Gary - before I go out, I tend to use the internet
to find out what is going on weatherwise. In addition, if I have questions, I find that calling the harbor patrol is a good bet.
Radios that access the NWS channels are available very cheap
- Most of the GMS two way radios (<$29.99 USD) have the weather channels as an added feature.
If you are going out where weather would be a concern, you should have a VHS radio
(and most also have the NWS forecast
and weather condition channels on them). Phone is a nice back-up, but the VHS radios for Marine
use are in existance for a reason - it is the principle point of contact for on the water