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Heatwave Boating Precautions

September 5, 2022 by Sailing Avocet
Summer Sailing

Here on the West Coast of the US we have been experiencing a massive heatwave which has inspired many to seek cooler weather by the coast. For those with boats, they will likely flee the confines of the marina and take to open waters... but that may not save you from the dangers of heat entirely. We came across this article by Jet Dock outlining some heat safety precautions and thought it would be useful to share it here as well. Be sure to check out their website for the original post! 

Boating Heat Safety Precautions

It can be difficult to know just how to stay cool when working outside in the heat for hours at a time. That’s why taking the proper summer heat safety precautions is a must. Follow these summer heat safety tips, and you’ll be cool and comfortable all day long.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most basic (and one of the most forgotten) ways to keep your body cool on hot days is by keeping yourself hydrated. When your body is hot, it perspires as a way to regulate your body temperature. So, you need to frequently replenish liquids in order to remain hydrated on extra hot days. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you need to drink plenty of water in order to keep your body cool. If you don’t drink enough fluids, you may run the risk of getting sick with sun or heatstroke. 

Make sure to bring extra water if you’re going fishing on a particularly hot day. You should be drinking at least one quart of water every hour. We know a cold beer sounds nice, but alcoholic and caffeinated drinks should be avoided. They can ultimately worsen effects from the heat.

Avoid The Hottest Times Of The Day

Try to get the majority of your fishing done during the coolest parts of the day (4 a.m. to 7 a.m.) If you can, avoid going out during the hottest points of the day (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), but if this can’t be avoided, make sure to drink plenty of water. 

Protect Your Eyes

With intense UV rays from the sun while out on the water, it’s important to protect your eyes. Opt for polarized lenses that can help to cut down on the sun’s glare on the water. 

Use Sunscreen

Being out on a boat all day under the hot sun can be extremely dangerous. With no precautions in place, it can lead to sunburns, skin damage and, in some cases, skin cancer. You need to use sunscreen on a regular basis if you want to protect your skin from harmful UV rays; it’s one of the most important hot weather tips we can share with you. And don’t be fooled by cloudy conditions, you’re still at risk even when the sun isn’t out.

Adults should be using a minimum of SPF 15 and children should be using at least 30. When boating or fishing, you should be using a sport sunscreen that’s both waterproof and sweat proof. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going in the sun and make sure to re-apply multiple times throughout the day.

Wear Protective Clothing

Did you know that many fishing gear companies make clothing engineered to not only wick away sweat, but also offer 15 to 35 SPF protection from UV rays? While this is a fantastic option, don’t feel that you have to shell out for an all-new outfit to go fishing. Here are some tips you can likely follow with what's already in your closet.


  • Opt for light, loose-fitting, breathable fabrics in light colors.
  • Don’t count out long-sleeve tops or long pants. By keeping these on hand, you can give your arms and legs a break from the sun while staying cool.
  • Don’t wear shoes or socks (they’re known to trap heat). Instead, wear a pair of sandals or open-toed shoes.
  • Wear a hat, even if it’s a simple baseball hat, in order to keep the sun off your face, neck, ears and shoulders. The wider the brim, the better!


Use The Buddy System

On hot days, it can be a literal lifesaver to utilize the age-old buddy system. Don’t go out fishing alone; bring a fishing buddy, relative or friend along so you can watch out for each other in case someone gets sunstroke.

Bring A Mister

While you’re out the lake or ocean, portable misters are just the thing to cool you down and keep the summer heat at bay. Fill it up with ice cold water and ice cubes in the beginning of the day and you’ll be set for the rest of your boating day trip.

Take Cover

If it’s extremely hot out, sometimes it’s best to just stay out of the sun if you can help it. If your boat has a cabin or shaded area, take breaks whenever you can. If your boat doesn’t have any shade, consider dividing up your fishing outing with a mid-day break and going back to shore for lunch or a nice nap.

Take A Dip

A great way to cool off when the sun gets to be too much is by simply jumping in the water. It’s all around you, why not take advantage of it? By taking frequent dips, you’ll stay cool all day long.


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