Estimated to be about 40 to 60 hours of your time, depending on how much optional material you wish to cover. (We have had students tell us they spent longer, but always cheerfully!) You work at your own pace on your own schedule. See FAQs for more detail.
You can start at any time, and submit quizzes and discussion any time of day or night. With the downloaded course materials, you can be underway on the course in minutes after purchasing it. The lesson quizzes must be submitted sequentially. You have one year to complete the course or request an extension.
This course covers all aspects of practical marine weather, starting from the very basics and ending with all you need to plan your voyages — or weekend outings — safely and efficiently taking into account the weather. This is intended to be a practical course that will indeed affect your decision making when planning and underway. We only cover those aspects of the "theory" that will help us with this goal.
Typical questions answered by the course can be read here: Typical marine weather questions. The training standards are detailed here: Training goals and standards.
This course uses live weather data accessed through custom Internet links to illustrate many of the topics it covers. We often monitor coastal or ocean passages at the time of the course to see how the real world evolved and what decisions might be best at the time.
How the course works
Please read the general description of How the Courses work. Those notes apply to all courses. You can sign up for a course anytime the enrollment is open.
There are no prerequisites for the Weather Course. It is important to follow through on the assignments and work some of the practice problems in each lesson, because some terminology is presumed understood once it has been introduced and explained.
- Understand the relationship between shipboard forecasting and use of official sources
- Know how to read the natural signs of weather observable from the vessel
- Know the official sources of marine weather underway and how to use them
- Understand the use and value of a barometer
- Know how to read a weather map for tactical route planning purposes
- Have an overview of global weather patterns
- Know how terrain affects the wind
- Learn the answers to many practical questions in marine weather
- ...here are few more reasons to take the weather course
This course will prepare you for marine weather aspects of any certification test, including professional licensing exams. We do not know of organizations other than Starpath that offers training certification specifically in marine weather, but you can add our certification stickers to your US Sailing or ASA logbooks as "Extra training." The Starpath certification is recognized internationally. If interested in certification of your learning, please see our Notes on Certification.