Ocean Racing Club of Victoria
Steb Fisher

ORCV Weather for Sailors Online Course 

Weather for Sailors is currently undergoing a redesign from the prior courses as outlined below which will involve some eLearning theory.  Click the Waitlist option below to be the first to know about the new content and course.

Waitlist here


Prior Course Overview 

Our Weather for Sailors course provides you with the meteorological knowledge needed to safely enjoy your time on the water. 

The course is structure with 3 modules The Fundamentals, Coastal Sailing and Advanced Weather.  It is led by our highly qualified ORCV members Robin Hewitt and Andrew Roberts both weather enthusiasts and contains a mixture of lectures and practical exercises. Our course provides a solid foundation in marine weather, with the opportunity to discuss more advanced topics with our expert as the course progresses 

Weather for Sailors course is designed to 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.  

Knowledgeable on weather and seasoned sailors, Robin Hewitt and Andrew Roberts take a practical approach to weather looking at the applications and linking these back to visualizations before looking at various technology platforms now available.  

Module 1 – The Fundamentals, Enclosed Waters:  this online course covers the fundamentals of weather  

Module 2 – Coastal Sailing 3+ days:  this online course builds on the fundamental knowledge of Module 1 and prepares a sailor for longer coastal passages usually 3 days or more, whether that be racing or cruising including: further applications and building of module 1.

Module 3 - Trans Ocean and Extended Voyages: this online course looks at planning for a much longer voyages where a high degree of self-sufficiency is required.  For those considering a Trans-Oceanic passage this course is a must and includes weather of the tropics. 

Suitable for Ocean Racers, Cruisers, Motor Boats, Skippers and Crew. 

Module 1 – The Fundamentals, Enclosed Waters

Over 3 nights, this online course covers the fundamentals of weather including 

  • Fundamentals of weather terminology. 
  • Definitions. 
  • The Barometer 
  • Vectors in sailing 
  • Seasons 
  • Coriolis 
  • Weather systems, Global mechanisms 
  • The forecasting process, the weather map, 
  • Weather information, how to read and use it. 
  • Fronts 
  • Weather Warnings 
  • Waves & Tides 
  • An introduction to Clouds and their signs. 
  • Gusts, lulls, and coriolis. 
  • Sea breezes-local- -autumn, winter, summer. Land breezes, katabatics. 
  • Obstructions 
  • Topography, land effects & Bathymmetry  

Pre-requisites: There are no pre-requisites to attending this course 

Course Dates:  

Tuesday 25 & Thursday 27 July and Tuesday 1st August 2023, 7- 9pm 

Cost:  $150 per person non member, $127.50 per person ORCV Member 


Module 2 – Coastal Sailing (Voyages 3+ days) 

For 2 nights, this online course builds on the fundamental knowledge of Module 1 and prepares a sailor for longer coastal passages usually 3 days or more, whether that be racing or cruising including: 

  • 4 & 7 day prognosis-maps 
  • Routing Software and forecasts 
  • 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 briefly 
  • Bathymetry, tides, currents,(and shallows) moon passage, tidal nodes, using port data 
  • Using ORCV Bass Strait tidal model 
  • Gribs 
  • Coastal tides & Currents 
  • Severe weather systems 
  • Sailing the tropics 

Pre-requisites:  A sound understanding of weather terminology and basics of module 1.

Course Dates:  TBC

Cost:  $150 per person non member, $127.50 per person ORCV Member   

Module 3 - Trans Oceans and Extended Voyages

Over 2 nights, this online course looks at planning for a much longer voyages where a high degree of self sufficiency is required.  For those considering a Trans Oceanic passage this course is a must and includes: 

  • Planning,-wind roses-world circulations,trades-Internet sites 
  • Seasonal variations and timing-monsoon 
  • The Gradient wind analysis 
  • Ocean circulations 
  • Cyclones 
  • Gribs-w/fx-polar maps, Satellite pictures. 
  • Time limitations 
  • Bathymetry-undersea mounts,-currents 
  • Continent influences-southern/ northern hemisphere 
  • Technology-prediction programs etc w/fx-sailmail-comms-HF cf sat phones, Predict wind, windy, expedition 

Pre-requisites:  A sound understanding of both the Fundamental and Intermediate course content is a must to attend this course. 

Course Dates:  TBC

Cost:  $150 per person non member, $127.50 per person ORCV Member 


More Information 

For any queries, please contact ORCV Office onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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3 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park VIC 3206 Ph. 0493 102 744 E. orcv@orcv.org.au