18 October 2016

Bob Dylan may have just won a Nobel Prize for Literature but when it comes to safer boating advice, you’re far better off with Kiwi music legend Neil Finn. Bob suggests the answer is "blowing in the wind" but in real life it pays to check with someone who can provide a more accurate weather forecast before heading out on the water.

While kiwi boaties may not actually be able to take the weather with them, there are a number of websites, VHF channels and apps that can help ensure they are better prepared and only go out if it’s safe. The MetService Marine app especially has proved a hit since being released in 2014 - with nearly 170,000 downloads. It is accessed more than 250,000 times a month during summer and downloaded by nearly 5000 new users each month.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Safer Boating Officer Tony Pearce says knowing what the weather and tide is going to do is a key part of safe boating.

“Marine forecasts are different to land and general forecasts. Conditions can change very quickly out on the water and boaties need to be aware of what weather is on the way. As always, if in doubt don't go out,” he said.

“Our message for Safer Boating Week (Oct 14-21) is Prep your boat, Check your gear and Know the rules – and that includes the current local Navigation Safety Bylaw.”

Where to get marine weather and tide info:


  • MetService Marine app
  • Marine Mate app


VHF Radio

  • Rotorua Lakes VHF: 02
  • Tauranga/Maketu VHF CH: 01
  • Waihau Bay VHF: 65
  • Whakatāne/Opotiki VHF CH: 18
  • Waihi Beach VHF CH: 07