Brochure (763) 542-9707

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W1-Windmill Fall 2015 Tuesdays 
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