When Is It Too Hot To Go Boating? Asking For A Friend.

Beating the heat out on the bay

With the current heat wave passing through us, is it safe or even smart to go classic boating? To be honest, I have no idea. Sure, its great to head out into the bay and plop yourself into a swim area, or as you move along the wind breaks the heat. I get all that.

Tangier Island

I gotta say that heading out at noon, with the heat, the sun, kinda is not really all that fun. Mix in the fumes and so on. Is it fun? I suppose it all depends on the boat you are using. Of course one more reason to own several. And for sure a canvas top.

Plaid top!

So, I am asking. Am I alone in my “friends” thoughts. BTW, of course early morning and sunsets are always great.

are these sorta tops just little ovens?

The top on WECATCHEM has a small area so it can let air in. WHICH I LOVE.


16 replies
  1. Slats
    Slats says:

    Too hot to go boating? That’s like saying the bacon is too tasty or the beer is too cold. I will add that air flow is key. The fold down windows on the triples and push out windows on Lymans and Sea Skiffs make a HUGE difference.

    • Gary warnan
      Gary warnan says:

      I like the sun but there is a time that’s it’s too hot! Just like golf, when it’s hot it’s hot! I hate the heat and I live the sun, but not when it’s miserable and hot!

    • John
      John says:

      The heat index in my neck of the woods, northern Illinois, was 101 on Saturday. That was 93 degrees plus 92 percent humidity. Not sure about you folks down in Virginia, but up here that’s darn hot. And although I did just have the original Bimini Top for my Lyman remade, the thought of baking on hot mahogany and struggling to breath air that is nearly liquid just didn’t seem appealing to me. So my trailer boat spent the weekend in her dark and relatively cooler garage and her captain and crew spent the weekend in the great air-conditioned indoors except for the time we spent at the pool. Maybe we’re weaklings, but boating isn’t supposed to be punitive!

  2. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    Don’t shoot me, but mid day is for the pontoon. Stop every fifteen minutes and jump in. Save Rabbit for mornings and sunsets on super hot days.

    Yes, I own one of those damn things. It basically serves as a big comfy patio at the dock. And actually, it’s one of those deck boats with an I/O and fiberglass hull. I call it the “mullet boat”: Party on the top, all business on the bottom.

  3. Russ
    Russ says:

    I find as I age my tolerance for baking in the sun has diminished. Therefore, based on the Woodie Boater demographic, I would infer that most woodies are tied up at the dock during heat waves.

    Conversely, I recall heading down the lake by myself to take out my Hacker for the season on a cold, nasty/rainy late fall day. My gore-tex parka was continuously doused with spray. But I was surprised by a thought: “You know, I’m having fun!” Go figure…

  4. Ben Lasher
    Ben Lasher says:

    Agree on the need for a top as age progresses. I am a Lyman owner without a ventilating windshield. When we put the top up, it is an oven. I think I almost killed my mother in law last year on a hot day with the top up. She turned all red!

    Anyway, a windshield modification has been on my project list for a few years now. Now that I have most everything else done, maybe I’ll get to that this winter!

    I will say, however, that oven is great in cold temps. I put up the top and put on the side curtains and you can go for a ride in a snow storm!

    • Dave Nau
      Dave Nau says:

      A top with some way to get air in (ventilating windshield or space between windshield and top, as Matt shows) is the best way to go. The top is essential Gets you out of the sun and lets some air through the cockpit

      I added a vent to the windshield of Big Red.

    • Rick F
      Rick F says:

      I on the other hand do have a Lyman with opening windshields and a top. You wouldn’t even have to ask yourself those kind of questions. Top up, windows open to max, then open up that 70 HP outboard and don’t stop until it’s time to pull it out or dock it (that’s the sucky part…). Best options you could ever have on a boat!!! (And a built-in fuel tank under the seat to enjoy it longer)

    • Gregory Cooper
      Gregory Cooper says:

      Although it’s hard to see in the photo, our Lyman bimini was modified to work as a temporary mooring cover and it has a flap over the windshield for air.

  5. Damon
    Damon says:

    The top on Ginger, Century’s sliding convertible top, is the most impractical top ever. I’d say it is the sexiest though. Low and sleek and not a bunch of straps and bars. There is about a 12′ gap between top and engine box to slither through then climb over the front seat BUT once settled after several hours of sun lounging, you slide the top forward, latch in place and cruise home in a breezy shaded front seat, it feels great.

  6. Jeff Funk
    Jeff Funk says:

    It’s never too hot with a good Bimini and a ventilating windshield. Ok, a well-stocked cooler on board helps too.

  7. Bert
    Bert says:

    In May this year during a heat period I looked over all my woody books, old folders and the internet for elegant classy sun (or rain) cover idea’s. A soon I choosed what solution I liked most…..the heat was gone. So far a nice old style parasol worked best when we are not cruising.

  8. Robert Paul Attfield
    Robert Paul Attfield says:

    An unrelated question, if I may. How do you deal with the salt in your cooling systems, when boating in salt water? Do you have to flush the engine after each use? (This is not an issue in Canadian and American lakes of course.)

  9. Matt
    Matt says:

    Stay tuned, we are actually working on a story on the topic. We live on Saltwater and have some tips and observations. Great minds!

Comments are closed.