What to Wear on a Boat When It’s Cold?

What to Wear on a Boat When It’s Cold?

When the temperatures drop and the winds pick up, staying warm on a boat becomes essential. Whether you’re planning a fishing trip, a leisurely cruise, or any other boating adventure, dressing appropriately for the weather is crucial to ensuring a comfortable and safe experience. In this article, we will guide you through what to wear on a boat when it’s cold, helping you stay warm while enjoying your time on the water.

1. Layering is key:
Layering your clothing is the foundation of staying warm on a boat. Opt for a moisture-wicking base layer that will keep you dry by wicking away sweat. Add a warm middle layer made of insulating materials like fleece or wool, which will help trap heat. Finally, top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer to protect you from the elements.

2. Don’t forget about your feet:
Wearing appropriate footwear is crucial to staying warm and safe on a cold boat. Invest in waterproof and insulated boots to keep your feet dry and warm. Wool or synthetic socks can also provide extra insulation, preventing your toes from freezing.

3. Protect your hands and head:
Since a significant amount of body heat is lost through the extremities, wearing gloves and a hat is essential. Choose gloves that are both waterproof and insulated to keep your hands warm and dry. A hat or beanie made of a warm material like wool or fleece will help to keep your head cozy.

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4. Consider thermal underwear:
Thermal underwear is a fantastic addition to your boating wardrobe when it’s cold. These garments are designed to provide maximum warmth and insulation, making them perfect for layering under your regular clothing. Look for thermal underwear made of moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you dry and comfortable.

5. Bring a cozy blanket or wrap:
In case the chill becomes unbearable, having a cozy blanket or wrap on hand can make a significant difference. Snuggling up under a warm blanket will help retain body heat and keep you comfortable during long boat rides.

6. Pack hand and foot warmers:
If you anticipate extremely cold temperatures, consider packing hand and foot warmers. These small, disposable packets generate heat when exposed to air and can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your extremities warm.

7. Don’t forget about sunscreen:
Even when it’s cold, the sun’s rays can still be harmful. Applying sunscreen to exposed areas of skin, such as your face and hands, is crucial to protect yourself from sunburn and other sun-related damages.


1. Can I wear jeans on a cold boat?
While jeans are a popular choice for many, they are not the best option for a cold boat trip. When wet, jeans take a long time to dry, making them uncomfortable and potentially dangerous in cold weather. Opt for moisture-wicking pants or insulated waterproof trousers instead.

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2. Should I wear a life jacket over my layers?
Yes, it’s important to wear a life jacket at all times when on a boat, regardless of the weather. You can easily adjust your layers to fit comfortably over the life jacket, ensuring both safety and warmth.

3. Are there specific materials I should avoid wearing?
Avoid wearing cotton clothing as it retains moisture and can make you feel cold and uncomfortable. Instead, choose synthetic or wool materials that are moisture-wicking and provide insulation.

4. Can I wear my regular winter coat on a boat?
While your regular winter coat may keep you warm on land, it may not be suitable for boating. Look for a coat specifically designed for water activities, with features like waterproofing, wind resistance, and buoyancy.

5. Is it necessary to wear a hat if I have a hood on my jacket?
While a jacket hood provides some protection, wearing a hat is still recommended. A hat helps retain body heat and provides additional insulation for your head, which is a significant source of heat loss.

6. Should I wear sunglasses even when it’s cold?
Yes, wearing sunglasses is essential even when the sun doesn’t feel as strong. The glare off the water can be intense, and sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and ensure clear visibility.

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7. Can I wear regular gloves on a boat?
Regular gloves may not be suitable for boating as they can become wet and lose their insulating properties. Look for gloves specifically designed for water activities, with waterproof and insulated features.

In conclusion, dressing appropriately for a cold boat outing is vital for your comfort and safety. Layering your clothing, wearing appropriate footwear, protecting your hands and head, and considering additional accessories like blankets and hand warmers will help keep you warm while enjoying your time on the water. Remember to always prioritize safety and enjoy your boating adventures to the fullest.

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