How to have a COVID-19 😷 Safe Boating?

Posted Jul 23 2021 in Boating tips

During challenging times like nowadays, health and safety have become a top-priority for all of us while we try to live our lives as before. We've prepared a short how-to guide about safe boating in the following post.

The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the world. The uncertainty of the situation pushed people towards seeking secure ways to get out of the house and savor life. This is where safe boating gets in the spotlight to save the day.

Boating is the ultimate solution to perform social distancing, make memories and have fun with your family or lockdown roomies. No wonder boat rentals have been on everyone’s to-do list lately!

Think about it. When you go sailing, you get to enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature, catch a glimpse of marine life, do water sports and other recreational activities. All that, without a compromise on privacy, sanitation, and coronavirus precautions.

Due to the rising interest in boating tourism, has prepared a detailed list of guidelines for boating safety during the pandemic so that you can ditch health concerns on the shore. 

Importance of COVID-19 Boating Safety 

With the world gradually getting back to normal, ports and marinas are slowly opening up to the public again. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, both boat owners and guests need to follow and apply essential precaution measures. As a result, boat tours and operations can run smoothly with minimized health-related risks.

Note that points listed on our safe boating guide contain best-practice advice, widely researched, and confirmed pre-post. Since we aim to provide relevant and accurate boating safety advice, we have validated all information in this article with authoritative sources.

Please get in touch with your local health authority before you head offshore. Check if there are any compulsory safe boating requirements or regional regulations you need to comply with. Acquiring this information prior to a trip is crucial for boat owners, charter operators, captains, crew, and even the guests who rent a boat. 

COVID-19 Safe Boating Guidelines

boat sanitising
Sanitizing the boat is crucial during COVID-19

Sanitize the boat

Sanitation is essential for safe boating in pandemic times, thus, boat rental operators must ensure their vessel has been sanitized in between bookings. That means all amenities, onboard furniture, decor, and surfaces must be wiped clean and disinfected, before renting the boat out to a new group.

Follow a embark & disembark protocol

One of the top COVID-19 precautions for boating safety is ensuring all guests and crew stay safe when getting on and off the watercraft. Observe and correct passenger behavior on public marine facilities - strive to enforce mandatory social distancing, and require face protection on land.

Lower guess capacity 

Capacity limitations make social distancing easier and assure the boat is not overcrowded. Reducing the number of passengers on your boat is key to safe boating since it lowers the risk of virus transmission. 

Encourage social distancing

Inform passengers of obligatory physical distance requirements. State them on the listing, then send a reminder right after the booking is completed. The best way to guide clients and ensure safe boating is to tape or mark the floors, seats, and decking areas. Install a transparent barrier between guests and crew wherever distancing is harder to achieve (bar, food stall, etc).

Crew & guest hygiene 

Proper hygiene is the ultimate way to protect guests and staff. So avoid touching your face at all times and be cautious at what you come in contact with. Wash your hands as frequently as possible, especially when you have been touching dirty or widely used surfaces on board. 

COVID-19 Safety Tips for Charter Operators, Tour Agents, and Captains


hand sanitiser
Provide protective gear & supplies

Provide protective gear & supplies

La navegación segura requiere el uso de equipo de precaución como guantes, máscaras, cubiertas para zapatos, protectores faciales, etc. Es responsabilidad del administrador de la embarcación proporcionar esos suministros a la tripulación y dejar suficiente equipo para que lo utilicen los arrendatarios. Los operadores deben suministrar a todas las instalaciones del barco desinfectante para manos y toallitas con alcohol para una rápida desinfección de la superficie.

Stop accepting cash payments

Safe boating requires the usage of precautionary equipment like gloves, masks, shoe covers, face shields, etc. It is the boat manager’s responsibility to provide those supplies to the crew and leave enough gear out for the boat renters to use. Operators should supply all boat facilities with hand sanitizer and alcohol-infused wipes for fast surface disinfection.

Optimize boat rental availability

Optimize the availability for safe boating by slightly increasing the period between each booking, for sanitation reasons. Such a management decision will ensure your next guests get to enjoy a safe journey on a properly cleaned and disinfected boat. 

Present boating safety protocols

It is advisable for safe boating guidelines to be visible in the boat listing. Or at least communicated with guests right after booking and promptly before boarding. Put up informational signage to remind and encourage passengers to follow the boat safety protocol. 

Restrict gear access

Restrict access to widely-used and communal equipment. If guests have booked an on-board activity, provide individual disinfected gear for each passenger. Arrange a no-contact gear pickup and ensure equipment is sanitized after every usage. 

Allocate transmission points 

What a better way to stop potential risks than identifying the crucial points on board? These are the areas where people are most likely to socialize, take part in group activities or touch the same surfaces. Once you allocate the transmission points, you can establish internal procedures to minimize exposure and improve your sanitation practices.

Promote self-service

Encourage guests to self-service whenever it is possible. For this COVID-19 safety practice to work, consider providing sealed goods, beverages, and edibles to the passengers in advance. Any other solution, with no direct contact between crew and guests, will work as well.

Add precautional signage & markings

Adding signage and floor marking is a rather effective way to approach and guide guests through your COVID-19 safe boating policies. Signs and floor stickers allow boat renters to navigate themselves around the vessel and comply with virus safety rules.

Floor stamping is utilized to zone out accessible areas and affirm social distance requirements. Wall and vertical signs can be used to state boarding procedures and encourage boating safety.  Visual signage also allows you to restrict entree and communicate capacity limits of designated areas.

Improve on-board airflow

Another great safe boating tip is to ensure fresh air flows through the cabin facilities at any possible time. Opening on-board windows and doors will significantly improve ventilation and lower the levels of potentially harmful buildup. 

Perform a regular health check

One of your main safe boating responsibilities as a captain is to make sure your staff is healthy and thriving. Hence in times like these, it is crucial to monitor your crew’s physical state. Health checks amidst pandemics can not only prevent virus transmission but save lives as well. So if any of your workers, or even your customers, feel unwell or develop COVID-19 symptoms - ask them to stay home. recognizes the COVID-19 situation in every country and state is different. Consequently, our most important tip for safe boating is to consult your local health authorities and communicate the on-board measures. Comply with the local preventive rules & regulations and assure guest safety at all times.

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