a boat in the distance on misty, cold water
a boat in the distance on misty, cold water

Cold Water Boating

Boating in cold weather can be exhilarating, but it also puts you at risk of falling into dangerously cold waters. Even boating in warm weather can be dangerous if the water is much colder than the air.

Be Prepared

As a general rule, if the air and water temperature added together equal less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit you should take the following steps:

  • Wear a properly fitted life jacket. There are even special life jackets that have extra insulation to double as an additional warm layer. This could save your life!
  • Speaking of layers, dress for the water temperature not the air temperature. Having lots of layers on, including a hat will help you survive if you do end up in the water. The first layer should be a synthetic fabric which will keep cool water away from your skin. Cotton keeps cool water close to the skin and should be avoided as the first layer.
  • Bring extra clothes in a dry bag and keep them on the boat just in case someone in your party gets wet. Energy bars and a thermos of a warm beverage is also a welcomed accessory.