Checking weather forecasts before leaving shore and while at sea is vital to any boater. Boaters also need to learn all they can about the weather. It's crucial that you pay particular attention to the area you're located in. No amount of technology can replace the knowledge you have about the area in which you're boating. You also need to remember that most of the weather reports that you're getting are from weather stations on land, which means the wind speeds they're recording are wind speeds over land. On the water, you need to allow up to a 10 – knot increase. You'll also need to keep an eye on other boats in your area. Are they all heading for shore? Weather can change in an instant, which means you have to be constantly aware. It's also a good idea to keep your weather radio on; and if a change is possible, decide in advance what you plan to do about it.