'Tis the season for winter boating! In the temperate regions across Texas, boat enthusiasts know that life on the water isn’t simply a summer-time activity. Winter is as good of a time as any to take your boat out. In fact, in some cases, winter is an even better time. Bron Beal, Executive Director of the Dallas Winter Boat Expo shares the following tips to make winter boating enjoyable and safe.
Enjoy the Scenery
In summer, sometimes we’re too busy splashing in the water to notice nature. Late fall and early winter can produce stunning scenery. Sea or lake fog, resulting from warm air over cool water, can be beautiful, so take along your camera. Some outdoor stores even organize canoe and kayak tours this time of year.
Wide Open Waterways...and Docks and Boat Ramps
Since fewer boaters are out on the water, marinas often have lower rates. There’s wider availability of slips, too. Chances are local restaurants and shops will be less crowded as well.
A variety of fresh- and saltwater fish are available in wintertime, like bass, muskie, and red snapper. Take your own boat or book a fishing charter. If you take your own boat, consider using a net to keep the fish over the side if temperatures are near freezing. This keeps drips from freezing inside the boat.
Dress for the Weather
Even if the average highs in your area remain in the upper 50s or even mid-60s, be mindful that as the sun goes down, so, too, do temperatures—quickly. You need clothing that repels water from the outside yet allows breathability for moisture release (AKA sweat) from the inside. Wear layers and take along warm extra items and blankets. They’re especially important if you get wet.
Check Your Batteries
Batteries drain much more quickly in cold weather than in warm, and boat with a dead battery is, as they say in the nautical community, not good. So, double-check the charges before and after each trip. This includes your navigation and communications electronics.
Attendees at the Dallas Winter Boat Expo, presented by the United Boat Dealers of North Texas, will see the latest models of marine accessories and boats, from runabouts and family cruisers to fishing boats, ski boats, pontoons and sailboats all in one place. With free, convenient parking, Dallas Winter Boat Expo is a nautical dream event for avid boaters and curious families alike. Guests will get their first look at next-generation boats, technologies, and products during this signature winter event that runs from Jan. 31-Feb. 2 and Feb. 6-Feb.9, 2020 at Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75207