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The 5 Best Boat Accessories: 2018 Boating Season Edition

A man drives a motorboat through shimmering lake waters.

It’s time to get back out on the water, but before you go, make sure you and your boat are ready with this year’s best boat accessories. You can check out the 2017 edition of our top boat accessory picks, then add these new items to your wish list.

1. Infant Life Jacket

You should have life jackets for everyone on board, just in case the unthinkable happens. There are several types of life jackets that might work for you, depending on your activities and whether you only need them for emergency use. If you’ve got little ones on board, though, an infant life jacket is mission critical! Infant life jackets are made to be self-righting, to keep your little sailor’s face out of the water with no effort.

2. Dry Bags

Even if you’re not sinking or capsizing, there’s a lot of water to go around. Spray and splash can get everywhere, which can make it difficult to keep things clean and dry. Dry bags are available in many sizes, from smartphone to laptop, with up to 60-liter capacity. Simply fill and seal them and everything stays dry, no matter what the weather or surf brings aboard.

Solar panels take the load off your electrical system.3. Battery Chargers

If you haven’t kept your batteries on trickle chargers during the off-season, you might be in for a surprise when it comes time to fire up the engines. Dead batteries and boating just aren’t any fun.

On shore, a battery charger can restore, maintain and charge all kinds of 6-V and 12-V batteries. Off shore, chargers can provide running power and keep battery levels up.

4. Boat Autopilot

A boat autopilot is one of the best boat accessories because it frees you to do other things while the boat steers itself. Using a compass and hydraulic or electric steering mechanism, a boat autopilot system keeps you heading in the direction you set. Some can connect to GPS to steer between waypoints.

5. T-Top Storage Bag

No matter how well organized it is, space on a boat is at a premium. Some of the best boat accessories make smart use of space, especially space that’s otherwise wasted. For boats with T-tops, T-top storage bags can move light and bulky items off the floor or out of lower hatches. Be sure to pick one with internal separators that organize your stuff and prevent drooping.

There are literally thousands of boat accessories that might be more or less useful to you, depending on what kind of boating you do. There was no way that we could get to them all in one post! To narrow down your wish list, start by thinking about the necessary functions you need boat accessories to fulfill. Then, pick the ones that will make your boating safer, more enjoyable, more comfortable and an overall better experience!

Check out all the marine & boat products on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on the best boat accessories this year, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Pxhere.


Benjamin Jerew View All

Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Now, he writes on automotive topics across the web and around the world, including new automotive technology, transportation legislation, emissions, fuel economy and auto repair.

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