The Bitter-Sweet End of Boating Season

end of boating season

Seasonal boaters reflect on the end of boating season with mixed feelings

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As boating season winds down, boaters can’t help but have a few mixed feelings about it coming to a… gulp… end.

For us seasonal boaters, boating season typically lasts from late April to early October. It may be longer for others who don’t mind cooler [cold] weather on a boat… or shorter for others that live further north in colder climates (like our Canadian friends).

It’s the natural cycle of being a boater who has a limited boating season. Some end it kicking & screaming, while others are ready to call it quits when the time comes… but most of us have some mixed feelings about the end of boating season.

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The Bitter End of Boating Season

The heart of boating season – when the weather is warm and activities are at a peak – seems to go by WAY too quickly. Sometimes I even feel frantic about it moving too fast and not having enough time to do all the trips I planned or host all the friends I want to invite to the boat. Where did the season go?? It’s definitely a bitter feeling of the season slipping away too fast.

If you have kids it can become an extra challenge to keep boating season going with school activities. Saturday morning sports practice begins. The hustle of the first weeks of school starts. And PLEASE do not invite our kids to a Saturday afternoon birthday party on one of the last good weekends in September!

boating wake

All those extra activities seem to rush the end of boating season… and in a blink of an eye you are preparing to unload your boat and say goodbye to your boat and life on the water ’til spring.

You may not be ready to winterize your boat yet… or wrap it up for a long winter’s night…. but the calendar and cooler weather dictates and you are forced to “go with the flow”.

The Sweet End of Boating Season

We may not be happy that boating season is ending, but the last weeks of boating season can be really nice for us die-hard boaters.  The summer crowds are gone. The water is calm and peaceful. The air is cooler. The leaves may even start to be changing.

boating off-season

I love the chill of the morning air in early fall, enjoying a hot cup of coffee on the back of the boat. Huddling under the canvas as the sun warms up the cockpit of the boat. The afternoon warm-up still provides for some fun times on the water. We have even gone swimming in October when the warm days linger.

last days of boating season

We like to take one last trip at the end of September / beginning of October. Maybe to a destination that is typically crowded during the peak season – like the Inner Harbor of Baltimore.

Back on land we have friends and daily chores that we may have neglected during a busy boating season. Its time to catch-up and reconnect with some non-boating activities. Taking a break also gives us time to plan ahead for the next season – whether it be getting some new boat gear or planning trips.

And let’s face it… all good things must come to an end, right? Sometimes it is nice to take a break from what we love so when we come back we continue to appreciate it.

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Diane Seltzer

View posts by Diane Seltzer
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids Active in the boating industry, Diane has also led the marketing for multiple recreational boating businesses and startups.
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