Sigh… with the tail end of summer nearly upon us, boaters are beginning to reluctantly think of what they need to do before the season comes to a screeching halt; boat cleaning and storage, dock removal and the end of the summer boating season. There are still several weeks, however, of boating left, if you are willing to be flexible as temperatures drop and our lakes become more vacant.
As fewer and fewer boaters get out on the water, September and October are fine months for boating. With some slight adjustments to attitude and an understanding that summer boating activities like swimming and sunning are nearly done for the season, being out on the water can still be a great deal of fun. One of the first things to think about is the need to shorten your day on the water. Cooler temperature, especially when the sun is going down may drive you back to dry land.
Or you need to be prepared for a marked drop in temperature as the sun sets. If you would like to brave the cooler temperatures, prepare yourselves with very warm clothing and blankets so you can enjoy night cruises.
You may also need to shorten your day for other reasons, like children’s sporting events, practices, and school responsibilities. If you can get out on a beautiful day for one or two hours rather than the usual four to six or more, seize the moment and enjoy. A shortened boating trip is better than no trip at all. Stay flexible.
Now safety, on the other hand, is nothing to be flexible about at any time of year. Do keep in mind that the water table dropped significantly through the month of August and continues to do so through September. Hazards not normally visible are now exposed or just below the surface. Know your lake, keep an eye out for hazards in areas you are very familiar with and use caution when travelling in the darkening evening hours. If you are unsure of the lake and its hazards, head back to the dock, slip or launch before dusk to ensure the best visibility of potential hazards.
The lower water levels can also prevent you from taking your boat out at your favorite boat launch, so plan ahead accordingly.
In short, get out on your boat and enjoy every minute possible of the 2016 boating season. We hope you are able to take in all this time of year has to offer the boating community; beautiful, dry sunny days, less boating traffic and fishing while cruising our lakes and ponds.
We look forward to seeing you out on the lakes.
Keep an eye out for more boating articles in 2017.
Wishing you happy and safe boating!