The most important part of enjoying your boat is boating safety, and with our current health crisis revolving around COVID-19, you need to make sure to stay extra vigilant when it comes to the safety of you and your family if you want to destress and enjoy your boat a little bit. Here at Sheltered Cove, we have set up guidelines with regards to practicing safe social distancing for our customers while at the marina, and with our virtual sales process. It is critical that we do everything we can to maintain safe social practices, and we are doing all that we can to provide reliable information to our friends, family, and customers about boating during this pandemic.
How can I safely practice social distancing while I am boating?
While it may prove to be a bit of a challenge because of the unusual nature in which you have to now perform your routines and activities, you can still enjoy your boat while following safety guidelines:
- Limit the number of people on board to those family members that you are sharing your home with. Absolutely no additional guests.
- When you are at the marina, dock, or ramp, refueling or loading/unloading, make sure to do so carefully and maintain a 6-foot distance between yourself and everybody around you.
- Wash your hands or bring hand sanitizer. If you do something that requires you to touch a publicly-touched item such as a gate lock, dock cart, restroom handle, dock ramp handle, trash can lid, or fuel pump, please make sure to disinfect as soon as possible to prevent infection or cross-contamination.
- Bring supplies with you instead of going to the store to pick up items. This will help to limit the risk of infection.
What if I need mechanical help while boating during the COVID-19 crisis?
This is always a worst-case scenario, but even more so during a time like this: what if my boat breaks down while I am out on the water? Businesses like TowBoatUS and Sea Tow remain active and able to respond for water-towing assistance as needed. The US Coast Guard and most state agencies remain active for search and rescue and emergency situations. However, this information is changing daily, and it is best to check with the latest news and information before you head out if there is a concern.
Disinfecting your boat during the coronavirus pandemic
If you are following guidelines and only boating with family members that you are staying at home with, then you should be okay. But if you want to be extra cautious and disinfect your boat? Who would argue? Make sure to keep in mind that many of the recommended and CDC-approved chemicals can damage some surfaces of you boat. In particular the vinyl and canvas surfaces are susceptible to discoloration and damage if the chemicals are left for too long. The EPA has a list of disinfectants for use against this coronavirus.
We are all going a little bit stir-crazy and are stressed and worried about the current crisis we find ourselves in. As boaters, one of our great mental releases in life is being out on the open water in our boats, especially with our family. It is a great family bonding activity, and one that we can use to decompress a bit. If you maintain social distancing, and double-check all local regulations before you depart, you should be able to get out on the water, feel the wind in your hair, the spray of the salt water, and gain a temporary relief from our current stresses.