The reason why boating is so tiring is because of the combination of wind resistance, vibrations on the boat, water resistance, and glaring sun if you are exposed.

The phenomenon is called “Boater’s fatigue” and is very common in boating. It is the worst during the summer when the temperature is high and there are more hours of daylight.

Boater’s fatigue is basically cumulative tension that adds up throughout the day. The symptoms include dizziness, headache, eye strain, blurred or double vision, eyestrain, or general discomfort behind the eyeballs that can worsen into nausea and vomiting.

Symptoms can manifest themselves anywhere between 10 minutes to 24 hours after exposure to sun glare and make it harder for those affected to operate or navigate a boat safely.

Several Activities to Be Carried Out

You also get tired because of the sheer amount of activities you have to carry out when boating, such as:

• Raising and lowering anchors.

• Handling ropes and lines.

• Operating boats.

• Beaching the vessel or mooring it at a buoy or pier.

These activities are often carried out in the hot sun, which makes you feel exhausted even though they may be easy for a first-time boater, yet exhausting if done on a recurring basis on a hot day on open waters.   

Boating fatigue can be avoided by planning your trip properly to include rest stops with good shade.

Not Staying Hydrated

Since there are so many activities to be carried out, oftentimes we forget to drink enough fluid to replace the ones that are lost through perspiration.

Not drinking the right amount of fluids will make you tired, too, since your body can’t keep up with its fluid loss and requires time to recover.

By staying properly hydrated before, during, and after your trip, you can avoid boating fatigue. You should also take breaks in between activities for a bit of rest.

Nutrient Deficient

Not only is being nutrient deficient a problem in our everyday lives, but it also affects us if the work we are carrying out is quite strenuous (such as boating).

Deficiencies in the following nutrients have been linked to fatigue:

  • Iron
  • Folate (vitamin B9)
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
  • Niacin (vitamin B3)
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic Acid

By carrying out our daily activities, sometimes even strenuous ones like boating, we deplete ourselves with the above-mentioned nutrients.   

Early Mornings

Most people choose to go boating in the early hours of the morning. This is because it is vital that you get an early start, especially if you are trying to get the most out of your day.

The early morning hours will keep you safe because there is less traffic at this time of the day. It also gives you more time to spend on open waters during peak sun hours after sunrise and before sunset.

However, not everyone likes to get up early in the morning, and because of that, they start to feel tired first thing and still at mid-morning.


If you have had a stressful week and then you take a boat out at the weekend, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your stress magically disappears.

In fact, the lack of time you get to rest and recuperate from a stressful week can cause more stress on an outing.

This will make you tired easily since your body is subjected to stress from work and also from being outdoors.   

Not Respecting Your Limits

Everyone has limits in what they are capable of doing physically. Some people may be able to handle strenuous laborious tasks for long periods while others can’t do it for much longer than 40 minutes or so before they crash.

Making sure that you listen to what your body is telling you about how long you can go without feeling fatigued is important if you want to avoid boating fatigue. After all, no one knows your limits better than yourself.

How Do You Prevent Boaters Fatigue?

Wear Sunglasses

If Boaters Fatigue is a problem for you, the first step in preventing it is to wear polarized sunglasses with added 100% UV protection for at least two hours BEFORE you start to feel any symptoms.

This will help reverse the effects of any possible damage to your eyes.

In addition, you should also seek shade from direct sun rays and wear a wide brimmed hat to cover your head.

This is especially important if you are out on a boat for long early or late in the day when sunlight reflects off water at steep angles.

Getting Your Fluids and Nutrition Right Will Improve You Energy Levels

Your energy levels can be improved by drinking plenty of fluids (water) throughout the day to replace those lost through perspiration.

As well as staying hydrated during your trip, you should also be properly nourished to stave off fatigue.  

Both iron and magnesium deficiencies can lead to feelings of tiredness so taking supplements for these nutrients may help if you are deficient although it is best to have them in their natural form where possible.  If not, then vitamin supplements will be fine…

Get some help

Go boating with a friend or family member so that you have some company and moral support.

In addition, you can take it in turns with your partner so that one is always resting while the other is awake and alert. This will help to minimize feelings of tiredness on both sides.

Take a Nap Beforehand

If you know that boating makes you feel tired, the best thing to do before going out on a boat would be to have a short nap beforehand (no longer than 30-40) minutes as this will give your body enough time for rest without entering REM sleep (the stage where we dream).  

Wake yourself up with water or an ice cold shower then go about your journey refreshed and ready to go!


Why is boating good for you?

Being on the water is great for our physiological, and psychological health, and well-being. Also, just the fact that you are in open water is great for mental health. If it is a calm day on the ocean, river, or lake, floating in a boat is great for meditation or just letting the stress of the day drift away.

Why does fishing make you tired?

Most of the time it is a poorly designed seat that makes your body fall out of alignment.
This is when both your blood and oxygen flow is cut off and your body is unable to regenerate energy properly.
Putting a cushion or small pillow under your lower back can help fix this issue and make it more manageable to catch fish for longer periods of time.

Is boating relaxing?

Various physiologic and psychological advantages have been discovered through research that boating on the water promotes a restful state.
Boating is the ideal method to unwind and relax since it allows us to rest our brains.

How does boating reduce stress?

For most of us, just the sight and sound of the ocean or water hitting the underside of the boat promotes wellness.
Wallace J. Nichols, the author of Blue Mind, knows this all too well. His bestselling book explores the scientific reasons why being in, on, or under water makes us happier and healthier.
“Simply the mere sight and sound of water promote wellness by lowering cortisol, increasing serotonin, and inducing relaxation,” said Nichols.

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

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