If you have developed an interest in boating you’re not alone. This interest is shared by approximately 250,000 new boat owners each year.
It’s no surprise that boating is so popular. The idea of going out on your boat and enjoying the freedom of the water, the elements, and all the fun that comes with being out at sea is very appealing.
However, the fun can turn to disaster if you don’t have the boating essentials with you.
In this article, you will read about nine things every boat needs. One of the most important things about having a good time on a boat is knowing what you ought to do before you leave the land.
Read on to make sure you are properly prepared for your next day on the water.
- Life Jacket: Not Just a Clever Name
It’s called a life jacket because when needed it can make the difference between life and death. That said, not all life jackets are equal. There are different styles and designs.
Spend some time researching this because the best life jacket is one that you will wear and will support you properly in the water and match your swimming strength. Make sure you have a stock of spare jackets that you can use for any guests that you bring aboard your boat.
- Buoy You Will Have a Good Time
You will need some kind of flotation device. It doesn’t have to be a buoy but can be a ring or other device.
The important thing is that it can be deployed from your boat to help someone else. Consider having several of these devices on your boat, especially if you plan on having guests on the boat.
- Stay Sharp
Yes, you always need a trusty sharp knife. You never know when something will get caught up in your propellor such as seaweed. You will need your knife to cut it free.
You will find numerous other practical uses of having a sharp knife with you—like slicing limes for those margaritas. So make sure you add it to your list of boating essentials.
- Anchors Aweigh
Some people may think you do not need an anchor as you’re not planning to anchor up anywhere. However, an anchor is a vital piece of safety equipment.
If you have problems with your boat and you need someone to come and get you, your anchor will help fix your position making it easier to locate you.
In fact, anytime you want to fix your position an anchor will be very useful. If you’re an avid fisherman and you have reached an excellent fishing spot you will want to make sure you do not drift away from it. Using your anchor will allow you to stay and fish the spot to your heart’s content.
- Fun in the Sun
The wind factor combined with the glare of the water will intensify the rays from the sun. Being in the sunshine when out at sea or on the lake is part of the joy of boating but make sure you wear sun protection.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, so make sure you are well protected.
- Stay Connected
Going out on your boat, you want to enjoy nature and not be fixated with your phone all the time.
However, there will be times you want to take pictures and record video and also make essential phone calls. One of those ‘essential’ calls could save your life if you find yourself getting into trouble out at sea.
Besides your phone make sure you have your charging cables with you. Most modern boats will have ways to connect your phone and devices so they can charge.
- Stay Dry
Think about what you will need to keep important things dry on your boat as well as yourself. A dry bag will be very useful for your mobile phone, wallet, and other essential documents.
Also, it will serve you well to have a poncho or other garment that will help keep you dry if the weather changes and the seas get rough.
- Extra Lines
You never know when you’re going to need one of these. Besides serving as a vital back up they can be used for other purposes especially if you’re out at sea with friends in another vessel.
Extra lines are also very useful for tying things down during rough weather. Never leave port without them!
- Check List
It’s unlikely you will be able to rely on your own memory to have everything you need. So make a comprehensive checklist that includes these items listed and anything else you think you will need.
This list could also include food, drinks, and other supplies as well as important mechanical checks that you may want to make before you launch. One of those checks could include making sure your rule bilge pump is working as it should.
Boating Essentials: Last Thoughts
In this article, you have read about nine boating essentials that you should always have with you when you take your boat out on the water.
These items are not only practical, but they will also help keep you safe. They could even save your life in an emergency situation.
You will find that as you gain experience in boating you may increase your list of ‘essential’ items. That’s as it should be, but this list is a great starting point.
Don’t stop reading here. You can read more excellent advice on our website that fits your needs.