Trying to figure out which essential boating accessories to pack for a fun-filled summer on the water? The key to a successful boating season is combining safety with convenience so you’re never left lacking once you’ve pushed off from the dock.
Check out these essential boating accessories guaranteed to make for a smooth summer once you’ve set sail or fired up the motor.
Life Jackets Are a Must
Depending on where you live, on-board life jackets for each and every passenger might be required by law. Really, though, do you need to verify whether your local boating regulations demand that you equip your vessel with life jackets? No matter how strong a swimmer you might be, accidents can and do happen on the lake, river and at sea, and preparation for the worst-case scenario means strapping on a life jacket.
Keep Your Ears On
If something unexpected happens far from port, be it a mechanical failure, sudden illness or loss of wind in your sails that strands you away from shore, a working radio will suddenly become one of those essential boating accessories you’ll be glad you remembered to pack. Make sure the radio you bring with you can access emergency channels, such as those used by local law enforcement or the Coast Guard, and that you bring an extra set of batteries to keep it charged at all times. Check at the beginning and the end of the season that your radio is in good working order and that your passengers are comfortable using it to call for help if necessary.
Plan for Disaster — Or At Least, a Scraped Knee
You never know when you’ll need a band-aid, rubbing alcohol, tweezers for a splinter or lotion for a bad sunburn. That’s why a fully stocked first aid kit is a must-have for your boat, big or small, during the summer months. Always check in the spring that none of the supplies inside your kit have expired or needs to be replaced, and remember to pack the kit in a waterproof bag — preferably one that floats should it accidentally get pitched overboard.
Boating safety should be in the back of your mind all summer long. Check your state laws to ensure your boat is properly equipped to pass scrutiny should you undergo a surprise inspection at the pier.
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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.