4 Tips for Keeping Yourself Safe While Boating in the Winter

winter boating

Keep your boating season going with these winter boating safety tips to safely extend your boating into the cooler months

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Boating is a popular hobby among many people all over the world. It’s a fun thing to do when the weather is nice and you just want to get out on the water. Many people even extend their boating experience all the way out into the fall months. But if boating is more of a lifestyle than a hobby, then you may even like to take your boat out in the winter.

You may be thinking “Boating in the cooler weather sounds dangerous!” However, if you follow some basic safety tops to stay safe you can take your boating hobby well into the colder winter months.

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Dress in Layers

It’s common to want to wear shorts and a t-shirt when getting out on a boat since it’s such a popular activity for the summer months. However, if you’re going to try it out in the cooler weather, it’s important that you dress appropriately when winter boating.

Boating experts suggest that you dress in layers in order to stay warm while out on the water. Even if you think you will be fine in your normal boating attire, bring the layers with you so you can throw them on if you get too cold.

Tell People Where You’re Going

When it gets colder outside, it’s important to recognize that you may be facing elements such as snow and ice. These factors can force you into dangerous situations.

Before you head out onto the water, pick someone to be your contact and give them a float plan. Tell them where you’re going and when you expect to be back. That way, if something were to happen, someone would know your location and know to alert authorities.

Check the Weather Before Going on Your Trip

Even if you think you’ll be okay, the weather can actually change at a minute’s notice. Check the weather right before you head out so you can find out what to expect.

Be aware of the signs of foul weather approaching and how to predict marine weather before heading out. Be sure to be prepared for foul weather on your boat and bring anything you may need to help you out if it rains, snows, or is sunny. Also, make sure that your boat is up-to-date and ready to take on any weather that comes your way.

Don’t Drink and Boat

Just as it is important to not operate a boat and drink during the summer months, it’s also important to not do the same during the fall and winter boating months. Being impaired by alcohol not only hurts your chances of boating safely during summer but also hurts your chances of successfully driving while the elements are involved.

When boating, there is always a chance that something may happen and that you may end up in the water. To protect yourself, make sure you’re wearing your life jacket and have any other flotation device readily available. Remember that when in the water, you are moving against the water’s resistance, which is more than ten times greater than the air’s. It’s exactly why many people choose swimming as a cardiovascular exercise, and exactly why you need flotation devices to avoid exhaustion.

If you’re going to head out onto the water during the cooler months, it’s definitely doable — just as long as you’re prepared. Make sure to follow the tips listed above to ensure your safety during winter boating.

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This article was written by MyBoatLife.com editorial staff.
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