Weather Seminars

Learn how plan and make the most of your sailing by using weather charts, data and your own on-board observations. Develop your forecasting skills to predict local winds and wind shifts, hazardous conditions, and safe harbors. Marine Meteorologist and sailor David Wilkinson offers weather seminars and clinics for beginner and experienced sailors - all boaters benefit from a sailor's obsession with weather!

Upcoming Seminars:

Gusts and Lulls: Helm and Trim Response, Saturday October 26th 10:30-12:00, ISC Portland

Weather for Cruisers: Cruise Planning and Resources, Saturday October 26th 1:00-3:30, ISC Portland

Heavy Weather: Strong Wind and Big Seas, Sunday October 27th 10:30-12:30, ISC Portland

Detailed information and registration below....

Gusts and Lulls: Helm and Trim Response

When: Saturday October 26th
Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm
Where: Island Sailing Clubhouse, Portland OR
Price: $50 per sailor
Instructor: Marine Meteorologist David Wilkinson
Registration »

Synopsis: The wind is ever changing, sometimes chaotically and sometimes in more predictable ways. The atmosphere holds clues as to the strength of a gust and what direction it will come from or if there will be any gusts at all. Foreknowledge of gusts lets us optimize boat speed and course while avoiding dangerous jibes and knock-downs. The changing direction and speed of wind in gusts and lulls is evaluated for effect on apparent wind, sail trim, and helm response.

Weather for Cruisers

When: Saturday October 26th
Time: 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Where: Island Sailing Clubhouse, Portland OR
Price: $50 per sailor
Instructor: Marine Meteorologist David Wilkinson
Registration »

Synopsis: Two favorite cruising grounds are featured in this discussion of weather as it is important to extended time aboard. Weather systems of the San Juan Islands and the U.S Virgin Islands are explained and YES, these types of weather are very different! Data sources are provided to help you select the best times to go cruising, and then for obtaining forecasts once you are aboard. Specialized weather logs for each cruising ground are also included and then demonstrated as part of a daily weather briefing during the cruise.

You will be well prepared to access and use weather information that will help you plan your next vacation afloat and your daily activities once aboard.  This class can easily be adapted to any cruising grounds by including local climate, weather patterns, data sources, and any unique wind and sea state conditions. The weather log can be customized to track all the important wind and sea conditions.

Heavy Weather: Strong Winds and Big Seas

When: Sunday October 27th
Time: 10:30am to 12:30pm
Where: Island Sailing Clubhouse, Portland OR
Price: $50 per sailor
Instructor: Marine Meteorologist David Wilkinson
Registration »

Synopsis: Class will describe strong wind systems you will find at home in the Pacific Northwest and cruising in the tropics. Learn how to read a weather chart and get the data you need to prepare both your boat and crew for heavy winds. Identify the telltale signs for high winds that may come in the next few minutes and in the days ahead. Learn how to avoid high wind conditions on your day sail, coastal cruise, or even ocean passage. Knowing the weather is key to sailing safer, faster, and with fewer surprises.

Open Q&A and discussion will follow.

Meet Instructor Dave Wilkinson

Dave Wilkinson ASA Starpath Island Sailing InstructionDave Wilkinson
Marine Meteorologist, Sea Grant and ASA Instructor

Dave Wilkinson, holds a MS in Atmospheric Science from Oregon State University, is member of the American Meteorological Society and is a certified marine weather instructor. Professionally, Dave used his knowledge of wind in complex terrain to find wind power sites along the Oregon Coast and Columbia River Gorge.  Today he uses his understanding of weather to make his sailing safer and more enjoyable.

Dave got his start at Island Sailing Club over a decade ago. Since then he has built an impressive sailing resume with charters in Mexico, the Caribbean, Maine, New Zealand, and throughout the Pacific Northwest. He now shares he experience as weather expert and accomplished sailor to provide boating weather instruction and consulting across the Northwest - teaching marine weather at the Northwest Maritime Center, for the University of Washington Sea Grant Program, the Center for Wooden Boats, and sailing schools in Seattle and Portland.


Saturday, October 26th

• Gusts and Lulls: Helm and Trim Response, 10:00 - 12:00, $50 per person
• Weather for Cruisers: 1:00 - 3:30, $50 per person

Sunday, October 27th

• Heavy Weather: Strong Winds and Big Seas, 10:30 - 12:30, $50 per person

Or sign-up for all three!


These seminars are hosted at Island Sailing's Clubhouse

515 NE Tomahawk Island Drive
Slip D85
Portland, OR 97217

Locate on Google Maps »


To register online, select the seminar to begin registration. Please complete the form and process for each seminar - or select "Weather Seminar Bundle" to purchase all three!

Contact us for upcoming dates


Need Help? Contact Island Sailing If questions, please submit the form below or contact us directly at or (503) 285-7765.