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Published on October 8th, 2021 | by Ali Dino

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Fall Boating Tips to Keep You Safe

Although the summer months are perfect for spending time on the water, there’s really never a bad time to go boating for the marine enthusiast. In fact, boating during the fall can offer a number of benefits, including smaller crowds, more privacy, greater fishing opportunities, and more.

If you’re planning to continue boating during the fall, it can be easy to let yourself become less observant of safety rules and practices since enforcement officials aren’t always around in great numbers. The truth is, however, that proper boating safety protocols should be followed all year long. If you’re planning on getting out on the water during the cooler months, consider these tips to maximize your time, enjoyment, and safety:

1. Ensure Dock Safety

Before you embark on a boating journey, you first need to ensure that your boarding procedures are safe. To do this, dock safety and security are crucial. If dock repairs are needed, the fall is a good time to make them. You should purchase timber bolts for marine settings for any fastening being done to wooden dock elements.

You are encouraged to also ensure that all dock surfaces are level and free from cracks and warping wood. You may need to use galvanized timber bolts, HDG timber bolts, or A307 grade A timber bolts to secure loose boards. Thankfully, domestic timber bolts are relatively inexpensive and can last for years when installed correctly.

2. Pilot Your Boat Safely

During the summer, many boating areas have markers set up to clearly show where dangerous waters may cause problems. As crowds dwindle during the cooler months, some of these areas may not be marked as clearly or as often. Safety personnel may also be in short supply of water during the fall.

This means that you should only pilot your boat in known waters or have someone with you who has a wealth of experience in navigating tricky situations on the water. In fact, you should never boat alone as doing so could leave you helpless during an emergency.

3. Never Boat Under the Influence

Many people like to have a drink or two on the water during the summer as a way to cool off and socialize. Unfortunately, boating under the influence can lead to all kinds of safety issues that may cause accidents and injuries.

The fall months typically mean that fewer marine law enforcement officials are patrolling the water, and this can lead some pilots to think that they’re safe to have a bit too much to drink. While you may be less likely to get caught, overdoing it with any type of intoxicating substance while piloting a boat can lead to disastrous consequences. The bottom line? Never boat under the influence.

4. Know and Follow Fishing Laws

Many boat enthusiasts also like to fish, but keep in mind that different states and counties have rules for when and how you can fish. During the fall, fishing rules may be different than in the summer, so before you pack your fishing gear and head out on the water, check with your local department of natural resources or wildlife management to learn what you can and can’t do during the fall.

5. Pack Extra Layers

If you’ve been out on rough water during the summer, you already know that wind can cause the temperature to drop considerably, even during the hot summer heat. This is all the more apparent during the fall when cooler outdoor temperatures can become downright cold and uncomfortable on the water.

As a result, you’re encouraged to dress appropriately and pack additional layers of clothing to take with you. You’ll be thankful you did when the sun dips behind the clouds and the wind picks up speed.

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