The end of summer doesn’t mean the end of the boating season. With crisp, cool air, beautiful fall colors and fewer people on the water, autumn might be the best time of year to go boating. However, shorter days and cold water can make for dangerous situations.
Here are a few tips on how to stay safe and enjoy boating in the fall.
- Wear a PFD. Boaters should always wear a PFD. But it’s even more important when it’s cold. During autumn, the days might be warm, but chilly nights mean the water is very cold. Wearing a PFD will help protect you from the initial shock if you go in the water.
- Have Lights. Darkness comes earlier each day during the fall, and boaters can easily get surprised by it. Be prepared with a waterproof headlamp and/or flashlight. You should also check that your navigational lights are working properly.
- Watch the Weather. Autumn storms can form unexpectedly and often bring strong rains, winds, and significant temperature drops. Keep an eye on the weather before and during your trip so you’re not caught by surprise.
- Have a Versatile Boat. Crownline’s canvas and bow close-out doors can help shield you from the elements and extend your boating season when cooler temperatures set in.
- Dress Appropriately. Fall days can bring significant fluctuations in temperature and conditions. Dress in layers so you can adapt if it gets warmer or cooler. Also bring rain gear and a change of clothes.
- Have a Float Plan. 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 of the essence.
See also Tips for fall fishing