Boating can be a fun and beautiful daytime activity. Like most things worth doing, preparing for a boating day can be a lot of hard work, but when it’s done right, the experience is amazing. The first step to planning a fantastic boating season is making sure your boat is ready with the essential gear and safety tools.
We’ve created a list of the tools and gear that’s perfect for any boating trip. These items have been curated for the boat owner who values a safe and seamless time out on the water. We’ve even included items that will help with boat maintenance and outside water activity.
Take a look at this list and decide what’s essential, and what might just be a nice add on or even a boating outfit accessory.
1. Touchscreen GPS Sonar System
Most boat GPS sonar systems are compatible with several cartography services and are capable of setting thousands of waypoints. Be sure to choose a system with a VHF (very high frequency) radio system. Boaters can use the radio system to communicate with marinas, bridge operators, and other seacraft drivers. In case of an emergency, a radio system can allow boaters to call for help with automated distress signals.
2. Lagun Folding Table
A quality folding table is a wonderful addition to any boat. The Lagun fold-down table turns, spins, and folds. It’s the perfect portable trifold table option and it’s collapsible so it won’t get in the way when it’s not being used. The Lagun is great for boats, it’s also great for caravans, motorhomes, RVs, camper trailers, and anywhere else that a fold-down table could be used. The Lagun is fully equipped with a mounting plate kit and additional mounting plates are sold separately.
3. Liquid and Gas Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers are important and required for all motorized boats. Invest in a lightweight, easy to mount fire extinguisher for your boat, it could save your life in case of an emergency.
4. Hot Water Heater System
A hot water heater unit is essential for having hot and warm water on board the boat. Invest in a sturdy water heater with integrated brackets and stainless steel. A hot water system is important for cooking and cleaning during a boating trip. The Sigmar boat hot water heater is equipped with regulated double safety technology and thermostatic mixing valve kit. The Sigmar marine hot water heater occupies less space than other models and it’s made with super-strength plastic. The Sigmar model is safe, convenient, and secure. See our post on why to install a hot water heater on your boat if you need more reasons.
5. A Powerful Airhorn
Airhorns can come in handy during a boat emergency. While crossing harsh waters, there could be moments of reduced vision or heavy fog. An air horn can be used as a warning signal for other boaters. A powerful air horn can be heard up to a half-mile away. It may not be the most obvious boat accessory, but an air horn is definitely a major key to a safe boat ride.
6. Locate Signal Kit
Visual distress signals are required for all boaters on the US Coastal waters or the great lake and all connected bodies of water within 2 miles. A certified Coast Gaurd kit includes handheld flares and aerial signals. Some kits may even include a launcher and a case. Safety is key for all boaters, and an efficient signal kit should not be optional.
7. Gas Bottle Holder Set
Keeping a bottle of fuel onboard is essential to a successful boating trip. Transporting fuel safely can be challenging, so investing in a gas bottle holder set is important for safety and convenience. Gas bottle holders can work well with portable stoves and other propane accessories. A quality gas bottle holder set should come with a strap and a buckle.
8. A Quality Life Vest Set
Boaters should always be equipped with a minimum of one life vest per person. For most light-water boaters, a Type 3 vest will do, but for more extreme boaters, a type 1 vest is recommended for safety purposes.
9. A Ring Buoy
Vessels that are longer than 16 feet are required at least one releasable (throwable) flotation device. Another valid safety precaution for any boating trip. Even smaller boats should invest in a proper ring buoy for safety purposes.
Being out on the boat all day on a hot day can be harsh on the skin. Invest in a comfortable translucent sunscreen that will protect your skin from harsh sun-rays while onboard the boat. Some quality sunscreen can last for hours. Be sure to find a waterproof sunscreen if you’ll be swimming throughout your boat trip.
11. Pair of Sunglasses
Every boater hopes for a beautiful sunny day on the water. But with great sunshine comes great responsibility. Protect your eyes with a quality pair of sunglasses for your boating trip. The driver of the boat needs the best possible visibility while steering. A pair of sunglasses with polarized lens is ideal for protected eyes and a clear view of the water.
12. Deck Shoes
Deck shoes, or boat shoes, not only do they look great with a draped sweater and shorts, but they also work well for boating trips. Boat shoes are important for safety and comfort while on the deck. Professional fisherman and extreme boaters swear by a quality pair of boat shoes. Purchase a pair that are equipped for easy drying and slip resistance.
13. Rain Jacket
Always stay ready so you never have to get ready! Getting caught in a rain-storm on a boat can be annoying and even dangerous if you don’t have the proper equipment. A classic fisherman’s jacket will do, but any other lightweight water-proof option is also ideal and acceptable.
14. Cookware Set
Equip your boat with quality cookware set with pots, pans, utensils, and plates and bowls to eat with. Cookware is perfect for long trips and group trips. Invest in a quality stainless steel set one time and it could last for years.
Boating should be safe and seamless, investing in the items on this list might be the best move for any boater. Stay safe on the water with the necessary safety tools like fire extinguishers and life jackets. Be sure to securely store your fuel with a gas bottle holder, make meals on board with a hot water heater, and sit down and relax at your tri-fold Lagun table from BCA Australia.