Sun protection on the water
As a boater, you may be eager to get underway, but you need to consider sun protection when you’re on the water. The sun can have an unwanted impact on you, from sunburn to boater’s fatigue.
Warm, sunny weekends bring out more boat traffic. If you’ve taken a boating class, you may think you’re a safe boater. But what about the other guy—does he know the rules of the road?
Even if you boat defensively, you may not be as sharp as the day wears on, especially if you become tired and dehydrated.
How to protect yourself
- Put up the bimini if you have one. Run the boat from under its shade. You’ll be cooler, and it will be easier to see your surroundings. UV rays reflect off the water and your boat’s surface, however, so…
- Wear a high-SPF sunscreen, especially if you have fair skin.
- Wear a hat if you don’t have a bimini. The brim will shade your eyes, and you’ll feel cooler.
- Wear good polarizing sunglasses. They will block much of the sun’s UV rays, and you’ll see much better.
- Drink, drink, drink—but not beer or other alcohol, which accelerates dehydration. Water is best, but juices and other fluids are also good. If you and your crew aren’t perspiring or using the head on a hot, sunny day, chances are you’re dehydrated, which can lead to heatstroke.
- Anchor or pull in someplace when you’re tired. Rest will help refresh you.
Remember, there’s no substitute for common sense. Take steps to stay sharp when you’re on the water. –Pete TenBrink
Feel at home on the water
Learn to boat with confidence by taking the Boat Handling course online from America’s Boating Club.