The boating season ends all too quickly here in the Northeast. At least, that’s what most boaters think. But each year you’ll find some boaters who push it, boating long after temperatures have turned cold. These cold-weather boaters are rewarded with beautiful, peaceful waterways with hardly anyone else out there but them. If you want to lengthen your boating season and learn how to boat after it turns cold, follow these tips.
If you fall overboard, the frigid water can shock you even if you’re a good swimmer. So always wear your life jacket.
Dress appropriately for the cold weather. That could mean such non-traditional boating attire as a winter coat, hat, warm socks and gloves.
Pack extra clothes to change into if you get wet.
Hot beverages hit the spot on cold boating days, whether you’re preparing them in your galley or carrying them onboard in a thermos.
An onboard heating system can help keep you warm, and they aren’t too expensive.
Get an engine compartment heater to avoid freezing your engine block.
Cold weather can destabilize your gas, so remember to use a fuel stabilizer.
In cold temperatures a boat’s battery becomes more prone to losing its charge, so make sure you have a marine battery charger.
If your cockpit isn’t protected add a canvas enclosure to trap heat and protect you from the elements.