How to be a Cold Weather Boater

You probably think the boating season in New England is much too short. But when most boaters are storing their vessels away for the winter, some hardcore boaters continue to hit the water, even after cold temperatures set in.  These cold-weather boaters are rewarded with peaceful waters that have little boat traffic. If you want to stretch out your boating season into the cold weather, here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • In cold weather you’ll want to dress in layers. Bring a winter coat, hat, warm socks and gloves.
  • Have a change of clothes in case you get wet.
  • Extra blankets onboard can help you keep warm.
  • Make sure to wear a life jacket. If you fall overboard, the cold water can shock you even if you’re a strong swimmer.
  • Avoid freezing your engine block by having an engine compartment heater.
  • Use a fuel stabilizer to keep the cold weather from destabilizing your gas.
  • Get a marine battery charger because a boat’s battery becomes more prone to losing its charge in cold temperatures.
  • Onboard heating systems can provide a lot of heat, and they aren’t too expensive.
  • If your boat doesn’t have a protected cockpit, adding a canvas enclosure helps trap heat and protect you from the elements.
  • Have hot beverages available, either by carrying them onboard in a thermos or preparing them in your galley.