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Keeping Cool Aboard Your Boat

Yes, boating is one of the best ways to beat the heat. However sometimes, the weather is just so hot and still that even the relief found aboard the boat needs a little help. The next time that happens, try these tips to raise your boat’s chill factor.

Splash The Deck: Water evaporating provides a cooling effect. Use the wash-down hose, or a bucket, and splash down your fibreglass or wood cockpit sole. (If your boat’s sole is covered in glued-down carpet, this tip may not be for you) Doing so will noticeably drop the “local” temperature and provide relief.

Install Hatches Hinges Aft Deck hatches, or those in hardtops, are best installed so that they are hinged aft. This way, while anchored, any breeze will flow into the boat when the hatches are open. Some hatches are installed hinges forward on the premise that they will simply close, instead of ripping out, should a careless captain in a fast boat take off into the wind.

Wet you’re clothing and yourself is an obvious way to keep cool and the slow evaporation also has a cooling effect. Just make sure your sunscreen is waterproof.

Staying Hydrated is simple: Perspiration is one way your body regulates its temperature. In hot and humid conditions, you need to frequently replenish liquids lost to sweat so you remain hydrated. If you don’t take in enough fluids, you run the risk of getting sick with dehydration or with sunstroke. Drink a lot of fluids and drink often. It’s best to drink plenty of water and not just take a few sips now and then. Make it a habit to pack extra water so there’s plenty for everyone.

Drinking before you feel thirsty is another rule of thumb to stay hydrated. When your body sends out a signal for thirst, you’re already dehydrated. If you feel thirsty, drink plenty of water to replenish your fluid levels.        

Stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. These will cause you to lose fluids as both are diuretics and will cause you to urinate frequently. If enjoying these kind of drinks make sure you have a few extra glasses of water to compensate for lost liquids. Also, note that when hydrated urine will be clear. When it’s a dark yellow, you’re dehydrated and need to drink lots of water. It is even a good idea to stock some sport drinks or juices. These help to replenish salts, sugars and other minerals lost from excessive perspiration.

Keeping your head protected is important during hot, sunny conditions. Without a hat you’re tempting fate and a case of sunstroke. A wide brim hat will protect your face, ears and neck from the sun’s rays.

Most sunglasses sold today will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. For anglers, polarized lenses will cut down on the sun’s glare on the water, letting you spot fish and underwater structure. Wrap-around options are extremely popular as they hug the face and do an excellent job blocking out the sun. We stock marine sports sunglasses that are functional and look very cool.   

Using sunscreen on a regular basis is critical to protecting your skin from UV rays. Not using sunscreen increases your chances of getting skin cancer or may result in other skin damage, like sunburns. Keep in mind that the sun’s rays can reflect off the water’s surface and cloudy conditions still call for sunscreen. Use 30 SPF rating. Ensure you apply sunscreen liberally at about 20 minutes before you’re in the sun for maximum protection.

Consider using sport sunscreens when fishing. These products are fairly waterproof and sweat proof, resulting in better protection. Sunscreen should also be reapplied as necessary. This is especially true if you’ve gotten wet or have been sweating a lot.

Also, carry a stick of lip balm with a SPF 15 rating and use it often. Make sure you cover you ears.

Get the Right Clothing for Sun Protection & Moisture-Wicking: Clothing made especially for anglers is designed for sun protection. Some sportswear fabric offers sun protection, with 15 and 30 SPF ratings being common. Often these clothes feature moisture-wicking and quick-drying features that will also help you keep cool. Look for vented cape backs in shirts for maximum ventilation.

It’s important to have long sleeve shirts and pants on hand. You can use convertible pants when fishing. When you feel your legs have had too much sun, zip the pant legs back on for 30 minutes or so you give your skin a rest from the sun’s rays. Do the same trick with a light-weight long-sleeve shirt to protect my arms.     

If you’re standing and fishing all day in sandals, it won’t take long for your toes to get burnt if you’re not prepared. Regularly apply a lot of sunscreen to your feet and don’t be shy putting on some ultra-light socks or switching to shoes if your feet get too hot. Also don’t neglect your hands. If you’re landing and releasing fish all day, sunscreen can quickly wash off, so reapply often. Also consider sun gloves that are specifically designed to protect hands from UV rays, but allow you to do all things fishing related, like tie knots, cast and reel, and so on.        

In extreme conditions, it’s sometimes best to stay out of the sun entirely. Consider dividing up your outings with a mid-day break. The sun’s rays are often the strongest between 10 a.m.-2 p.m., a perfect time for a shore lunch or a siesta in the shade. Of course, if your boat has a top this is a great feature to stay in the shade. Purchasing a bimini top is an easy way to ensure you’ve got some sun protection on you’re fishing rig. We have a selection of bimini’s at Northcoast Boating for you to choose from.

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