Best Ways To Stay Cool On A Boat – Without AC!

Warm temperatures are a calling for boat lovers, but being on the water doesn’t guarantee cooler air. Although sunny days make for perfect water getaways, the heat can be intense and sometimes dangerous if you aren’t careful. Let’s face it, the best places to be on a boat are also some of the sunniest. Whether headed to the lake, cruising the Caribbean, or sailing around the Mediterranean, this list of the best ways to stay cool on a boat is a must in order to beat the heat and enjoy your trip.

1. Eat Fresh Fruit

An easy and delicious way to beat the heat is by eating fresh fruit. Choosing fruits with high water content hydrate the cells in your body, which results in lower body temperatures. Think watermelon, grapes, pineapple, peaches, and strawberries. Not only will you get more water into your body, but you’ll also benefit from the nutrients they provide. Take a cooler to keep them cold for an extra refreshing cool-down!

Eat watermelon  to stay cool on a boat

2. Drink Mint Water

Mint is a century-old remedy for cooling body temperatures. Being full of antioxidants and a tricky little thing called menthol, it binds to the receptor protein in your body and sends signals to your brain that things are cooling down. Mixing fresh mint leaves in water makes it easy to ingest the mint without the toothpaste intensity. Throw in a strawberry or a couple of slices of peach, and you’ve made yourself a refreshing, hydrating cooler that will get you re-energized in no time!

Drink mint water to stay cool on a boat

3. Get a Bimini Top

Perfect to provide shade while you’re anchored; Bimini tops are a sure thing to keep the sun off the boat. There are several options when it comes to these invaluable pieces of equipment. Hard tops, soft tops, and even do-it-yourself kits, prices range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the type and quality of top you choose. Look for a soft top that’s easy to store and install as needed, with water-resistant and breathable fabric to allow for maximum air circulation while keeping the powerful UV rays at bay.

Use a bimini top to stay cool on a boat

4. Use a Fan

Marine fans are a must when spending time on the boat in hot weather. Fans circulate airflow in cabins and on deck, making convenient and necessary items to have on board. Find a fan that fits your space, has multiple speed options, and doesn’t drain your battery. Extra bonus: cut a water bottle in half, attach it to the back of the fan, and add some ice to get chillingly cold airflow and help make your boat more comfortable.

Use a fan to stay cool on a boat

5. Wear Wet Clothes

There’s actually a little science behind this easily doable trick to cooling down on a hot day. Water evaporates from a liquid to gas when it’s introduced to heat energy. That heat energy can come from your body, which causes a cooling effect on your skin, essentially lowing your body temperature. Using cotton clothing works best, as it takes longer to dry out and holds more water within the fibers. Simply give your clothes a good dunk and put them on. Voila!

Wear wet clothes to stay cool on a boat

6. Wear a Hat

Hats are the ninjas of the sun-fighting accessories. Wearing a hat might feel like your head is warming up, but a hat actually decreases the rate at which your body’s water evaporates. So while keeping the sun radiation from pounding through your skull, your hat is also keeping your hydration levels up to keep you cool. Just like the tip to wear wet clothes, wetting your hat works in the same way and can help keep your overall body temperature down. Keep a small stash of hats on your vessel, so you and your guests are never without this skin-protecting, heat-fighting necessity.

Wear a hat to stay cool on a boat

7. Embrace Vegetarian Food

Eating meats and proteins on hot days can actually make you hotter!! The energy taken to break down and digest those proteins generates heat inside the body. So pack foods full of vitamins, nutrients, and water to stay satiated and help keep you comfortably cool so you can relax and enjoy your time on the water. Look for recipes that use fruits and vegetables to avoid being bored by basic foods, like cucumber salad, watermelon salsa, and hummus. Avoid diuretic foods like mangoes, asparagus, or artichokes that will flush water out of your body and potentially cause dehydration on a hot day.

Eat vegetarian food to stay cool on a boat

8. Boat Camping

Even if only on the boat for a day, having the ability to get off the reflective water and onto a shady piece of land can help cool the temperatures around you by 10 degrees or more. Take a shade tent for the day or a camping tent for overnight and give yourself the flexibility to find a reprieve from the heat. Fun tip: pack a picnic, a book, or some portable games to stay entertained. Check out how to boat camping.

Do boat camping to stay cool on a boat

9. Use Pre-Make Meals

For the same reasons nobody wants to roast a rump in the height of summer, cooking on the boat can quickly heat up the vessel and make life miserable for those onboard. Plan ahead and pre-make meals and snacks that are easy to carry, cooler friendly, and don’t require heat to eat. Falling in line with eating fresh fruits and water-packed veggies, keeping the grill or onboard oven off-limits is an easy way to avoid adding unnecessary heat to an already hot day. Besides, you don’t want to stop having fun or relaxing with the waves to cook something up in the heat of the day.

Use premake meals to stay cool on a boat

10. Boat Umbrella

These boat accessories pack a punch when you need to find some shade on the water. Easy to take along and install, boat umbrellas range in size, so finding one that fits your vessel won’t be difficult. Coming with rod holder attachments or anchoring down on the boat, there are options to keep these easy-to-install sun protectors up for hours on end to ensure shady comfort wherever you need it.

Install umbrella to stay cool on a boat

11. Enjoy Tubing

Generating a little wind never hurts when you want to beat the heat. Besides, hitting a gnarly wave and landing in the water for an instant cool-down is only part of the fast-paced fun when you take a tube along for the ride. Make sure to do your homework when looking for your perfect tube. They come in all shapes and sizes, so keep in mind how many people you want them to accommodate and how large they’ll be once inflated.

Ride on a tube to stay cool on a boat

12. Bring Cold Drinks

Coolers have come a long way and are not all created equally. But any cooler packed to the top will stay cold longer than a half-filled cooler if you don’t want to splurge on the expensive (and heavy) popular name brands. Coolers make packing and moving a variety of drink options easy and ensure that your boat has plenty of drinks to go around to keep everyone hydrated and cool throughout the day.

Use cooler to stay cool on a boat

13. Use Wet Towels

If your boat has a cabin, it’s guaranteed to hold in the heat without some kind of ventilation or airflow. Investing in fans will help keep the air moving in the enclosed space. Oscillating fans are perfect for cabins to keep the air moving around. Other options are to have wet towels or sheets available to lower your body temperature and keep you cool. Hanging them up over any windows will also help expel the sun rays and slow down the heatwave inside.

Use wet towel to stay cool on a boat

14. Wash the Floors

Washing the cabin floor and even the deck with water will also help to cool the boat down. If you have a wood or fiberglass deck surface or cabin floor, splashing it with water provides the opportunity for evaporation from the heat, which results in a cooling effect. This option may not be a good one if you have carpet material on your boat, as you’ll want to avoid mold, rot, etc.

Wash the cabin floor to stay cool on a boat

15. Wear Sunscreen

It’s likely that sunscreen is already a common practice for anyone spending time on the boat. The main reasons are usually to avoid both sunburns and skin cancer. There is research; however, that suggests wearing sunscreen can also help regulate your body temperature and keep you from overheating. It’s mostly about science, but the basic idea is that sunscreen keeps UV light from diminishing your nitric oxide levels and keeps your skin’s blood vessels at the surface in order to prevent a rise in body temperature. Professionals always recommend using sunscreens with a minimum SPF of 50.

Wear sunscreen to stay cool a boat

Final Word!

There’s no reason not to enjoy a day on the boat, even when the sun is at its fullest. Whether you’re trying to relax or working to perfect your wakeboard flip, the sun can be a scorcher in your experience. There are plenty of ways to encourage natural, effective, and easy cool-down options so everyone can enjoy their time on the water. So plan ahead, stow your gear, and stay confident that your time on the boat won’t be ruined by hot temperatures as long as you utilize some of these ways to stay cool on a boat.

What about you, do you know other ways to stay cool on a boat? If so, you are welcome to share it in the comments below.

You may also want to read this article below:

How to keep your cool on a boat

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4 thoughts on “Best Ways To Stay Cool On A Boat – Without AC!”

  1. The text is full of useful tips that we can apply when traveling by boat. I know quite a few of them. Some are new. I especially liked the advice to wear wet clothes or wet towels. Now I remember that I always felt colder when I was in a wet bathing suit at the beach. The text is great, keep posting useful articles.

    • Hi there,

      Thank you for your kind comment:) If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know. I’ll be more than happy to help.

      Thanks again and I wish you a great day.

  2. You have covered almost everything that I could think of to stay cool during your boat journey on the sea. 

    I would add the to the clothes you wear unless I missed them during my read-

    Choosing light colors: Wearing light colors that reflect the sun’s rays rather than absorb them (as dark colors can) helps keep you cool. Look for shirts, shorts, pants, and hats in white, tan, or khaki.

    Technology may help better.

    There are cooling shirts designed with wicking polyester, made in layers specially made to keep you cool. One can use them effectively on boat trips.

    • Hi there,

      Thank you for sharing your tips. I am sure readers will appreciate:)

      Sure bright colors don’t absorb the heat; thus, it would be better to wear white or beige colors:)

      Polyester is breathable and very durable, but it’s less breathable than cotton. Cotton absorbs water, so if you want to stay cool, that’s the material you should opt for because it will keep you wet longer. Polyester dries relatively fast; thus, even when you get wet, you’ll be dry in no time and have to get in the water every 10 or 15 minutes. Cotton will keep you wet and well aerated for a long time:)

      Thank you again, and if you need any help. Please, let me know. I’ll be more than happy to help.

      I wish you a fantastic day!


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