Fall Colors & Boating
Make the Most of Fall Boating Season
It’s the end of the boating season! What we wouldn’t give for longer days, bright sunshine, and more time outdoors! Especially this year- Summer was way too short!
But wait—you can?
Fall boating is just an extension of summer-time. After all, it’s great to enjoy your favorite activity for just a few more days.
It’s Time to Enjoy Fall Boating
Fading summer daylight is a disappointment to boaters. However, even the Fall can be filled with silver linings.
Nature’s Beauty in Door County is at it’s best in Fall.
Summer has it’s share of sun, but Fall’s where the real beauty and peace lies. Imagine looking at all those Fall colors you love from the waterside!
If you’ve never taken your boat out in Fall when the leaves turn, you are missing a great adventure. Savor Natures Beauty at it’s best.
How about a picnic? It’s also a great time to fish. There are plenty of bass along the shores.
Fall Is Less Crowded
As the summer sun bids goodbye, so do many of the boaters. But hanging in there brings its share of benefits.
Remember that restaurant you couldn’t get into in July – it’s all yours now!
Walk freely into fuel docks and wade into emptier waterways. If the summer is all about waiting for your turn, Fall is all about being the water king (or queen!).
When the peak season disappears, the best deals and sales make their grand appearance. Boating to Fish Creek, Ellison Bay, Baileys Harbor, or Egg Harbor can be an enjoyable day free of summer crowds.
A new boat at this time of the year is no exception. You might find your dream boat at a bargain price that was hard to imagine during the warmer months!
What to pack when boating in Fall
Bring Extra Blankets
Don’t get caught off guard when the temperature drops. Pack a few extra blankets to keep you warm, especially when catching up over a cup of coffee.
You might not need the blankets when you are out there enjoying the scenery or fishing, but these will come in handy when you gather around in the evening, reliving the day.
Hot Drinks Are A Must in Fall
When the outside gets cold, make a new best friend with hot coffee. (Or cocoa, or maybe tea.) Bring extra. It’s better to have a few extra rather than fall short of it when the temperatures drop.
Don’t forget Lights & Spare Batteries.
Finding your way to your lift in the dark could be challenging if you do not have proper lights with you. Consider a headlamp with extra batteries. Keeping your hands free is an advantage you should not ignore.
What Should You Wear?
Choose warm clothing and layer them up. One of the advantages of layered clothes is that you can easily adjust it to the outside weather. Remove layers if you warm up and begin to sweat.
For example, when the weather is pleasant during the afternoon, wear something light and opt for heavier clothing when the temperatures fall.
The temperature will turn cold, and the winds may pick up, but you’ll be comfortable if you select the right clothing. Wear those extra layers when you feel chilled.
Bring Warm, Dry Clothes
Warm, dry clothes, like sweaters, sweatpants, and socks, are your best friends on a fall boating trip. Pack a variety of clothes and keep them dry so that you’re never too far from dry clothes.
Disposable Hand Warmers – Great idea!
Disposable hand warmers are perfect for all the passengers on board. Hand warmers can be placed inside your gloves so you can enjoy the activities while combating cold hands. Keep your hands toasty warm. A warm hat is essential too.
During Fall, life jackets are essential when hitting the waters and not only because they keep you afloat in case of an accident. A PFD is a vital safety requirement in lower temperatures. It can save you from hypothermia should you fall overboard into freezing waters.
Remember, there are fewer boats out there to rescue you. Choose a PFD with lights or reflective features so rescuers can spot you easily. Be sure your PFD fits over your multiple layers of sweaters, jackets, or sweatshirts. It’s not summer anymore.
Check the weather forecast before heading out to take pictures. In addition to beauty, Fall brings intense storms quicker than you can get to a safe harbor.
With shorter days, it’ll be dark when you finally return to shore. Do you remember how difficult it was to spot familiar objects in the dark? Many of those landmarks have now been taken in for the winter. It’s wise to ensure your navigation charts—both paper and electronic—are up to date.
Lights and Flares
Make sure you have emergency flares, and your navigation lights are in working order. Carry more than one waterproof flashlight so you can find your way in the dark.
A VHF radio could be a lifesaver if you run into a problem. With fewer boaters on the waters, you may find it difficult to wave down help. Sometimes, your cellphone might not catch a Wi-Fi signal. In those cases, use a VHF radio.
A beautiful trip can quickly turn dangerous if you forget to watch the weather. Keep an eye on the forecast throughout the day and plan accordingly. Download a weather app to stay updated at all times, and check it frequently.
Keep your fuel tank full. With fewer boaters on the water, many fuel docks close early. It’s better not to postpone fueling up and carry enough in your tank to return home.
Make sure someone knows you are going out for the day and where you plan to go. Give them your itinerary for the day. Make sure someone on shore has this information. They should know when you plan to return and who to contact if there’s an emergency or you fail to return on time.
While you’d love to sip on a crisp glass of wine while cruising watching the beautiful fall foliage, alcohol quickly lowers your body heat, making you more prone to hypothermia. It’s wiser to leave the booze onshore.
Must-Have Fall Boating Checks
Starter Battery Pack
Batteries work well during the warmer months but might stop functioning when the weather turns cold. Is your battery fully charged?
Hoses and Fittings
Check to see hoses and fittings are tight. Otherwise, in time, you could run into problems.