Color logo with background

When Is Boating Season

when is boating season

Boating season is the peak period of the year for recreational boating when warm weather and pleasant conditions meet and make it ideal for enjoying time out on the water. This season usually starts around spring and ends sometime in the fall (Depending on your exact location).

Boating Season (By State And Region)

Region/State Boating Season
Michigan Late April – October
Ohio Late April – October
Connecticut May – October
Indiana April – October
Washington State April – October (best months: June – September)
Maryland April – November
California Year-round (varies by region)
Northern States Shorter seasons due to colder climates
Southern States (e.g., Florida, Texas) Longer seasons, often year-round

Duration of Boating Season

In the United States, the boating season typically lasts for about 7 months, with the exact duration depending on the region and local climate conditions. Let’s take a closer look at the start and end dates for boating season in different regions across the country.

Start and End Dates in Different Regions

Northern Regions

In the northern states with colder climates, the boating season usually begins in late spring or early summer and ends in late fall. The initiation of the season is marked by warmer temperatures and the conclusion by freezing temperatures and wintry conditions.

  • Start: Late spring/early summer
  • End: Late fall

Southern Regions

In the southern states, where warmer climates dominate, the boating season is generally longer. The season kicks off in early spring and wraps up in late fall. In these regions, you can enjoy comfortable conditions and temperate weather for an extended period.

  • Start: Early spring
  • End: Late fall

Florida: The Boating Paradise

Florida, often referred to as the Sunshine State, is a coastal state with a warm climate and is considered a boating paradise. In Florida, the boating season can extend well into the winter months, allowing for off-season boating and cold-weather water activities. With its unique climate, Florida offers a fantastic opportunity for boating during colder months and enjoying water sports such as water skiing, wakeboarding, slalom skiing, and tube riding.

  • Start: Year-round
  • End: N/A

Do People Go Boating In The Winter?

Yes, people do go boating during the winter months, especially in the south, but it’s not always enjoyable! Let’s list some of the pros and cons of boating in the winter to see if it’s something you would actually be interested in:

Pros of boating during winter months:

  1. Less crowded waterways: With fewer boaters on the water, you can enjoy a more peaceful and serene experience, making it easier to navigate and find the perfect fishing spot.
  2. Unique wildlife encounters: Winter months can provide opportunities to witness different types of wildlife, such as migrating birds or marine mammals, that may not be as active during the warmer months.
  3. Winter fishing opportunities: Some fish species are more active during the colder months, giving you the chance to catch different types of fish that may not be as abundant during the summer.
  4. Off-season pricing: Marinas, boat rentals, and other boating-related services often offer reduced rates during the winter months, making it more affordable to enjoy boating activities.

Cons of boating during winter months:

  1. Cold weather: Boating in colder temperatures can be uncomfortable and may require additional layers of clothing, specialized gear, and proper precautions to stay warm and dry.
  2. Limited activities: Some water sports and activities, such as waterskiing or tubing, may not be feasible due to the colder water temperatures and potential safety concerns.
  3. Icy conditions: Ice formation on the water or around marinas can make it difficult to navigate and increase the risk of accidents or damage to your boat.
  4. Shorter daylight hours: With fewer hours of daylight during the winter months, you’ll have less time for boating activities, and you may need to be more mindful of visibility and navigation.
  5. Increased safety concerns: Hypothermia, frostbite, and other cold-related health issues can be a significant risk when boating in winter, requiring extra safety precautions and preparation.
  6. Winterizing and maintenance: Boats operating in cold weather may require additional winterizing steps, such as engine protection and proper storage, to ensure they remain in good condition throughout the season.

The Biggest Boating Days Of The Year:

The U.S. has some truly big boating days that are celebrated nationwide. Below we have listed some of the biggest boating days of the year, either so you can participate in them OR potentially avoid them!

Event Dates
Boat Show Season January – March
National Safe Boating Week May (third week)
Memorial Day May (last Monday)
National Fishing and Boating Week June (first week)
First Day of Summer June 21
Fourth of July July 4
Labor Day September (first Monday)
Discover Boating Norwalk Boat Show September
Holiday Boat Parade Season November – December

Boat Show Season: Significance and Dates

Boat show season is an exciting time for boating enthusiasts, as it offers the opportunity to discover new boats, accessories, and innovations in the industry.

Typically held between January and April, these events allow you to explore a variety of options and learn from industry experts, making it an excellent time to shop for a boat or gather information for future purchases.

National Safe Boating Week: Importance and Dates

National Safe Boating Week, usually held in late May, promotes boating safety and encourages responsible boating practices.

This event emphasizes the importance of life jacket usage, boating education, and proper vessel maintenance. Stay informed about the specific dates each year to take advantage of safety resources and educational opportunities.

Memorial Day: Relevance and Dates

Memorial Day weekend, celebrated on the last Monday of May, marks the unofficial start of summer and the beginning of the peak boating season.

This holiday weekend is a popular time for boating outings, making it an ideal time to enjoy the water and kick off the season with friends and family.

National Fishing and Boating Week: Purpose and Dates

National Fishing and Boating Week, typically held in early June, aims to connect people with the joys of fishing and boating, while promoting conservation and responsible outdoor recreation.

This event offers a variety of activities and resources for all ages, so be sure to check the specific dates and get involved in local events.

First Day of Summer: Significance and Dates

The first day of summer, around June 20-22, is the longest day of the year and signifies the start of warm weather and longer daylight hours.

This date marks the beginning of the prime boating season, providing optimal conditions for a wide range of water activities.

Fourth of July: Importance and Dates

The Fourth of July is a significant American holiday, celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, and, of course, boating. This mid-summer event offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy the water and celebrate with friends and family, making it a highlight of the boating season.

Labor Day: Relevance and Dates

Labor Day, observed on the first Monday of September, signifies the unofficial end of summer and the transition to cooler temperatures. This holiday weekend is a popular time for boating as people take advantage of the last warm days before the colder months arrive.

Holiday Boat Parade Season: Significance and Dates

Holiday boat parades, held in late November and December, are festive events featuring decorated boats cruising along waterways, celebrating the holiday season. These events add a unique and enjoyable twist to winter boating, so be sure to mark your calendar and participate in or attend local parades.

In conclusion, the boating season offers a range of events and milestones that cater to various interests and needs. By staying informed about these events and their dates, you can make the most of your boating experiences and connect with the larger boating community. Happy boating!

Boating Season in Different States

Boating Season in Michigan

In Michigan, the boating season typically begins around late April or early May and lasts until October. During this time, the state’s numerous lakes and rivers offer excellent opportunities for recreational boating, fishing, and watersports. Be aware that water temperatures in the Great Lakes can remain chilly even during the summer months, so plan accordingly.

Boating Season in Ohio

Ohio’s boating season starts in late April or early May and extends through October. The state has numerous inland lakes and rivers, as well as access to Lake Erie, providing diverse boating experiences. Remember to check local conditions and water levels, as these can vary depending on the time of year.

Boating Season in Connecticut

Connecticut’s boating season generally spans from May to October, with peak boating activity occurring during the summer months. The state’s shoreline along Long Island Sound and many inland lakes and rivers provide a range of boating opportunities. Be prepared for cooler water temperatures, particularly during the shoulder seasons.

Other States and Regions

Boating seasons vary across the United States, with northern states experiencing shorter seasons due to colder climates. Southern states, like Florida and Texas, enjoy longer boating seasons, often year-round. Research the boating season in your specific region to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Buying a Boat During Boating Season

Benefits of Buying a Boat in the Off-Season

Purchasing a boat during the off-season comes with several advantages:

  • Better pricing: Dealers may be more willing to negotiate and offer discounts to clear inventory.
  • More selection: You’ll have a wider range of boat models and features to choose from.
  • Less competition: Fewer buyers in the market mean you can take your time to find the perfect boat without the pressure of other buyers snapping it up.

Planning Ahead


When shopping for a boat, timing is crucial. If you plan to buy during the off-season, start researching boats and dealerships well in advance. Begin attending boat shows, reading reviews, and connecting with other boaters to gather information. By the time the off-season arrives, you’ll be well-prepared to make an informed decision and take advantage of any deals available. Remember, patience and preparation can lead to significant savings and a better overall boating experience.


In conclusion, boating season varies across the United States depending on the climate and region (As well as personal preference).

As you plan your boating activities, it’s essential to consider weather conditions, regional events, and the specific state you’re in. If you are shopping for a boat, keep in mind that off-season boat buying can provide you with better deals, so planning ahead is crucial.

By understanding the boating seasons in different states and being aware of key events, you can make the most of your boating experiences and ensure a safe, enjoyable time on the water. Happy boating!


You might also be interested in reading:

Picture of Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

Share on.