When you go boating, it’s not enough that you are using a good and powerful boat. Of course, you need to equip your boat with things that will come in handy during your time on the water. There are some boating accessories which are required by the Coast Guard, but the legal requirements differ from state to state. The best thing to do to be sure is to contact your state for verification. For now, we will provide you with some of the best boating accessories which might be useful on your upcoming adventure.
In all kinds of activities, safety should always come first. One life jacket per passenger is required for most of the states. Since boats have their maximum capacities, it’s a good idea to match the number of lifejackets you have to the maximum capacity of passengers your boat can accommodate. There are many different designs and styles of life jackets you can find in stores as well as online. It’s better to bring as many as your boat storage can handle.
Throwable Floatation Device
Another accessory for safety is a throwable floatation device. This is also a legal requirement in boating in most of the states. This is a useful accessory when you had a man overboard situation. There are two kinds of throwable device, the throwable ring which is the traditional version often seen on large ships, and the throwable cushion which is square shaped with two straps attached to it. Aside from being a floatation device, it can also be used as a seat cushion.
A fire extinguisher is required for all boats with an engine. Fire extinguishers come in different sizes depending on what type of boat you have. Other boats already have fire extinguishing systems in the engine compartment but some states require to have a spare one, most likely a hand-held extinguisher.
First Aid Kit
Like in any other activities, a first aid kit shouldn’t be forgotten. Since boating will bring you to some far and remote areas, it might be difficult to find medical assistance in case of emergency, therefore, a first aid kit would be very useful. You don’t want to end your adventure just because of a little accident, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
A horn is another important boating accessory. It is also used for safety purposes. Like cars, there are some boats which have built-in horns, but some doesn’t have one. If your boat does not have a horn, you can purchase an air horn. They are actually louder than those built-in horns in boats. An air horn would be very helpful especially during emergency situations and you need to get the attention of other boaters.
Ropes or an extra dock line would be very useful in boating. There are many situations when you need to tie up your boat like when you go to a gas dock, or if you meet any troubles and your boat needs to be towed. Therefore, having extra ropes in your boat storage could save the day. Ropes or dock lines don’t cost much and they are easy to store as well so there’s no excuse to not carry at least a couple of spares on board.
Bumpers or fenders are another must-have boating accessories. They are useful in times when you want to tie up your boat. They are hanged off the side of the boat. There are different sizes of fenders and the size you need to get depends on the size of your boat. For small boats, 6.5” fenders would work but getting bigger ones is better. Just make sure that your boat storage can accommodate the size of the bumpers you’ll be bringing.
An anchor is also a must-have accessory for your boat. Though it’s not a legal requirement, it can still be helpful in securing your boat in place. It can also come in handy in some dangerous situations such as having a mechanical trouble while in the middle of the water with a current. You can simply drop an anchor to keep your boat in place, avoiding drifting into the rocks and other hazards.
If you’re using a small boat, having a paddle on board might also be useful. It can help in maneuvering the boat if there are any mechanical issues. However, paddles are not essential for big boats.
A GPS can help you in navigating unfamiliar waters. It can also tell you where the hazards are and the channels as well because of its channel markers. It can also tell you where the closest gas docks and restaurants are. A GPS is very useful, especially during night boating.
A compact toolkit should be a required equipment on every boat. A toolkit can carry basic tools such as a hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wire cutters, electrical tape, duct tape, and more. Being equipped while boating will help you deal with small problems on the spot.
Spare Propeller and Prop Wrench
Just like having a spare tire for your car, it’s also important to have a spare propeller for your boat. A rock or other pieces of floating debris can easily damage your boat’s propeller so having a spare one would be helpful. To be able to change the propeller, don’t forget to bring a prop wrench on board as well.
These are just some of the best boating accessories. Not all of them are required when you go boating, but they can all come in handy.