ORCV Weather Courses


The ORCV has been conducting Weather courses for sailors many years.  In 2014 the previous Basic and Advanced Weather courses were significantly revamped and continue to get updated regularly.  The all new weather courses are designed to better inform all types and levels of sailors, racers and cruising sailors alike, how to observe weather conditions and how to find the right forecasting advice from the vast array of modern resources available.  The Bureau of Meteorology has made significant progress with it’s forecasting in recent times and now achieves remarkable accuracy, especially out to 3 days. With easy to use graphics and continual improvements the Bureau is working towards achieving higher degrees of accuracy for up to seven days and this technology has changed the focus of sailors. This new course concentrates on the practical facets of weather applied to sailing.


This course is designed to cover the terminology, conditions and weather forecasting resources that will allow sailors of all persuasions to plan their trip from an afternoon on the Bay through to an trans-ocean passage such as a Melbourne to Vanuatu or Melbourne to Osaka race, and the return delivery passages.


There are no pre-requisites for attending this course, however, as the modules progress, a solid understanding of the topics covered in the previous modules will be required, so as to gain the most knowledge from the content of that module.

IMPORTANT: you will have to have attended Modules 1 & 2 to be able to do Modules 3 and/or 4. Modules 3 & 4 can be taken individually, or both.

Course Content

The course has been divided into four modules, of three hours each, to suit sailors at any stage of experience. The modules are as follows:

Module One - Fundamentals of Weather Terminology:
• Definitions.
• Vectors in sailing
• Global mechanisms of weather.
• The forecasting process
• The weather map, fronts

Module Two - Enclosed waters:
• An introduction to Clouds and their signs.
• Fronts
• Gusts, lulls, and coriolis.
• Sea breezes-local-ocean-autumn, winter, summer. Land breezes, katabatics.
• Topography, land effects
• Tides

Module Three - Coastal (races or coastal passages not usually longer than 3 days):
• 4 day prognosis-map sequence-wind data preparation-internet4, locations
• Topography-sea breezes-land breezes-katabatics-timings, clouds-temperatures-airmasses
• Other land effects, headlands, indents, rivers, mountains, cliffs, islands, wind directions
• Thunderstorms etc
• Jet streams
• Bathymetry, tides, currents,(and shallows) moon passage, tidal nodes, using port data
• Using ORCV Bass Strait tidal model

Module Four - Trans Oceanic:
• Planning-wind roses-world circulations-trades-Internet sites
• Seasonal variations and timing-monsoon-cyclones
• Gribs-w/fx-polar maps
• Time limitations
• Bathymetry-undersea mounts-currents
• Self sufficiency (can we collect spares used data? is this part of weather?)
• Continent influences-southern/ northern hemisphere
• Technology-prediction programs etc w/fx-sailmail-comms-HF cf sat

Course Registration Information

The ORCV Weather Course will take place at ORCV new office facilities at State Sailing Centre. 3 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park, VIC 3206.


tbc 1 and 2 $140.00 $165.00 full day 9:00 - 16:30
tbc 3  $85.00 $105.00 half day 9:00 - 12:30
tbc 4 $85.00 $105.00 half day 13:00 - 16:30
tbc 3 and 4 $140.00 $165.00 full day 9:00 - 16:30

Course Materials

  •  A Student Resource Pack will be provided.

What to Bring

• Notebook, pens, tablet PC or Smartphone and a mind ready to absorb
• Water bottle
• Please also bring along any resources or materials you would like to get assistance with
• Lunch will be provided on the day for those taking full day courses ONLY (modules 1&2 and modules 3&4).

More Information

For any queries, please contact ORCV Office on (03) 9088 7210 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.