Plan Your First Boat Trip of the Year with Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol
It’s always an exciting time of year when the snow begins to melt and we start to see the first signs of Spring. This also means we’re just a little bit closer to getting back to those warm days out on the lake.
Tim Armstrong is a retired pilot living in Kenora, Ontario. He created the website for Lake of the Woods Ice Patrol which uses aerial photography to track the annual thaw of ice on Lake of the Woods.
As parts of the lake will open up faster than others, this information is essential to make sure you don’t run into any stray chunks of ice if you are planning a trip to your island property or taking out your boat for the first ride of the season.
While it may seem strange to be planning for your boating trip before the ice melts, it’s never too early to plan for a safe boating season.
Checking in with mother nature is essential for boating safety and if you are already travelling some distance to get to the place you are putting your boat in the water, it’s important to make sure you know what conditions are waiting for you when you get there.
Have a “Float Plan”
Especially if you are going out to a more remote part of the lake, inform friends, relatives, or the marina of where you are headed and how long you expect to be gone. Provide your relevant information, which can include:
• name, address, and phone number of the trip leader
• emergency contact person for the trip leader
• name and phone number of all passengers
• boat type and registration information
• your trip itinerary
• the types of communication and signal equipment onboard your boat, such as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
Boaters have liability risks just like automobile drivers. Meet with your broker to discuss a policy that can cover your boat or personal watercraft as well as the risk to others. Once you’re properly insured, you’ll enjoy your outings with peace of mind.
To keep up with Tim’s posts about current ice conditions, you can visit www.icepatrol.ca and to make sure you have the right coverage for your first trip out on the lake, contact us or speak with your broker.