The fall is a time of changing leaves, cooler temperatures and the inevitable week or so of sugar-fuelled delirium that most parents have come to anticipate after an evening of trick-or-treating. Though some would not consider boating with this season of change, for many, boating season doesn’t end just because summer has come and gone. For those of your curious about boating this fall, as well as those of you who continue enjoying fall boating, we’ve compiled a quick list of tips to make sure your boat stays shipshape.
How to Prep for Fall Boating
- Temp and Time: Two things to immediately consider before getting in some fall boating is the temperature change and the waning amount of sunlit hours we can enjoy. As Boating.com suggests, always dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Even in waters up to 60ºF can pose risks if you are left stranded for a prolonged period. Wear a waterproof outer layer with multiple water-resistant layers beneath it for best results.
With fewer hours of sunlight, also be sure to check all lights on your vessel and bring a waterproof flashlight with you, even if you don’t anticipate being caught after sundown. Dusk has a tendency of sneaking up on you when boating in the fall.
- Life Jackets Save Lives: Though a safety tip for all seasons, considering the above-mentioned risks of cooler waters make life jackets all the more vital if you fall overboard. Ensure that your life jackets are still in good shape and fit comfortably over your bulkier fall clothing.
Also consider utilizing the likes of personal life beacons (PLB) and emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), as cell phones can easily become wet and unusable in emergency situations.
- Check, Please: If you had a relatively quiet summer and didn’t take to the water very often, it may be time to run through your commissioning checklist. Though traditionally conducted in the spring, you can easily create an amended version for your fall boating needs, including such essentials as hull assessments, corrosion checks and paperwork reviews.
Though our HQ in the Sunshine State often doesn’t have to worry about cooler weather until we are well into winter, our friends in Virginia and throughout the North can surely use these tips when preparing for some fall boating fun. Always remember, check your vessel before hitting the water, utilize important safety equipment and be prepared for cooler temperatures and shorter days. Stay safe and enjoy the cooler weather while on the water.