5 Fall Boating Tips

Autumn provides some of the best boating of the year with crisp, clear days and fewer crowds on the water. Fall boating does present some challenges to boaters, though, such as shorter days and cold water. Here are a few tips to help you squeeze the most out of your fall boating season.

  1. Have a float plan. Before you leave land, let someone know where you’ll be and when you expect to be back. At this time of year, if you do get in trouble on the water, time is important.

  2. Wear a lifejacket. Fall afternoons can be warm, but cool nights mean cold water temperatures and an increased risk of hypothermia if you fall overboard. Also, the shock of falling into cold water can claim even strong swimmers.

  3. Bring appropriate clothing. Autumn can bring significant fluctuations in temperature and conditions. Dress in layers so you can adapt. Also, bring rain gear and a change of clothes.

  4. Have lights. With shorter days, darkness often sneaks up on boaters this time of year. Make sure your navigational lights are working properly, and carry a few waterproof flashlights or headlamps.

  5. Watch the weather. Fall afternoons can bring fast-moving, unexpected storms. Check the weather before leaving, and then keep checking it while you’re boating to avoid being surprised by a sudden storm.

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