Boating as we age

Safely boating as we age is something you probably don’t think about to you have to. Face it, every year we are getting older.

Happy Birthday

Even if your birthday doesn’t fall this month, we all get older each year and father time takes its toll on all of us. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your boating experiences.

Tips to keep you Boating safely as we age:

Keep a whiteboard and markers nearby, perhaps mounted near the helm station, to jot down numbers, way points, reminders, Coast Guard reports, weather reports.

Always bring a mate along to be your ears in hard-to-hear situations, and someone who can operate your boat if need be.

Reduce long trips. Leave earlier. Arrive earlier. Don’t push it.

Always use notes and checklists — for shutting the boat down, for starting her up, for all important procedures aboard, especially for operating infrequently used equipment.

Remove obstacles from passageways and decks. Add steps where you have to change levels, like going from the cockpit seat to the cockpit sole. If they might turn into shin busters, use the foldaway type

Keep a good pair of binoculars handy to check buoys and distant landmarks.Invest in high-quality prescription sunglasses with UV protection and non-glare lenses.

Wear your life jacket.

Add safety lines, rails, or higher rails.

Consider adding nonskid surfaces.

Add an electric windlass. Not only does that eliminate the heavy lifting associated with anchoring, it also allows you to get the boat stopped and settled before you go forward.

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to give up your boating experiences.

We Just need to be a little smarter about what you can do safely while boating and how we can do it.