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Dont Let the Cold Weather Scare You Away From Boating

Once again, it's that time of year where the weather is cooling off and many of us are putting our boats away for the season.  Is it just me or does it seem like summer went by too quickly?  If you are like me, you really don't want to put your favorite floating toy up until spring.  Do we really need to do that?

Let's think about this for a bit.  There are plenty of things we can still do with our boats over the winter months.  Don't misunderstand me.  I know that if you live in upstate New York and you keep your boat on a trailer in your back yard, you are going to have to winterize. But do you really have to leave it there until spring?  Here are some things that you can do to enjoy the boating lifestyle during the winter months and make the boating off season on season.

Fall Foliage Cruise

Fall is an awesome time to cruise local rivers and lakes to check out the colorful showcase that nature presents.  The air is cool and crisp but not so cold that you can't enjoy a nice cruise on a sunny day.  There is no better view of the fall colors than from the water.  Pack a picnic basket, grab the family and go.
There is no better place to view fall colors than from the water.

Holiday Parades

There are many boating destinations that organize floating Christmas parades on the water.  It's a great opportunity to decorate your boat with your favorite holiday lights and cruise with the rest of the winter boaters for a good cause.  Even if you don't participate in the event, you can be a spectator.  Grab a thermos full of hot chocolate and go!

Check and see if there is a boat parade of lights in your area.

Take Advantage of a Sunny Day

Sometimes you get that unexpected beautiful sunny, warmer than average day in the middle of winter.  If the water is not frozen, your boat will still float.  Why not take advantage of it?  Don't forget, if your boat has a full canvas package, it may be 50 degrees outside but if the sun is shining, the resulting greenhouse effect will keep you nice and warm on deck.  It may mean winterizing again afterwards but it's not really that hard and just may be worth it to get your mid-winter boating fix.

A full enclosure (camper top) can keep you warm even when the weather is chilly.

Time to Hit the Road

If you live up north and your boat is trailerable, why not hook it up to your tow vehicle and head south for some well-deserved boating in a warmer climate?  It serves as a nice mid-winter break from the cold weather and it's a good way to chase away the cold weather blues that tend to get to most of us boaters.  If you don't feel like towing your boat that far, or if your boat is not trailerable consider renting one at your destination.

If your local body of water is frozen, you can always head south.

Doing it up the Right Way

Last but not least, you can always do what my friends Cyndi and Sheldon did.  Pack up your stuff move onto the boat, give winter the finger and head south to the Bahamas for the winter (read my article from April 20 of this year).  Just be careful because you just may not want to come back.

The ultimate way to spend the winter.

Whatever you do this winter, don't feel like you have to forget that you are a boater.  Just remember: Wherever there is a will, there is a way.

Happy Boating

Captain Frank
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  1. They are soft--I will have to sharpen some of the tips after a couple of weeks of throwing. But that is an advantage, as the harder a knife is and find out this here, the more likely it is to break. Their inside edges are a bit sharper than they should be. I feel like my hand sometimes gets micro cuts from the edges.

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