The Mystic Lifestyle is all about enjoying your boat no matter what the season. And autumn is definitely the most colorful time of the year for boating across much of the country. While some boaters limit their on-water adventures to the warmer summer months, we think they might be missing out on what many of their fellow boaters consider one of the nicest times to be out on the water.
Mystic’s M4200 center console, M3800 center console, and C4000 catamaran are all designed with fall fun in mind. Styled for comfort, safety, and performance, our custom luxury boats are ideal for cruising in the autumn weather. From “sterngating” to checking out boating shows and events, here are some of our favorite suggestions for getting the most out of your Mystic boat this fall.
Boating Fun on Perfect Autumn Days
Boaters who delay pulling their boats for their season so they can experience some perfect fall days on the water are richly rewarded for their decision. Cool, crisp, and calm air coupled with bright sunshine makes autumn boating pretty special. Here’s how to enjoy the remaining weeks of fall before having to winterize your boat.
1. Leaf Peeping
There’s simply nothing that compares to taking in the crimsons, golds, and oranges of fall foliage from a boat. The bright colors reflecting on the water give the view a magical appearance. Favorite destinations across the country include the Columbia River Gorge, Lake Tahoe, Mackinac Island, and the Hudson River Valley. Most fall foliage peaks by November, but the farther south you go, the later you’ll still be able to take in the gorgeous views.
2. Night Fishing
Most people think of fishing as a summer event because the hours of daylight are much longer. But who says you can’t fish after the sun sets? Some boaters like to launch in the evening for their nighttime fishing. Whichever way you choose, be sure to wear reflective clothing and check that all your lights are charged or given fresh batteries before you head out.
Fishing tournaments are another popular pastime up and down the East Coast in the fall. The tournaments range from single-day experiences to weekend-long events.
If you like tailgating, you’ll love sterngating, too, as it’s a fun way to entertain friends aboard your boat! Hot dogs, burgers, chips, and refreshing drinks are followed by watching the game on your boat’s TV, tablets, or listening to it on the radio. It’s a terrific way to combine two incredible experiences into one fantastic day.
4. Check Out Boating Events and Shows
Autumn is typically filled with boating shows and events to let the water sports crowd get a glimpse of what’s coming up for the following year. This year, the International Boat Show in Fort Lauderdale, or what the hosts bill as “The Greatest Boat Show on the Seven Seas,” will be held from October 27 to the 31st. Attendees can enjoy events and exhibits like the Superyacht Village, Windward VIP Experience, Hook the Future, and more.
Now in its sixth year, Maryland’s Wine on the Water Fest will take place on October 16 and 17 at Kurtz’s Beach along the beautiful Chesapeake Bay shoreline. Other locations like North Lake Tahoe, Saugatuck, and Naples, Florida hold similar wine-related events.
5. Fall Camping
Camping in the autumn is a whole different experience from summer camping. Cooler nights mean more time around the campfire or pit toasting marshmallows, and there’s something extra special about that first cup of coffee on a brisk fall morning. Just cruise your way to a national park campground or nearby island and pitch a tent or two. You’ll come away relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on the workweek.
6. Dash and Dine
It’s always fun visiting favorite dockside restaurants in the summer, but it can also be humid. Dining al fresco in the fall can be much more pleasant. Plus, you get to enjoy all those pumpkin spice-flavored beers and hot toddies!
7. Bird Watching
This is also a great summer activity, but the birds you’ll see in the fall are often quite different from the ones you see during the summer months, am migratory species make their way to warmer, southern climes. Back off the throttle and then use your binoculars and birding guidebook to start checking off all the types of birds you don’t see during other seasons.
8. Autumn Cruising
Cruising on a center console never gets old. There’s always something new to see, and you invariably seem to return to the dock with some new perspectives on how enjoyable boating can be.
There’s a lot of joy to autumn cruising experiences. It’s quieter out on the water, you rarely have to wait in line for a launch lane, and you’ll have plenty of water space to yourself for tow-sports and other water activities. As you explore beautiful natural sights on and around lakes, rivers, and oceans, you’ll feel stress slip away and a feeling of peace with Mother Nature creep in.
All of these fall activities are terrific ways to squeeze just a bit more fun out of the year!
Fall Boating Fashion and Accessories
From comfy sweaters to gorgeous scarves, nearly everyone loves fall fashions. As the weather turns chilly, now’s the time to don your insulated apparel to keep you comfy and warm on deck or out on the water. Insulated water wear and wet suits are available in a wide range of fabrics, styles, and colors, each offering a different level of comfort depending on the water temperature or activity.
You’ll also want to stock up on some boat accessories that make your center console or catamaran more comfortable during the cooler months. Options include:
- Portable canvases that convert open cockpits into fully enclosed “cabins” in just a matter of minutes.
- Panels of transparent isinglass custom cut to be temporarily placed in different locations to cut the colder wind while still allowing a clear view of your surroundings.
- Portable boat heaters, including 12-volt models that are ideal for additional warmth in the cabin or cockpit.
- Single-use and reusable versions of chemical and rechargeable heating pads to keep fingers and toes warm. You can also buy adhesive-backed heating pads that you place on your clothing over your neck or lower back to help keep your body’s core temperature at a comfortable level.
And just like you do for summer cruising, don’t forget the sunblock! The sun may not be as intense as it is during the hotter months, but you can still get burned while spending a day or two out on the open waters. It doesn’t matter if you choose a spray, lotion, or rub-on stick; they all work equally well.
What to Keep in Mind For Fall Boating
The arrival of fall’s shorter days and cooler temperatures does present a few unique challenges to boaters. Here are a few tips on how to prepare.
- Whether it’s due to drought or intentional draw-downs, fall is when many popular boating waters exhibit their lowest levels of the year. You should be aware of the water depth at all times and stay alert for underwater obstructions that weren’t a concern in the summer when water levels were higher.
- Fog can also be a challenge in many areas, particularly early in the day, and shorter days mean more time spent boating in the dusk or dark. If you’re accustomed to summertime boating, sudden fog and earlier sunsets can change your perspective, even in waters you’ve frequently cruised. Make sure your boat’s navigational lights are working properly, and check that the emergency flares haven’t expired. It’s also a good idea to carry a few waterproof flashlights and extra batteries for illumination when unloading passengers and gear at the dock after dark.
- Near-solitude may be nice for enjoying fall on the water, but it can quickly become a liability if you have a boating emergency or break down. In the summer, it’s usually far easier to find other boaters in the vicinity who can assist you. And many locations cut back their on-water law enforcement presence once the boating high season is over. So, you shouldn’t plan on seeing as many water patrol boats as you do earlier in the year. To avoid running into problems, check to make sure all your gear, like the VHF radio and cell phone, is working and has adequate power.
- It’s chilly out there! Remember, you’re dressing to handle the colder water temperature, not necessarily the cooler air. Don’t forget to bring along any extra layer or two of clothing, even if you feel perfectly warm ashore. And even if the sun is shining brightly when you launch, be sure to have rain gear aboard, as autumn is notorious for fast-moving storms.
- Always wear a life jacket. The water is colder, and an accidental fall overboard can quickly result in hypothermia. By law, children 12 and under must wear a life jacket any time a boat is underway. But it’s always a good idea for adults to wear them, too, especially at night. Invest in life jackets that have lights attached to them so it’s easier for rescuers to find you in the water. Make sure to get them in the correct size, too, as they need to fit over bulkier fall layers like sweatshirts and jackets.
- Keep an eye on the sky, as autumn storms approach quickly and unexpectedly. They also tend to pack a lot more punch than summer rain showers. Check the weather report before you head out and continue to consult reports for updates. And keep an eye out for approaching fronts, as conditions can change quickly.
- It may seem like overcautious advice, but don’t forget to fully gas up before you go. Some fuel docks close earlier in the fall, as there are fewer boaters who need their service. So, don’t assume there will be a fuel dock open when you want to fuel up for the trip home.
Finally, before welcoming guests aboard for a late-season boat cruise, make sure everyone understands the chilly conditions they might face and have them prepare accordingly. That way, everyone can comfortably and safely enjoy what can be a very special time on the water.
Fall Adventures on Your Mystic Custom Luxury Boat
One other tip before we leave you to your autumn cruising. If you’re new to boating, you might still be skittish about docking at crowded marinas or piloting your boat into lock chambers on large river systems. Fall can be the perfect time to get past your nervousness by honing your seamanship skills when there’s more room to maneuver the boat. Autumn’s uncrowded waters can give you the space and time you need to practice and practice some more! And come next summer, you’ll have the confidence and skills to meet new challenges.
Fall cruising is unlike any other boating experience. If you’re ready to spend some of your fall downtimes out on the water, there’s no better way to do it than in a Mystic custom luxury speedboat. Whether you’re taking in the autumn scenery from your M3800, M4200, or C4000, you’ll be doing it on a custom boat built to your exact specifications, needs, and boating style. To learn more about how our powerboats balance speed and luxury and offer season after season of water-based enjoyment, schedule a personal consultation by contacting us online today.