These days, vacationing isn’t what it used to be. With cases of COVID-19 surging all across the U.S., you may have fewer options on your trip than you anticipated and quarantining for two weeks immediately after may be required. That is not necessarily true across the board, however. There are some activities that you can still take part in — with only slight modifications. One such activity is boating and sailing.
Relax out on the water on a well-chosen boat rental. Here are some things to consider for safely navigating the waters right now.
When It Comes To Boat Rentals, Prioritize Transparency
Spending the day or several days on a sailboat provides a unique opportunity right now. It is possible to temporarily forget about your worries, relax, and safely do something outside of your normal routine, thanks to sailing and boating. “Contact with water induces a meditative state that makes us happier, healthier, calmer, more creative, and more capable of awe,” Quartz writes.
What makes this activity safer and markedly more feasible during the global pandemic? Boating is an activity that can be done entirely alone, or with just a few people. It is very possible to follow social distancing on a boat.
What you do need to take into consideration are cleaning protocols and sanitation measures. Work with a boat rental company you can trust. Ask if they are doing more thorough cleaning and sanitizing in response to COVID-19. The American Sailing Association (ASA) recommends that rental companies completely wipe down the boat, clean the chartplotter as well as any navigational screens and tools, and disinfect the wheel and tiller.
Wash your hands often and well, avoid touching your face, and wear sailing gloves. “Not only will they protect your hands from a wayward line, but gloves are also another barrier for protection,” the ASA explains.
Keep Your Distance
If you choose boating or sailing as your preferred activity, remember it is still important to follow social distancing guidelines! Social distancing on boat rentals looks slightly different than social distancing in the grocery store. Here is what you need to know:
- Whenever possible, opt for boating or sailing with family or household members only. Currently, boat rentals, boat tours, and sailing lessons are limited to an absolute maximum of six people.
- Be courteous while fueling, beaching, or docking. Under any other circumstances, it possible for things to get momentarily crowded while fueling, beaching, and docking. Keep distancing in mind. Give other boats plenty of room. While fueling, give any boats in line at least a boat length of space. Do not beach right next to another boat. When docking, dock one at a time. If another boat is docking and unloading passengers, be respectful and give them time to secure the boat and unload passengers.
- Now is not the time for parties. While many people rent a boat for a holiday or occasion, you should put this off for the foreseeable future.
- Bring hand sanitizer. Disinfect your hands after touching communal surfaces, like gas pumps and gates.
Think Twice About Group Events And Competitions
If sailing is one of your passions, chances are you may have taken place in a race or sailing competition in the past. Right now, these competitions and group events are not advisable. Instead, consider other ways to test your skills.
Take in-person sailing lessons to brush up on your skills. Wear a mask while on boats with an instructor or anyone else who isn’t from your household. You can also take courses online or download mobile applications that allow you to virtually challenge other boaters or challenge you to test your skills. The ASA’s Sailing Challenge app, for example, tests skills like points of sail and tacking and jibing. Once you have mastered those, you can challenge yourself to complete sailing-related tasks against the clock.
Safely venture out of your home. Spend a day out on the water, enjoying the cool ocean breeze and the wind in your hair. Contact us with any questions you may have about sailing and COVID-19.