The winter weather is finally settling in. With the leaves falling off the trees and the landscape covered in blankets of white, boating may be the farthest thing from your mind. While summer is the peak season to buy new boats and go boating, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a day on the water in the colder months. In fact, with the right preparation, winter boating can be just as enjoyable – if not more so – than boating in the summer.
Why Winter Boating can be Fun
There are a few reasons why winter boating can be fun:
- Enjoy the scenery
- Less Crowd
- Winter Fishing
Enjoy the Scenery:
The colder weather can make for some beautiful scenery. The snow-covered landscape is a sight to behold ,and is a great way to forget about the daily grind and enjoy mother nature while sailing around your favorite cove.
Enjoy Less Crowd:
On top of getting to see a different landscape, you also won’t have to deal with the summertime crowds. Many people choose to take their boats out during the hotter months when more people are around, but it can make for hectic trips with too many boaters in one area. The winter months offer a calmer boating experience. Since most people are not looking to spend their day on the water when it’s cold and snowy, you’ll have less competition for boat slips and moorings.
One of the best reasons to go out on the water in the winter is for the chance to fish. The fish are biting in the colder weather, so you can potentially catch some big ones. With fewer people on the water, you’ll also have a better chance at landing that fish of a lifetime. Just make sure you understand how species react in cooler water before you cast your line.
Another fun way to enjoy winter boating on your boats for sale is by engaging in some water sports. Whether you’re skiing, tubing, or just cruising around on a Jet Ski, the colder weather can add an extra layer of excitement to your trip. However, do not forget to take the necessary precautions to stay safe while enjoying these activities.
How to Enjoy Winter Boating?
Now that you know why winter boating can be fun, let’s take a look at how you can make the most of it.
Dressing properly for winter boating is essential to having a good time on the water. Even if you’re not planning on being outside for very long, it’s important to dress in layers. Start with a base layer of thermal underwear, and then add on a fleece jacket, a waterproof outer shell, and some warm socks and boots. Make sure to bring a hat and gloves as well, as they’ll help keep you warm even when the weather is coldest.
Have the Right Gear:
Along with dressing properly, it’s important to have the right gear for winter boating. This includes a cold weather-rated life jacket, as well as some extra warm clothes to put on if you get wet. It’s also a good idea to have a thermos of hot coffee or tea, as well as some snacks to keep you going throughout the day.
Even though winter boating can be a lot of fun, we can’t stress enough on safety protocols. Make sure you check the weather forecast before heading out, and always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan on returning.
Carry the Right Supplies:
Along with a first-aid kit, it’s a good idea to carry extra supplies like flares, a VHF radio and waterproof matches. A phone with good service and a charged battery is also very helpful to call somebody in case of an emergency.
If you’re stranded on the ice, these supplies can be essential in getting help.
Be Prepared in case of Emergencies:
While this should be done in every situation, it’s especially important in the winter when things like falling overboard can lead to hypothermia or frostbite. The cold weather can take your body by surprise and cause you to lose consciousness within minutes. So make sure to always have a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and a life jacket handy, just in case. In addition, make sure your boat is in good condition and that you know how to use any emergency equipment on board.
How to Up-Keep Your Boat in Winter?
Just like you have to take care of your car in the winter, you have to take care of your boat. The cold weather can be hard on boats, so if you plan to take out your boat during winter make sure to do the following to protect your boat through the chilly days and night.
Check your Batteries:
The cold weather can take a toll on batteries, so it’s important to check them before taking your boat out. In colder weather, battery power is generally reduced, so you may need to bring along an extra battery or two to make sure you have enough power to run all your electronic devices.
Check for Leaks and Portholes:
Water can freeze in leaks and portholes, which can cause serious damage to your boat and create unsafe slick surfaces. To avoid any kind of mishap, walk around your boat to check all drains, seacocks and portholes are sealed with silicone caulking before taking your boat out.
Engine oil thickens in cold weather, so it’s important to change your motor oil before the winter sets in. After all, you don’t want your engine to seize up from the cold while you’re out on the water. Even if you plan to take your boat out just for the day, it’s a good practice to change the oil every few months to keep everything running smoothly.
Check your Trailers:
If you’re taking out your boat make sure to check trailer tires, lights, chains and hitches thoroughly for rust and wear. It’s also a good idea to apply a rust inhibitor to all metal surfaces and WD-40 to all moving parts. This will help keep everything in working condition and help avoid any potential problems while you’re out on the water.
Read here to know about the factors for choosing the right horsepower for your boat.
Winter Boating Safety Measures to Follow:
The three safety norms of boating that one should follow regardless of any season is to manage your speed, look ahead and stay sober so you do not fall overboard. Apart from these there are some extra safety measures that you should follow during winter to avoid any mishap.
Stay Away from Ice:
Even if it appears to be a solid sheet of ice, there could still be water underneath that is deep enough for your boat to run into trouble. Avoid any areas with open water, snowmobile tracks or pressurized springs – unless you want to end up in chilly waters.
Also before heading out, check the weather forecast to be sure there aren’t any major storms headed your way.
Avoid Rough Water:
The weather can be unpredictable in winter, so avoid exposing your boat to any choppy waters. If the water is particularly rough, you should wait for it to calm down before taking out your boat. This will help protect both your boat and everyone on board.
Keep an Eye Out for Other Boats and Icebergs:
Icebergs are a common sight in the winter, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them while you’re out on the water. In addition, be aware of other boats and give them plenty of room as you pass by.
Ready to set sail?
Although winter boating can be a fun and challenging experience, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to avoid any accidents. By following the tips above, you can help keep your boat in good condition and stay safe while enjoying a day on the water.
Still not convinced if winter boating is for you? No worries, we understand that some people may not enjoy boating when they are actually freezing. So in case you do not plan to get your boat out this winter, we strongly recommend storing your boat the right way after winterizing.
Premier Watersports, is a full-service boat dealership in Knoxville, TN. We not only offer a wide range of boats for sale, but also provide expert boat repair and boat service like winterization to ensure your boat is in good condition when you’re finally ready to hit the waters of Tampa Bay come springtime!
For more information on our services visit our website or give us a call to speak with one of our experts.
Till then Happy Sailing!