Our vessel documentation site stresses boating safely at all times. Do you plan on going out on the water with family and friends during the winter but worry about the weather? Are you aware of what to do if the weather turns suddenly while you’re out on the water? Boating in wintertime can be a peaceful, incredible, and amazing experience entirely different from boating during the summer and spring. However, the potential for bad weather, colder temperatures, and water make additional safety precautions and plans necessary.
What to Do When Bad Weather Arises Suddenly
Hopefully, you never have to deal with inclement weather when you’re out on the water at any time of year. That said, should bad weather arrive suddenly, the most important thing to do is to play it safe. Be as safe as possible. Should a storm arise, go straight to sheltered waters and/or the nearest dock immediately. While you may prefer to go to your original marina, that’s not worth it if there’s a safe haven that’s closer.
If You Can’t Get to Shore
The above having been said, sometimes you don’t have time to make it to shore when bad weather strikes. Of course, everyone should wear their life jackets anyway, but it’s especially important to do so when bad weather comes. Keep water out of your vessel by closing all doors, windows, and ports, while securing hatches, too. Items that are small enough should be stowed while bigger items should be lashed down. Turn on the navigation lights and, while this may seem counterintuitive, you may want to reduce your speed. On your VHF radio, monitor for Coast Guard updates about the weather. If you’re with other folks you trust, consider delegating some of these tasks.
What to Do if You Fall in the Water
When you fall into the cold water (particularly if it’s unexpectedly) you could experience an involuntary gasp. Do everything you can to catch your breath. The calmer you are (and the calmer you stay) the better chance you have. That means not panicking, taking control of your breathing, and making sure that your head is above water. If you can stay with the boat you’ve fallen out of, great – do that. Increasing your buoyancy while you’re in the water is a good idea, too.
A Vessel Documentation Safe Haven
Hopefully, you never have to deal with any of the above, and your trips out on the water are as lovely in the wintertime as they are in the summer. During this time of year, many vessel owners find themselves going out on their vessels less and less. That makes it the perfect time to catch up on your boat documentation. Our site is always open, regardless of season, to help vessel owners like you to find and get the documentation that they need to operate their vessels in the manner they wish. You can see everything our site has to offer right here.