When most people think of going out on a boat, images of sunny days and hot sun are common.  But for those of us who truly love boating and consider it a lifestyle, this time of year is as good as any for being out on the water. Of course, winter boating carries with it different rules and precautions. So if you are one of those hardy souls who thinks that even a cold day on a boat is better than a day on land, here are a few tips to keep you safe.


winter boat towing tips

While life jackets are always a necessity, sometimes in hot weather,  they remain stowed. Not so during winter boating – a flotation coat is an insulated coat that can double as a flotation device, thus making sure you both retain body heat and have protection if you enter the water. It is important to point out that in extreme cold weather and waters, these coats cannot protect against hypothermia. You should also invest in an immersion or survival suit. When things go as planned, these suits keep you warm and protected from the elements. In the event you need to survive cold water temperatures, an immersion suit will extend the length of time hypothermia can be kept at bay.

Professional rescuers utilize waterproof dry suits to seal out water, but the effectiveness of this method requires proper layering of clothing under the drysuit. As for layers, being on a boat in winter is just like being anywhere outside during the cold temperatures. Whichever suit you wear – a flotation coat, a survival suit or a dry suit, wool thermal layers (or similar synthetic materials) underneath can make all the difference. One of the most important things to keep covered is your head, to prevent heat loss.

Of course, cold or warm weather, there are certain items to always carry with you – a personal locator beacon, a personal locator light, a whistle and flares. Immersion suits often have pockets that will allow you to have all these items on your person at all times.

                                   Winter Boating Tips & Tricks

As your mom always said, it’s important to bundle up! Do these things, and you will find yourselves experiencing an entirely different aspect of boating many folks never will. Don’t forget your annual Sign and Glide coverage before you leave!