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Fall Boating Safety

Ah, it’s late September and fall is officially here. The leaves are turning colors, there’s a chill in the air, and kids are back in school. There are fewer people on the water, so you’ll have more of the outdoors to yourself.

It’s a great time to go boating! And it’s a great time for some reminders about fall boating safety.

Water Temperature
Fall days can be balmy and bright. Often you can wear t-shirts in comfort. But remember, those chilly nights have lowered water temperatures. As always, dress for the water, not the air.

  • Extend Your Boating Season deals with the dangers of taking an unplanned swim in cold water, and what we can do to prepare ourselves to take our boating into the cooler months.
  • How We Lose Heat & How to Stop It explains the different mechanisms of heat loss: radiation, conduction, convection and evaporation. It also covers how the different fabrics and materials in boating apparel help keep us safe and warm.
  • NRS employees talk from their experience on “how to dress” for fall canoeing, touring kayaking, whitewater kayaking and rafting.
  • For more safety tips click on “Safety” in the various categories in the column to the left.

Make Sure Your Gear Is in Good Shape
Your cold season gear has probably been stored away. It’s time to get it out and inspect it to make sure it’s ready to go.

  • Latex gaskets on your dry wear can deteriorate during storage. Check them over carefully to make sure they’re ready to keep you safe and dry. If they need to be replaced, it’s easy and satisfying to do it yourself. Dry Wear Gasket Repair covers gasket care and features a step-by-step video on making your own repairs.
  • If a gasket tears while you’re on the water, Latex Gasket Emergency Field Repair details a simple quick fix that will get you back home safely.
  • For more repair and maintenance ideas, click on “Maintenance & Repair” in the left-hand column..

Let People Know Where You Are
Things happen. If bad things happen, do family members or friends know where to look for you? File a Boater’s Trip Plan has a link to a float plan form that you can print off or email.

Always wear your life jacket when you’re on the water. Enjoy this great boating season and keep on paddling!