Advantages and Tips for Spring Boating
Many boaters consider summer to be the official boating season, but by starting yours off in the spring, you can add months to your nautical enjoyment.
Boating during spring has many advantages, so why wait till summertime to get started? Here are some benefits and a few tips for boating during spring.
Benefits of Boating in Spring
With the changing of the clocks, spring ushers in longer evenings, plus warmer weather that’s still cool enough to make being out in the water all day more enjoyable.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to boating in spring is that there’s much less boat traffic around than during the summer. You may even get an entire body of water to yourself, making it easier to navigate waterways that are otherwise congested with traffic during the summer months.
Of course, fewer boats means less wake from other watercrafts, which makes cruising much smoother and more relaxing. Depending on where you live too, you probably won’t encounter as many noisy party boats with rowdy folks who often forget that other boaters prefer peace and tranquility on the water.
Speaking of peace and tranquility, your favorite fishing spots are likely much less crowded during springtime, bettering your chances of being able to chill on the water and catching the “big one.”
You’ll find boat ramps and fuel docks are not as busy during spring, meaning less time waiting and more time boating. Slip and docking fees tend to be cheaper around this time of year, and spaces tend to be more readily available. Less boaters around also means popular scenic natural waterways are not as crowded. Neither are waterfront/dockside restaurants, which makes it easier to get a table after you dock.
Prepping for Spring Boating
Before you set out for some springtime boating, you need to of course prepare your boat for the season.
Before getting your boat back in the water, wash it off and slap some boat wax on it. Waxing your boat not only makes it look good, but also helps preserve the fiberglass gelcoat. You should wax your boat at least once per year, and if you’ve ever waxed a boat in summer heat, you know the cooler spring months provide much better conditions for taking care of this basic maintenance task.
If you’re thinking of making upgrades to your boat, there’s no better time to do so than early spring. Any additions you make to your boat now you’ll get to enjoy for the entire boating season. So if you’ve been planning on doing some rigging by adding gauges, a new steering system, a depth finder or even a sound system, spring would be the best time to do it.
Tips for Spring Boating
Despite longer days and more sunlight, the weather can quickly turn cold in spring, particularly toward the evening hours.
Bring along plenty of layers of clothing to add on if the temperature suddenly drops. Also, make sure everyone onboard wears a lifejacket or PFD at all times, as the water is still very cold in spring and a person falling overboard can quickly go into shock.
Finally, file a float plan, as fewer other boats on the water means less people around to provide help during emergencies. By filing a float plan, you know there’ll be someone who can raise the alarm if you don’t return as expected.