Sun Protection for Boaters

Follow these tips to protect yourself from the sun when on the water.

Between the sun’s direct rays and reflections from the water and deck, boating is hard on your skin. Your sun protection strategy should also include the proper sunscreen, sunglasses and clothing.

Patagonia Sun Gloves

Slather It On
Many sunscreens block only burning ultraviolet-B rays. Make sure yours also protects against the UVA radiation that causes deeper skin damage. Look for products with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 or higher that are marked “broadspectrum protection” or “multispectrum protection.” The Skin Cancer Foundation ( recommends applying two tablespoons of sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapplying every two hours or after swimming. Make sure you take extra care applying in the spots most prone to skin cancer — for men, the ears and torso; for women, the arms and upper thighs.

Shades of Protection
The area around the eyelids is one of the most common places for nonmelanoma skin cancers. Shield eyes with polarized sunglasses that offer 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. Wraparound models with dark lenses are best.


Dress for Success
Dermatologists recommend doubling your protection by wearing broadbrimmed hats, shirts, shorts and swimsuits made from UV-resistant technical fabrics. Fingerless gloves, such as Patagonia Sun Gloves ($25, provide protection and sensitivity while fishing. They’re light, cool and comfortable — perfect for a day of fun in the sun.