orange sun in sky

Sunshine Dilemma – SPF vs. UPF: What’s The Difference?

Most of us love waking up and seeing bright, beautiful sunshine waiting for us outside. That warming sun can provide endless opportunities for beach trips, hiking, and other fun outdoor activities. 

While thinking about the countless adventures you can have on warm, sunny days, it’s also worth sparing a thought for your skin; specifically, how to protect it.

kayak fishing at dawn

What’s So Dangerous About the Sun?

There must be a reason why we lather ourselves in sunscreen and wear sun hats and skin protection sleeves. It’s because the sun can be dangerous. However, not everyone understands how hazardous it can be and the repercussions of poor sun safety. 

fiery sun

Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can result in skin, eye, and immune system damage. Sunburn and excessive UV light exposure can also result in skin damage, which might cause premature skin aging and even skin cancer

The Sun’s Ultraviolet Rays

UV radiation type chart

Earth’s atmosphere absorbs UVC (Ultraviolet-C) rays , so we don’t need to worry about those. However, long-term exposure to UVA (Ultraviolet-A) rays can cause wrinkling, aging, and skin elasticity loss.

UVB (Ultraviolet-B) rays can increase your risk of skin cancer compared to UVA rays. However, UVA rays may increase UVB’s damaging effects, like cataracts and skin cancer. 

CDC UV Rays graphic

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Sun Protection Factor (SPF) vs. Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)

So, what’s the difference between SPF and UPF?

Well, let’s take a look at what differentiates them…

sun and clouds

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Sun protection factor is a rating included on sun protection products for skin, like sunscreen and lip balm.

This is because the SPF rating measures how much protection a product can provide against UVB radiation, the UV ray known to cause sunburn and contribute to a skin cancer diagnosis. 

SPF 50 sunscreen

Most SPF products like sunscreens and lotions are produced for the sole purpose of preventing sunburn. Whether you’re hiking or relaxing poolside, SPF products can be crucial to wear at all times. 



Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)

In contrast to SPF, the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is a rating for UV radiation that penetrates fabrics to get to the skin. It factors in UVA and UVB radiation, whereas SPF only factors in UVB.

UPF is something you might see mentioned on the labels of sun-protective clothing items like specific fabrics and hats. The higher the UPF rating, the less UV radiation can pass through the material.  Like SPF, UPF products are designed to prevent sunburn. However, they also aim to reduce the risk of skin damage. 




How to Protect Yourself From the Sun’s Harmful Rays

As much as we love spending time outside basking in the sun’s rays, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep ourselves safe when we do.

You can take a number of proactive measures to protect yourself and your family whenever you venture outside for relaxation or outdoor activities

Apply Sunscreen

Sunscreen is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging effects. It’s also one of the most effective ways to prevent sunburn while reducing the risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. 

However, what you use and how you use it matters in your bid to enjoy sun protection.

sunscreen in hand

Apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen to all exposed skin. Ensure it has an SPF rating of at least 30. Remember, the higher the number, the more protection you can enjoy.

Seeing broad-spectrum on the label can also give you peace of mind that the sunscreen can protect you from UVA as well as UVB rays. 

Re-applying the sunscreen every two hours will help maintain its protective barrier. However, you’ll need to apply it more frequently if you’re sweating, participating in swimming or other water sports, or exposed to moisture in other ways. If you don’t like the feeling of sunscreen on your lips, purchase an SPF lip balm for total protection. 






Wear Protective Clothing

The less skin you expose to harmful UV rays, the more protected you can be. Alongside applying sunscreen to any exposed skin, you can also wear protective clothing.

Long-sleeved shirts or T-shirts with skin protection sleeves, pants, sunglasses, and hats can all be excellent options. You might also like to purchase clothing and accessories with tightly woven fabric or an ultraviolet protection factor rating. 




Seek Shade

Spending time in the sunshine can be fun, but you don’t have to spend all day in it.

Seek shade when the sun’s rays are at their strongest, which is typically between 10 am and 4 pm. Fortunately, seeking shade when you’re out and about can be easy.

woman with sunscreen on nose

Get Vitamin D In Other Ways

If your entire aim with being outside in the sunshine is to ensure you get enough vitamin D, consider obtaining it in other ways. You can obtain vitamin D through supplements, oily fish, eggs, and red meat. Some food producers also add it to other foods like plant milk and breakfast cereals. 



Final Thoughts on SPF vs. UPF

As much as we can enjoy seeing the sun when we’re participating in outdoor activities, it can be more harmful than you think. So the more you know about sun safety and protecting your skin, the smaller your risk of sun-related illnesses and damage might be.  

Remember to wear sunscreen an UPF protective clothing… and have fun outdoors!

boat parked at marina for maintenance

Secrets To A Happy Boat | 4 Basics Of Boat Maintenance

Boats need love too…

Just like your car, your boat requires regular care and maintenance to keep it in optimal condition. And, with appropriate upkeep, it will last for several years and bring great memories to you and your family—whether using it on seas, rivers, or lakes.

However, boat care and maintenance isn’t just about inspecting a vessel visually before heading out into the waters. It’s also about caring for a boat after every trip and diligently following a maintenance schedule.

man riding in fishing boat

If you are not familiar with what is involved in boat maintenance, don’t fret! Most boat maintenance-related tasks don’t require a specialist.

In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of boat maintenance. We’ll show you how to keep your boat in excellent condition, like it brand new.

After all, if you can take care of your boat, you’ll be able to enjoy being in the water whenever you want.

Boat Maintenance List

Let’s take a look at a boat maintenance to-do list, so that you can keep your boat in top shape:

1. Keep Your Boat’s Exterior Clean

Keeping your boat’s exterior clean is important for reasons other than just looking good. 

First, having a clean boat helps prevent the spread of harmful and/or invasive species. It’s difficult to know what animal or plant has stuck to your boat, so it’s important to clean the boat, to ensure that you get rid of them, as to protect other bodies of water. 

man wearing black waterproof suit while pressure washing boat hull

Cleaning your boat’s exterior is an important part of boat maintenance that not only keeps your boat’s finish in good shape, but also prevents you from transporting invasive species to other bodies of water.

Second, having a clean boat keeps the boat structure protected by ensuring its finish is intact. For example, as time passes, the salt content of the sea will cause erosions, abrasions, and scratches, which could be too expensive to repair.

Third, a spotlessly clean vessel can save you money. If your boat’s hull is dirty, fuel costs may increase by up to 30%!





2. Keep Your Boat’s Upholstery Clean

At a minimum, you should clean your boat’s upholstery once every six months.

boat upholstery in fancy boat

High-quality boat upholstery is often resistant to sun damage, mildew, and mold. However, it can be subject to bubbling, cracking, and fading if it isn’t properly maintained. Plus, mildew and mold can make your upholstery smell bad and appear unkempt.

Follow these simple tips below when cleaning your boat’s upholstery. And, if this is too much for you, you can always ask professional boat cleaning services for help.

Here’s how to clean your boat’s upholstery:

  • Grab a brush with soft bristles and sweep the crevices and cracks of the upholstery. Make sure to get rid of any crumbs and hair strands.
  • To eradicate mold and mildew, create a vinegar solution (two parts water and three parts white vinegar). Use a spray bottle to apply the solution and let it soak for several minutes.
  • Rinse the vinegar solution with warm water. You may use a sponge to wipe down surfaces, too. 
  • Consider applying tea tree oil or baking soda if there’s stubborn mildew or mold. However, be more careful when it comes to stitching. Wipe and dry the excess using a microfiber cloth.
  • Lastly, apply a marine protection solution. This provides UV protection to prevent sun damage.




3. Store Your Boat

Storage is another critical part of boat maintenance. Most boat owners don’t use their vessels for 12 months a year. So, they must store them when the boating season reaches its finale. Learning how to store and winterize your boat may help prolong its lifespan. 

yacht boat at marina

There are many ways to store your boat, depending on where you live. Storage fees typically range from USD$50 to USD$200 per foot—when in season. 



During winter, you need to keep your boat away from ice, moisture, and snow. However, you shouldn’t seal it airtight, because it requires proper airflow to prevent mildew growth. Also, fuel and fluid lines must be clear to ensure that chemicals don’t destroy anything.

  • On The Water Storage: This is a good option for warmer climates. Most marinas and harbors will let you store your boat all year round.
  • Outdoor Storage: This is a cost-effective boat storage solution. Hire a pro to wrap your boat to ensure optimum protection and airflow. 
  • Indoor Storage: You can store your boat in your garage if you have ample spare space. Or you can rent a storage unit if your budget allows it.

Prepare your boat for storage with these simple tips:

  • Check all hoses and replace those that are damaged.
  • Replace inline fuel filters.
  • Clean the propeller and its shaft, and make sure to lubricate them properly.
  • Flush the waterlines and engine using clean water.
  • Remove spark plugs and lubricate the holes.
  • Fill the tank with fuel and add an antibacterial stabilizer.
  • Remove the battery and keep it to preserve the charge.
  • Remove all electronics and carpets.

Following these tips before you store your boat for a long time will help preserve its condition correctly.



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4. Follow The Boat Maintenance Checklist

Mechanic installing speed boat engine

Here’s a basic boat maintenance checklist below to help you keep track of the boat parts that may require attention

Boat Maintenance Checklist:

  • Engine: Inspect for loose belts and cracked hoses and replace them immediately. And, check to ensure that the outboard motor is secured. 
  • Propeller: If your boat has a stern drive or outboard motor, make sure you check the propeller before launching. Inspect the nut and tighten it using a deep socket wrench if necessary.
  • Battery: Like every vehicle, the battery is the heart of the boat. Without it, the engine and other electrical components won’t start. Check your battery once a year and inspect its charge with a multimeter, and also check connectors for corrosion. 
  • Bilge Pump: The bilge is a part where excess water accumulates, and the bilge pump removes it. So, if it doesn’t work properly, your boat might sink. You can also buy a backup pump in case of emergency.
  • Electrical Lines: Inspect electrical lines for deterioration, as they could become a fire hazard. Always keep them clean to ensure that everything works fine.
  • Oil And Filter: Change the oil and filter whenever necessary, according to manufacturer’s recommendations. If you don’t, some engine parts may get damaged. 
  • Fluid Levels: To ensure optimal boat performance, check other fluid levels occasionally, such as coolant and power steering fluids.


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Final Thoughts On Boat Maintenance

boat in water with motor running

Proper boat maintenance may help your vessel perform better. By using the checklists and information above, you can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience.

If you need an extra hand, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. There are a number of companies like Seakeeper Maintenance, or other boat service providers that can help guarantee the best condition of your boat parts.

Enjoy your time on the water!

various types of kayaks leaning against a wall

Whatever Floats Your Boat! | Types of Kayaks Compared

Despite what some may believe, there are, in fact, many different types of kayaks to choose from depending on your kayaking goals.

These different kayak types have distinct features that can impact function and should be selected for your specific needs.

various types of kayaks on shore

Some kayaks are longer or wider to promote increased straight-ahead speed and stability in calm waters. On the other hand, if you see yourself in a whitewater situation, then a short, stubby, and maneuverable craft will serve you best. So which type should you choose? Keep reading!

Well, don’t get intimidated by what is ultimately a simple boat! Let’s take a look at the different types of kayaks so you can find out for yourself!

Types Of Kayaks

Lucky for you, this guide will provide guidance and information surrounding some of the main kayak types, to direct you toward the best kayak for your next adventure!

You can click on the links below to jump straight to the various types:

Sit-In Kayaks

man and woman in sit-in kayaks

Sit-in kayaks are probably what you imagine when you picture a kayak.

Also called recreational kayaks, sit-in kayaks have one seat that is in the center of a boat that usually ranges from 8-12 feet long.

Sit-in kayaks are designed for comfort; with the bodies being wide, making entering and exiting easier. They typically also have a lot of leg room for the occupant.

The comfort-oriented design of a sit-in kayak lends itself to calm water travel. A recreational kayak like this can travel at decent speeds and stays stable in a relaxed water environment.

The downsides, however, are that these designs can struggle through rough water, in strong wind, and over long distances.

On the upside, recreational kayaks are usually one of the more affordable options given their widespread availability. Their versatility and price point make them a great option for any kayaker.




Sit-On-Top Kayak

pelican sit on top kayak

Sit-on-top kayaks are similar to the standard sit-in, recreational kayak.

The key difference is that instead of the occupant sitting inside the kayak structure, they sit on top, as the name implies. (photo credit: Amazon)

The open-air design of sit-on-top kayaks makes entering and exiting even easier than the typical sit-in kayak. What’s more, the lack of walls around your legs and feet provides significantly more room for a rider, making these types of kayaks extremely comfortable.

This open-air concept also makes for a more efficient hunting kayak setup, giving the hunter more range and freedom to move about.

The sit-on-top kayaks are also great options if you are looking to do some fishing.



The downside to the open-air design, however, is the fact that the rider has little protection from the outside elements.

These kayaks, similar to sit-in kayaks, do well in calm waters. But again, these type kayaks can struggle greatly in maneuvering rough waters.




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Whitewater Kayaks

man paddling in a whitewater kayak

If you have rough water adventure in your sights, a whitewater kayak may be what you’re looking for!

While the first two kayaks we discussed excel in calm waters, whitewater kayaks fill a different niche.

These kayaks are designed for fast, rushing whitewater with rapids and they tend to be shorter in length to increase maneuverability and stability in these difficult conditions.



However, the shorter length makes distance traveling in calm waters particularly difficult. In this sense, whitewater kayaks can struggle outside of a whitewater setting, which makes this model of the kayak a one-trick pony of sorts. 


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Tandem Kayaks

woman and kid kayaking

Kayaks are traditionally sleek and made for just a single person. But, then there are tandem kayaks…

Tandem Kayaks are designed such that two people can be seated in the watercraft as opposed to just one.

Tandem crafts can be found in numerous styles, including the sit-in and sit-on-top models. However, the tandem version of these two types of kayaks is going to be heavier and more expensive.

Fitting an extra person with you in a tandem kayak comes at a price. You are giving up speed and maneuverability due to the extra weight. However, you should expect to be more stable on the water with your extra passenger.

Plus, who doesn’t love kayaking with a friend?





Portable Kayaks

man and woman riding in inflatable kayak

Portable kayaks can encompass any of the kayak types we outlined avove.

The key difference between portable kayaks and regular kayaks is that portable ones can be broken down into smaller, more manageable packages to transport.



There are two types of portables: inflatable kayaks (like the one pictured above) and collapsable kayaks.

Portable kayaks are usually more affordable and easier to transport. However, they have factors you’ll want to consider before purchasing. For example, you’ll have to inflate or assemble them once you get to the waterfront.

woman in collapsible kayak

Portable kayaks can make transportation a cinch. But, you’ll also be giving up some conveniences…

Portable kayaks also tend not to move through the water as efficiently as other types due to their design. They may also lack some of the comforts of a more standard-construction kayak.

With that being said, there is a range of portable kayaks available on the market, with some costing more but providing more features such as stability, upgraded seating, propulsion systems, etc.

Just like with most things, in the world of kayaks, in one way or another, you get what you pay for!



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Final Thoughts On The Different Kayak Types

people sitting in calm water in kayaks

At the end of the day, there are several types of kayaks to choose from depending on what you want from the boat and the specific activity you’re looking to take part in. There is truly a kayak for all styles of life, for all cars, and for all different types and speeds of water.

Consider the bodies of water you wish to explore in your kayak, as the speed of the water will help guide you towards the correct boat.

Kayaking is a great experience alone or with friends and should be a staple for any person who enjoys being on the water.

So, get on a kayak and get paddling!