5 Boating Tips for Social Distancing

It’s clear that many people will be turning to boating for their social distancing activity this spring and summer. Here we’ve compiled a few fun and creative “boating-hacks” and tips to help you follow the current best practices. As always, we recommend checking local coronavirus guidelines and regulations in your area to ensure recreational boating is permitted and safe.

#1 – Inner Tubes

Woman on a floating inner tube Inner tubes are a great way to practice safe social distancing around the boat. Photo via Pond5.

Use an inner tube as a floating device around the boat to give you a buffer zone and ensure that you’re safely social-distancing. This is our nod to Fish Tales, an Ocean City, Maryland restaurant having a good time with social distancing and feeding boaters and beach-goers using individual “bumper tables”.

#2 – Noodle Hats

A Pool Noodle Colorful foam pool noodle can be a fun social distancing measurement tool. Photo via Pond5.

Noodle hats? Yes, noodle hats: the perfect two-in-one combo! It sounds weird, but you can keep the sun off your face while practicing social distancing with this creative invention, similar to the hats a German cafe recently introduced. It’s a bit silly but the noodle can be a fun yet effective measurement tool for safe distancing. Hold it out at arms length to give an idea of when you are getting too close to others not in your group.

#3 – Boat Hooks

Boat Hook A boat hook is a great way to grab things off the boat remotely. Photo by SWI Tech America.

Buy a boat hook. If you didn’t have one before, now’s the time to own one. While boaters are known for lending a helping hand, this summer will have limitations with everyone monitoring their distance. It’s a great idea to have a boat hook handy to easily fetch something or loosen a hard-to-reach line on your own. This helps you avoid coming into direct contact with what the CDC calls fomites or common touch points. Remember to keep some sanitizer onboard so you can disinfect the end of the pole after it has touched any fomites.

#4 – Color-Coded Koozies (Can Coolers)

Can Cooler Koozies for Boats Blank black collapsible beer can koozie neoprene beverage cooler and holder. Photo via Pond5.

Can coolers, aka Koozies, of every color. More than ever, you don’t want to mistake your drink for someone else’s. Having a stash of a variety of can coolers to identify your cup or can solves that problem – plus, they are washable and reusable. And of course, they will keep your beverage cold!

#5 – Gardening Gloves

Gardening gloves A pair of gardening gloves can be great onboard a boat. Photo via Pond5.

Grab your gardening gloves. Since sailing gloves don’t have fingers and disposable latex gloves are wasteful and can rip easily, thus falling overboard and harming marine wildlife. Wearing gardening gloves that can be cleaned and reused is a perfect way of protecting yourself when pumping fuel at the dock or whenever contact has to occur.

Stay Safe Out There!

Let’s have fun out there this season, while staying safe and responsible with clever solutions like these. Together we can get through this time of extra precaution and still enjoy many of the aspects that make boating our favorite activity on the planet.

Written by: Jennifer Burkett

Jenny is an avid boater who has worked in the marine industry for years. She developed a fondness for trawlers during her tenure at Kadey-Krogen Yachts and has an affinity for life-on-the-water, contributing articles regularly to Boat Trader, YachtWorld and boats.com. Originally from Chicago, she made her way to Maryland to escape the bone-chilling winter temperatures of the Midwest and to be close to the coastline. She's made Kent Island her home—a location that makes enjoying the Chesapeake Bay a part of her daily life.


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