United States Coast Guard Documentation Center Cold Weather Boating Tips

With winter just a few days away, do you want to take your vessel out on the water for one last ride? Or, alternatively, do you plan on entertaining family and friends throughout the wintry months on the water? No matter when you take your vessel out on the water, safety is paramount. However, you need to be especially careful during the winter months. After all, there’s just so much that could go wrong when you go out in the cold. Our United States Coast Guard documentation center always stresses boating safely. 

Before You’re On the Boat 

You know to give a detailed float plan to someone who’ll be staying on land. You also know to check all of the lines, fire extinguishers, flares, and more before you go. Again, it’s even more imperative you do this during autumn and winter. After all, the days are shorter than ever, so you won’t have as much sunlight as you did during the summer months. Making sure you have multiple ways to contact the land as well as attract attention is very important. 

United States Coast Guard Documentation

What to Wear on the Boat 

Obviously, you’re going to want to wear something so that you’re sufficiently warm when on the boat. But, you also want to make sure that your life jacket fits over anything you’re wearing. You don’t want it to be too tight, even if you’re warm, should you fall into the water. By that same token, make sure to wear layers, even up to bring an extra set of clothes with you. The best rule of thumb for clothing during cold weather boating: don’t dress for the air, dress for if you fall into the water. 

What to Do If You Do Go In the Water 

Should you fall into the water unexpectedly, don’t panic. Obviously, that’s easier said than done. But, use your lifejacket to help you to stay afloat. Additionally, do everything you can to regain control of your breathing. Catch your breath. A sudden fall will, in all likelihood, cause you to gasp involuntarily. Keep your head above water so that rescuers (and/or the other people on your boat) can see you. Speaking of that, make sure you can stay with the boat (or as close to it) as possible. 

A United States Coast Guard Documentation Center for Vessel Owners 

For the most part, a strong, strong majority of cold-weather boating trips are safe, fun outings for everyone involved. Many vessel owners use this time of year to take care of their vessel documentation. Since they may not be going out on their boat quite as much, this provides them with an opportunity to take care of all of the documentation they need, so that they can use their vessel how they would like when the weather warms up again. At our site, you can find all of the documentation you might need.