Whether it is alone time, a staycation, or social distancing due to the COVID-19, there is no better place to be than on the water. The healing power of nature and engaging in our favorite hobbies, such as recreational boating, does wonders for our health. Not to mention, eases the mind from constant stress and anxiety of the outside world. You can still have fun on the water while doing it safely for your sake and others. Here are some boating do’s and don’ts to remember while practicing social distancing to ensure your safety at local marinas and on the water.
One of the most important things to do before heading out on the water is to plan ahead. If your boat is located at a marina, call ahead to request your boat be launched and ready to go upon your arrival. This will help you avoid long waits and will help ensure marinas are following social distancing guidelines.
Also, be sure to pack all of your essentials including food, water, sunscreen, and social distancing supplies; such as gloves and disinfecting wipes. It’s recommended that you wear gloves while handling shared lines, carts, and pumps.
If you are fueling up on the water and the marina has a fuel dock, call ahead of time to make sure they are open for business; some fuel docks are closed for the time being.
When you arrive at a marina avoid public restrooms. Restrooms carry a high risk of spreading the virus. If it is an emergency, make sure not to touch your face and do bring hand sanitizer.
Also, following CDC guidelines, it’s for your safety that you do limit passengers to your immediate household. This is recommended to prevent any kind of contact with boaters outside your family that pose the risk of having the virus.
When you head to the marina a few things you want to avoid doing is entering the ship store, boat shop, or marina office if you have not made a prior appointment. Boaters should call ahead if any supplies are needed for your trip. That way, the marina can have them situated and ready to go before your arrival. This will ensure a fast and easy checkout while following distancing measures.
Another boating tip that you should not do, is to raft up with others while out on the water. Instead, find a secluded spot away from other boaters and crowds to ensure your safety from the virus. A tip for guaranteeing you are far away enough from others, anchor your boat where it can swing without hitting any other boats.
Last but not least, don’t boat irresponsibly. Boating rules still apply, so make sure you are boating sober, keeping sound levels down, and your wakes within 200 feet of shore or other boats. Also, ensure you have the correct number of life jackets aboard and use proper boating etiquette.