Like several states, South Carolina’s Governor Henry McMaster recently reopened waterways for personal watercraft use. Good news for boaters but what does it mean during the pandemic with social distancing in effect? We’ve rounded up some best practices for social distancing while boating.
Keep Your Distance
When it comes to responsibly enjoying boating, safety is paramount. In these trying times of COVID-19, heightened public health and safety guidelines are the new normal. Social distancing, maintaining a healthy six foot or more of separation from others, is in effect, but how does that translate to the rules of the water? Recreational boating can still be enjoyed, but a couple of factors come into play.
Best Practices for Social Distancing While Boating
- Before leaving home, check your local and state guidelines for boating as some rules and regulations have changed in response to coronavirus
- Let a trusted friend or relative know your plans before you head out on the water
- Only boat with immediate household members. Gone are the days of inviting friends and extended family on the boat, at least for now. Check with your state and local municipality to see if there are specific limits as to the permissible number of passengers.
- Practice proper boating safety measures as you normally would while out on the water and remember to wash your hands and sanitize regularly
- Bring your own food, beverages, and emergency supplies in the event that marina store and restaurants are not open
- Beaching, rafting, or mooring up your boat next to another defeats social distancing. Keep a safe distance of six feet or more between your craft and others.
- Don’t forget to social distance at the boat landing, fuel pump and marina. Leave plenty of room between your trailer and someone else’s at the landing. Also, practice social distancing at the fueling station and marina. Be sure to wash your hands and sanitize before and after touching common surfaces like fuel pumps, ropes, or docks. Wear disposable gloves if possible.
- Bring your own anti-bacterial, disinfectant wipes, or sanitizer, like BoatLIFE’s Sanitizer, to wipe down any high trafficked surfaces like doorknobs, handles, seat cushions, steering wheel, fuel pumps, etc.
- As always, if someone in your household is sick, they should stay home to prevent the spread
- Wear a face mask in public places as per the CDC’s recommendations
Always Be Prepared
As new information regarding the virus comes to light, the best preventative measures to fight the spread are to practice social distancing, apply good personal hygiene, and always be prepared. Before you set out for a day on the water, have all your supplies handy. BoatLIFE carries a wide selection of boat care, maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing products to keep personal watercraft in tip-top shape. For a clean bill of boat health, trust BoatLIFE.