Who said boating in winter is not a good idea?
If you ask us, every season is boating season unless the weather forecasts it’s going to rain or the lake might freeze over. So, we recommend sailing if your boat is still out by the dock.
Boating in winter is quite different than boating in summer. The latter saps your energy, and the former lowers your body temperature, making you feel sleepy. However, this is not the case with everyone.
There are various reasons why people love boating in the winter. If you set sail on an ocean, you might be lucky enough to see a whale. Fewer boats are in the water, so you don’t have to worry much about navigation rules. Lastly, some areas are hit with a mild winter, making the weather perfect for some splashing fun.
With that being said, is it safe to boat in winter? Let’s find out:
To ensure you enjoy your time on the boat, dress appropriately; by that, we mean you should wear warm clothes. Avoid cotton as it absorbs moisture. On the other hand, synthetic is quick-drying, allowing you to stay warm.
We recommend wearing insulated foul weather gear if the weather is in the minus. Make sure it’s loose enough so you can move easily. To protect your head, wear a polyester fleece hat, a scarf around your neck, waterproof deck boots and wool socks for your feet, and neoprene gloves for your hands.
Have a Heater on Board
You won’t need a heater if you are going for a quick sail for a couple of hours. However, it’s important to keep your boat warm if you plan to spend the weekend on the lake or ocean. The heaters you can use on your boat include propane, hydronic and electric. For a propane heater, make sure the fuel tank is full and for hydronic and electric heaters, charge the batteries fully.
Consider buying portable heaters to avoid plugging them into the boat’s circuit and risking a short circuit or fire.
Wear a Wetsuit Under Your Clothes
The best way to protect yourself from the cold breeze of winter is to wear a wetsuit under your clothes. This close-fitting one-piece is made with a special material that provides high insulation, keeping your body warm.
Inspect the Engine
Your boat’s engine is one of the most important parts. In winter, it requires more maintenance because your boat is used less frequently.
Check the boat’s oil level first and change it if necessary. Do this while the engine is running, as it will allow you to spot any leaks. Cover the engine with non-toxic antifreeze to sail with the peace of mind that you won’t be stranded in the middle of the ocean.
Depending on how cold it gets in your area, we suggest inspecting the nearby waters to ensure there are no ice blocks. The ice will damage your boat and delay rescue service from reaching you. So, boat wisely and leave a float plan with your family and friends for safety.
Visit the EZ Dock Texas website and browse their wide range of dock designs. Whether you are looking for a traditional wood dock or a long-lasting option, such as aluminum, the company offers boat docks in all types of materials. For more information or any queries, call (800) 654-8168.