Each year, as autumn arrives, some boaters resist the cold weather. They can be found on the water even after temperatures have gotten chilly. Why do they do it? Because cold-weather boating can be spectacular, and those hardy boaters are rewarded with peaceful, empty waterways that they have largely to themselves. You can be a cold-weather boater by following a few tips.
Dress in layers. If there’s a cold breeze on the water, you may need a winter coat, hat, warm socks and gloves.
Carry extra blankets onboard to keep you warm.
Wear a life jacket. You might be a strong swimmer, but if you fall overboard this time of year, the cold water can shock you.
Pack a change of clothes in case you get wet.
Add a canvas enclosure to trap heat in your cockpit and protect you from the elements.
Get an onboard heating system. They can give you more boating days and many systems aren’t that expensive.
Avoid freezing your engine block by getting an engine compartment heater.
Use a fuel stabilizer to keep the cold weather from destabilizing your gas.
Get a marine battery charger as a boat’s battery is more prone to losing its charge in cold weather.
On cold days, a hot drink hits the spot. If you don’t have a galley to prepare one, carry a hot drink in a thermos.
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