Governors in all 50 states have declared boating a safe social distancing activity—and this is music to the ears of legions of boaters. Ordinarily, there’s nothing like enjoying the fresh air and calming influence of the water . And it’s even more important now. Still, though, there are certain precautions to keep in mind—and you can learn more in our guide, Boating During COVID-19: Tips for Safe Social Distancing .
Regardless of whether you've been boating for years, or this is your first time splashing into this beloved form of outdoor recreation, here's five ways to turn boating into your new favorite, go-to social distancing activity during Summer 2020.
1. Family First
Follow state and federal guidelines (our Public Water Access Map can provide more details on this) by going out only with members of your immediate household.
If you have boating buddies in your area, there’s no issue hailing them on the radio and cruising over to where they are. Just don’t raft up together, or beach your boats next to each other. Instead, as you would on land, keep at least six feet apart.
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2. Embrace the "Social" in Social Distancing
If you’ve already been boating for a few years, you know how friendly everyone is out on the water. Passing boaters wave hello, with regularity. Take the initiative to initiate a quick hi to each of your fellow boaters. It will do wonders for your mindset. Plus, if you have kids, make a game of it, asking them to count how many people wave back.
3. Turn a Cruise into a Vacation On-Demand
Who needs a hotel when your boat has a cabin with a berth? A boat can be the ultimate social-distancing staycation. Anchoring in a quiet cove can feel like you’re miles away from home, even if you’re relatively close by. Just make sure you have 360-degree swing room on your anchor. That’s proper practice even outside of a pandemic.
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4. Go Swimming and Get Active
Who doesn’t love jumping off the swim platform into the water? The good news is, the Centers for Disease Control says there’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water. Regardless, heed local and state restrictions on what waters are open to swimmers.
Watersports are also a great form of exercise, so you can get moving by diving into wakesurfing , wakeboarding , waterskiing or even tubing .
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5. No Boat? No Problem
If you haven’t yet purchased a boat , you’re not out of luck. You can rent , or opt for boat sharing (a.k.a. peer-to-peer rental) . Alternately, you can join a boat club .
While rental operators and boat clubs did see business interruptions during the height of the pandemic, many have since reopened. Double check which ones near you are taking customers, and what their safety policies are. Furthermore, consult our own guide to boat rentals and clubs during COVID-19 .
Also be sure to check out Take Me Fishing's list of 8 Outdoor Activities Near You During COVID-19 .
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