Some of the best boating in Jacksonville happens when it’s chilly outside. We love to bundle up in sweaters and blankets, pour a cocktail and cruise the Intracoastal. If you’ve never hit the water when the heat is gone, this holiday season is your opportunity to try something new. The Valley Smoke crew has been water-lovers for decades. Here are a few of our top tips to keep it safe and fun on the water this winter. 

Plan Your Outfit Accordingly

If you’re a boater who loves to cruise, make sure you bundle up to protect yourself from the wind. Take some extra precautions even though you think you won’t need it. High-speed boating will cool you down faster than you know. 

Pack a blanket, gloves and a hat that you can easily grab if you start to feel chilly. Depending on the temperature, it could be smart to bring hand warmers and a carafe of warm coffee. 

Get Creative With Your Plans for the Day

Think beyond wakeboarding and sunbathing. While certain boating activities are great in the summer, others are even better in the fall. Just imagine the joy of casting a line or sipping a beer without dripping in sweat. 

One of the best cold weather boat outings is a trip to your favorite waterfront restaurant. Valley Smoke and Palm Valley Fish Camp are just two of the amazing restaurants that line the Intracoastal. Pop in for a hot meal to refresh before you head back out on the water. 

Check the Boat Before You Launch

The health of your boat varies greatly when the temperature drops. Important factors like the battery, portholes and motor oil react differently to cold water. The Valley Smoke team has lived around water our whole lives. Here’s what we know:

Batteries drain faster in cold weather than in warm weather. Invest in a trickle charger to keep your boat charged up at all times. Additionally, it’s smart to periodically check the portholes and drains to prevent leaks. Last but not least, stay on top of the oil in your boat by bringing it to a professional. 

Visit Us for Lunch and Cocktails at Valley Smoke this Winter

Valley Smoke is the natural choice for boaters seeking a top-quality meal in Ponte Vedra. Full bar? Check. Elevated BBQ? Yup. Gorgeous atmosphere with even better views? We’ve got that, too. Call ahead to reserve your table or place a to-go order today.