Do you plan on ringing in the new year by going out with your family and friends on a vessel? Have you been looking forward to getting on the water in a literal “winter wonderland?” As long as you plan safely, there’s nothing like going out on the water in the winter. Seeing the homes from shore, the way the sun reflects off of the water, the clouds in the sky – you’ll see several sights in a trip you may not forget for the rest of your life. That said, safety is always paramount. These are some winter boating safety tips that our US vessel documentation company always recommends.
Before You Go
You always do a “look over” of your vessel before you head out, but it’s especially important in the winter. Batteries drain faster in the cold. So you want to make sure that they (as well as your gasoline) are full. By that same token, it can behoove you to walk around it at the dock if it’s already in the water. Check to see if there are waterline changes. Perhaps the bilge has taken on too much water, or there’s a leak somewhere, such as through your portlight, hatch, or elsewhere. These are the kinds of little things that can make all the difference.
“Dress to Get Wet” (Even if You Don’t Plan on Getting Wet)
In sub-zero temperatures, odds are that you aren’t planning to go swimming. That said, it makes sense to “dress as if you’ll get wet.” Namely, wear enough layers so that you’ll be warm should you fall into the water somewhere. Make sure that your personal flotation device fits comfortably over them as well. Another good idea: having dry clothing in a waterproof container for everyone on board, too. Will you need all of this? Probably not. If you need it, will you be glad you have it? Absolutely.
Have Multiple Ways to Communicate With Shore
If you’re like most boaters these days, you have your phone with you at all times. That’s fine. Just make sure it’s dry, safe, and fully charged (having the charger with you isn’t a bad idea, either.) That said, there are plenty of places on the water where you may not be able to get reception. So, having a handheld GPS as well as a VHF radio is a great idea, too. The more ways you have to communicate with land, the better your odds are of being able to do so in an emergency will be.
US Vessel Documentation Throughout the Year
Many vessel owners spend less time on the water during this time of year than they did during the summer. That’s perfectly understandable. In fact, plenty of our clients take this time to catch up on their vessel documentation, to get all of the forms that they need done and sent in. To see all of the different ways that we can help you to get your documentation up to date, just head to our site.