Off-season boating; when the sun sets early, temperatures drop and there are fewer other boats to deal with has a lure of its own. The fall months are a great time to explore the bay or cruise along the inland waterways, finding a quiet, secluded place to drop anchor and take in the scenery.
But there are risks as well. Smart captains know boating in the off-season – when the sun sets early, temperatures drop and fewer boats are in sight also has some risks involved.
Every responsible boat owner carries a first-aid kit, and everyone aboard wears a life jacket. Lightweight inflatables are good for summer sailing, but in cold weather, “float coats” and jackets will not only provide additional insulation, but protection as well .
Boating when the weather is cooler means the water will be colder by several degrees. Cold weather sailing requires warmer – and heavier – clothing. Anyone who falls overboard will have a hard time getting back on board when immersed in cold, frigid water for even a few minutes. Good captains will anticipate the risks and be prepared.
When sailing in the off-season, add to the onboard emergency gear a change of clothes; high calorie snacks, fresh water, a thermos or two of coffee or some other warm beverage; duct tape; a waterproof portable flashlight and extra batteries; flares and matches in a waterproof bag.
And ban or at least limit the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol in cold weather not only impairs judgment, it also accelerates hypothermia.
Experienced boaters know to plan for every eventuality before leaving the dock, and that means protecting your boat even when not only in the water. CMC Canvas LLC specializes in protective marine canvas coverings as well as custom products to both protect and enhance any boat.