Even though the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping, you don’t have to store your boat for the winter. You can boat in cold weather if you take the proper precautions. One top priority you’ll have is keeping yourself and your passengers warm and dry. This will be a challenge on lakes and rivers, as well as off the Atlantic coast. Ocean temperatures are much chillier than land temperatures, so it’s important to prepare yourself adequately for the drop in digits.
Norfolk Marine is your Virginia boat dealer, so we’ve gathered up our best suggestions for staying warm while you’re out on your boat this winter season. Check out the tips below and bring us any questions you might have!
Layer Up Your Clothing
Throwing a big puffy overcoat on top of your street clothes isn’t going to be the best strategy for keeping yourself warm. You’ll restrict your movements and you won’t be as well-insulated against the cold. A waterproof outer layer is, of course, very practical and wise to have, but underneath it, you’ll want to layer up for maximum warmth and comfort.
Start with a base layer of thermal underwear or a close-fitting wicking layer of wool or polyester. Leggings underneath jeans are another great way to stay warm. Add more light layers on top of this, then add some insulating fleece or a thick wool sweater. The outermost layer should be windproof and waterproof to keep you dry. You can bring extra layers and add or remove them as needed.
Accessorize With Cold-Weather Gear
How you accessorize also has a lot to do with your warmth and comfort on the water. A thick pair of wool socks inside your waterproof boots will keep your feet dry. A close-fitting scarf or cowl combined with a hat that covers your ears should keep your head and neck warm. Fingerless gloves with mitten tops ensure that you’ll be able to manipulate your boat controls or put bait on your hook with maximum dexterity.
Insulate Your Boat
Adding some insulation to your boat can help to keep you and your crew warmer out on the open ocean. Insulating your boat’s hull will keep cold air out and help to decrease condensation, which will make you less clammy and more comfortable. Talk to the staff here at Norfolk Marine about boat insulation options, since this will be somewhat different to insulating your home.
Add Heat Sources
A simple portable electric heater is a good way to add some warmth to your cabin. However, you’ll need to find a model that is stable enough to withstand choppy water and has the ability to shut off the power if it falls over. You’ll probably need an additional power source to juice up your heater, especially if you use more than one. Make sure that your boat wiring can handle the voltage, and also that you’ve got a carbon monoxide alarm to keep yourself safe.
A low-tech heat solution is to simply carry several blankets along with you. You can wrap yourself up in a blanket as you’re cruising around or waiting for the fish to bite. Wool is the best material for boat blankets, since it’s somewhat waterproof and very thick and durable. Make sure that any blankets you choose don’t have mold or mildew and that you give them a thorough wash and dry them before storing them.
We hope that, by following this guide, you and your family can stay warm and cozy during your fall and winter boating adventures. Still don’t have the right boat? Come see us at our dealership in Norfolk, Virginia, to take a look at our full selection of new and used boats for sale. Norfolk Marine proudly serves the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, VA.