Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with all the recent issues regarding COVID-19.
As boaters everywhere do their best to navigate these uncharted waters, we'll do our best to serve as a reliable resource in answering many of your questions about boating during the coronavirus—from navigating local boating restrictions and boat ramp closures in your area, to following best practices for social distancing on the water.
Is Boating a Safe Social Distancing Activity?
The short answer is yes, but the long answer is a bit more involved.
First and foremost, all the usual rules apply:
You need to limit the people aboard to those family members you share your home with while on the water, period—no guests.
You also can’t raft up with other boats or pull up onto a beach close to another boat, as that could put you in close proximity with the occupants.
You also have to be careful to maintain a safe distance from others when doing things like loading up at the marina or fueling the boat.
After doing anything that requires touching an item someone else may have touched, like a marina gate lock or a fuel pump, disinfect by washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer as soon as possible.
Finally, to maintain the highest level of safety pack your gear and supplies ahead of time and don’t plan to stop at a store on the way to the marina or launch ramp, as you usually might.
Where Can I Go Boating, and What Boat Ramps are Open in My Area?
Every state and in many cases different municipalities or counties have different regulations in place as to where you can launch a boat during this time of crisis. And these rules are changing by the day.
At Discover Boating, we strongly recommend checking on the legalities before making any trips. One resource you may want to use is our Where to Boat and Fish Tool, which has an interactive map to different boat launches, marinas, tackle shops, and access points. While this map is NOT currently updated with regulations and restrictions regarding COVID-1