Two sailboats enjoying the fall boating season

Getting Ready for the Fall Boating Season

The fall boating season can be a nice change from the heat of the summer. It also means adding more precautions to your boating routine. Read what changes to be aware of and how you can prepare your boat for the fall.

Boating in Cooler Temperatures

Boating season lasts well into the fall in many parts of the country. But the beautiful weather can be deceiving — and dangerous. While the water is typically less crowded and changing leaves add to nature’s splendor, cooler water temperatures require extra water safety precautions.

The Boat Owners Association of the United States offers these five tips for fall water safety :

  1. Dress for the water, not the weather: Bring extra layers and rain gear. Fast-moving storms can bring sudden temperature drops, and dropping water temperatures can turn a spill overboard into a dangerous situation.
  2. Tell a friend: Let a family member or friend know where you’re going and what time you expect to return. For longer boating trips, make sure to provide a more detailed, written itinerary. And no matter how long you’re gone, always check in upon your return.
  3. Check the weather: Frigid water temperatures can make an unexpected squall twice as dangerous. Stay up-to-date on the latest weather patterns and bring your boat in if the clouds begin to gather.
  4. Always check the boat: Inspect the bilge pump, engine, communications equipment and safety gear to ensure all are in good shape and ready to go before you head out — even for a short trip.
  5. Leave the drinks at home: Alcohol can quickly drain your body of heat, bringing on hypothermia’s deadly effects much sooner when compared to warmer months.

Water Safety

To protect yourself and your boat year-round, it’s important to have the right insurance coverage:

  • Watercraft Liability helps protect you from paying medical costs, loss of income and funeral expenses of other people involved in an accident.
  • Uninsured Watercraft Liability helps pay for injuries you, your family or anyone on your boat sustains due to an accident with an uninsured boater.
  • Watercraft Medical Payments Coverage can help pay for some of your medical costs or funeral expenses if you or anyone on your boat is injured in an accident.

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