• JJB Marine Specialists

Back to Boating; but how different is it?

With the growth of coronavirus, the industry grew more uncertain by the day. Read on to see our advice on boating with the virus!

With the lockdown being gradually lifted, some forms of sport and some leisure activities are becoming more available and, importantly, acceptable - including boating. Government guidance published on 13th May stated that 'all forms of water sports practiced on open waterways... is allowed'. Rivers are opening up and down the country so there is still hope for the season yet!

Whilst this is the good news, as mariners, we have to adapt to the new way of life as best as we can. For us marine engineers, this poses more challenges in order for us to complete our work - after all, how can you go boating without a marine engineer? In todays blog post, we are going to share with you what we have learnt and how you can be safe too.

Planning Ahead

Our first bit of advice is seemingly common sense so you might be surprised at how often mariners forget- us included! When the lockdown was first announced many rivers and boating areas chose to close for the safety of their users. As time has progressed and the lockdown starts to get lifted, many rivers have chosen to open up; our local river, the river Exe, certainly has!

However, as with many decisions, this particular one is taken at a local level meaning that some areas have chosen to keep their rivers closed with your safety in mind. As with many things, planning ahead will avoid confusion!

Similarly, its important to check your insurance, the safety of your boat and that you have all of the relevant paperwork. You can see our blog post on pre-season checks by clicking here! With many businesses halting their services due to the rise of the coronavirus, you may find that you are unable to get up-to-date insurance or unable to find information at the moment. We must stress that you should not go boating without insurance and without having ensured the safety of your boat. Your safety is paramount - if you can't ensure the experience will be safe, consider going without.

Social Distancing

Being probably the most important aspect to preventing coronavirus and likely to be around for a long time, we believe this can be dealt with quite well when out on the water. Ensuring you are boating with your household only, there should be no obstacle to getting out on the water!

When considering preparing to launch and the essential nature of a marine engineer to this process, its important to keep at least two metres distance whenever you meet. We know that, here at JJB Marine Specialists, we keep this in mind at all times. Being a family business, we have the added bonus of having some of our household as our employees to ensure we can complete the work effectively and professionally. You know that, by choosing us, your safety will not be compromised.

Another aspect to consider is getting to your vessel and mooring. For many people, and many of our customers, their moorings are only accessible through water taxis or small tenders. As with above, some companies may not be running and so planning ahead is vital.


By cleaning we mean both the boat and your hands! We know by now that soap and water is the best way to kill off the virus and it is paramount that we continue these practises of good hygiene, even if you are only boating with your household. It's also a good idea to wipe down surfaces after you have used them and to fully clean your boat after you are done.You never know who may come into contact with your household or your boat without planning so it won't hurt to be on the safe side!


A final point we want to discuss is the idea of emergencies. A couple factors to consider here is that they may struggle to get to you and that they are experiencing a high volume of serious Covid-19 cases.

Be mindful of what else is going on. So this will include taking all the necessary safety measures and formulating a safety plan should things go wrong. Should you require emergency services, they are likely to need to go beyond social distancing measures and, with that, may expose you to various germs including the coronavirus.

To summarise, it is possible to go out on the water and have fun whilst taking all the necessary precautions, however there are some things that cannot be guaranteed. Nevertheless, if you are willing to take this into account you will have a wonderful time!

Now might also be a perfect time to get your boat, engine or jetski prepped for the future! So whatever your need, JJB Marine Specialists are here to help: give us a call on 01395 227914/ 07970 312831 for all marine matters!