Starpath Marine Weather
Course Overview


    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 related info.


    You can start at any time, and submit quizzes and discussion any time of day or night. The lesson quizzes must be submitted sequentially. You have one year to complete the course, or request an extension if needed.

Course description

    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 help us with that 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 at any time.


    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.

Student Objectives

  • 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 the questions listed above
  • See individual topics in the Lesson Plans
  • And a few more reasons to take the weather course


    This course will prepare you for the certification tests offered from most organizations. Please see our Notes on Certification.