Fail Proof Your Boating Season
It’s that time of year again. Some call it “March” (because that’s what it says on the calendar on the wall). Some say it’s “Springtime” (at least, the meteorologists). Sports fans call it Spring Training (because that’s what the Rockies are doing). Others call it Mud Season (because the thawing snow mixes with the dirt and …)
We have our own terminology for this time of year: it’s Early Season.
For boaters, that means a warm spell gets us all excited about getting our boats out of storage and into the water. We all want to feel the sunshine in our face and the wind in our hair and see all our friends and fellow boaters onshore and out on the lake.
But it’s still a bit Early for many boaters. Even bright sunshine might not be enough if the ambient air temperature is under 40 degrees. And here in Colorado, we’ve been known to see snowfall and frost as late as the middle of May.
But Early Season should not be a lost season. If the weather gods smile favorably, you might be able to get out on the water this time of year. But this is also the best time of year to do some annual chores and get ready for the High Season, which for us means when boating is perfect.
So for all you Early Season boaters out there…chomping at the bit to get going…here are a few things to remember and do before heading out.
Take a few minutes and check your boat’s safety infrastructure to make sure everything is in working order and stowed onboard. Make sure you have enough life vests and PFDs for every member of the family, and a few extra for guests. Also…is your throwable floatation device handy and in good working order? Check it now. Do your fire extinguishers need to be recharged? Do it now. Your boat should have a horn, whistle or some kind of warning soundmaker. Test them now. Fix anything that isn’t working. How’s your onboard first aid kit? Missing anything? Restock, throw out anything that’s old or past-due, make sure your kit can handle any medical emergency. Your boat should also have a paddle, in case the engines fail and you need to maneuver. Get one on board now.
Tell a friend.
In the Early Season, boat traffic is lighter than normal during the warm weather months. That’s good if you like being alone. But if something goes wrong, it means there aren’t as many willing hands to help you out of trouble. So during this time, make sure you tell a friend where you’re going and when you’re scheduled to return. It’s just good basic common sense.
Dress in layers.
If you spend your winters on the slopes and trails, you probably don’t need to be told to layer up for warmth. But we’ll say it anyway: layer up for warmth! It can get chilly fast out on the water, so dress in layers so you can add or take away warmth as needed.
Keep a weather eye peeled.
Colorado springtime can be fickle. Cold fronts can zoom over the mountains and catch anyone unaware. Overnight freezes are common this time of year, and that can affect your boat’s performance as well as conditions on the water. Be smart, be aware, be safe.
Instead of cold drinks, be sure to pack a Thermos with hot beverages. If the typical cool breeze comes up, you’ll be glad to have it onboard. And remember to bring along the usual fixings for sandwiches and snacks: eating helps keep your body heat at the proper levels. Bring books and board games in case you have to spend time below decks to keep out of the wind and weather.
We hope all our customers have a chance to enjoy the Early Season here in Colorado. We just want all of you to be safe and comfortable while you do.