Fall Boating Tips

If you’ve already let out the long sighs of sorrow for the end of summer, don’t worry, there’s still time and great weather to enjoy! In fact, the fall might be one of the best times to go boating all year. It’s no secret that the Chattanooga area is absolutely gorgeous this time of year. Our beautiful city even won an award from TripAdvisor as one of the best weekend getaways in the South! With the beautiful scenery of the Tennessee River Gorge and Chickamauga Lake, we think it’s even better by water. Imagine seeing the changing leaves from the comfort of your boat, feeling the cooler air, and enjoying waters that are less crowded. There’s a lot for you to enjoy before you put your boat up for the winter. Here are a few tips to remember as you venture out during this fall season.

  1. Don’t forget the basic safety things.

Even though there are fewer boats and less activity in the water, you shouldn’t forget about safety. Everyone needs to wear a PFD, and this is even more important with the cool waters and chilly nights. If you do happen to land in the water for some reason, your floatation device will protect you and especially any younger folks on your boat.

  1. Grab your lights

We love the long days of summer, but when you’re on the lake, it’s easy for forget that evening comes earlier this time of year. Shorter days means the darkness arrives earlier, and it might surprise you how far you went out and how far you have to go to get back. The water is more difficult to navigate at night and we’ve seen far too many people run out of gas trying to find their way back to the marina. Check your lights both on and in your boat. Have a waterproof headlamp and flashlight for emergencies and your night docking.

  1. Dress for the Season

Nothing ruins a day out on the water like being unprepared for the elements. Boating in cooler weather can be fantastic, but only if you put your shorts up and get out your long sleeves. The temperature can drop quickly as soon as the sun goes down, so our advice is to bring one extra layer than you think you’ll need. Trust us, someone will need it! Because of the cooler temperatures, it’s easy to forget to wear sunscreen this time of year too. However, sunburns can be even worse this time of the year because the colder weather has already dried out your skin.

  1. Knowledge is Power (and Safety)

Inviting friends and family to join you on the water is great! If you are planning a longer trip on the water, don’t forget to let someone know when you leave and when they can expect you to be back. Time is more critical this time of year, so if you do have a more eventful trip, letting someone know how to get to you will help in a troublesome situation. Our friends at BoatUS are great to have in a pinch if you need a tow. Fallen trees and limbs can be a lot more common, so take extra caution so that you don’t damage your boat.


And don’t forget to stop by our marina for a hot meal, cold weather gear, or to get on our schedule to winterize your boat. Last year was incredibly busy, so we want to make sure you get scheduled early!