Cold Weather Boating Tips & Tricks
Winter is almost over, but cold weather boating is still in full swing! Check out these tips and tricks to have the *brrrrrr* best time on the water possible:
- Have A Float Plan: filling out a float plan and leaving it with friends & family when you head out for a day on the water gives you the peace of mind needed to relax on your boat in the off-season (since you won’t have as many fellow boaters out on the water like you would in warmer weather if something happens to go awry.) A good float plan outlines your journey for the day with departure times, destinations & return times, the make, model, size and capacity of your boat, and contact information for everyone onboard, as well as contact information for the local coast guard. Download the coast guard’s float plan template here.
- Dress The Part: even if the day starts in the 50s, air temperature on the water can change quickly and wind speed can drop the real feel temperature below freezing. Even if it feels silly boarding a boat with a toboggan, scarf and gloves, you won’t regret packing good warm layers or bringing an extra blanket.
- Wear Your Life Jackets: life jackets are especially important in colder weather in case you’re overboard. We’re not expecting the Titanic, but wearing a life jacket in the water will keep you way better off than Rose and Jack. As always, make sure you have enough life jackets (that fit) for everyone in your party before heading out.
- SNACKS! This one shouldn’t take much convincing, but make sure you’re stacked with snacks for the day. Snacks don’t just make everybody happy – they help to relieve seasickness or motion sickness, which can be common in cold and windy, choppier conditions.
- Service Your Boat for the Season: winterizations (draining the water out of the motor and replacing with antifreeze) are a part of boating life for half the country. If you de-winterize (putting water in place of the antifreeze) for winter boating, please remember to re-winterize before the next freeze. We don’t want any cracked engines and summer boating to end before it even starts!
If you have any questions or need assistance with boating in any season – just ask us! We’re always here to help. Plus, we’ve got that extra hoodie for your forgetful friend, life jackets for you or the family pet and plenty of snacks in the ship’s store. Happy boating!