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May 28, 2020

Sea Tow Social Distancing When BoatingFrom Discover Boating

Boating safety is always—always—a critical consideration whenever you push off the dock, but with all the recent issues regarding COVID-19, many people are wondering if boating is considered a safe social distancing practice. 

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, 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.

Your Boat

Like many solid surfaces, the parts of your boat could temporarily house the COVID-19 virus. As long as you keep boating between you and your family, your boat in and of itself shouldn’t be any problem.

After disinfecting be sure to give your boat a thorough wash-down. The most important thing overall is simply to maintain a clean boat; see Discover Boating’s How to Clean a Boat Guide to keep things ship-shape.