boat gps 2

10 Must-Have Boating Accessories You Need Before Setting Sail

Written by Kristen Rogers
August 20, 2018

Last Updated on January 13, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

Be up-to-date before setting sail this Summer

Hitting the water in a boat? It’s an incredible way to wash away the hot summer days. However, the right gear, equipment, and accessories can go a long way towards making your time on the water even more enjoyable. Not sure what you need on hand? We’ve got a list of the 10 must-have boating accessories for you. Note that we’re not including some of the more commonsense items, like lifejackets and first aid kits. If you don’t have those, you have no business on the water in the first place.

1. Air Horn

air horn gift idea

This should probably fall under commonsense items like life jackets and a flare gun, but we’re going to list it here anyway. A good air horn can be vital for drawing the attention of rescuers if you find yourself in an emergency.

2. GPS

boat gps 2

A good GPS unit can come in incredibly handy. This is particularly true if you’ll be out in unfamiliar waters, or trying to navigate an unfamiliar coastline. Make sure the unit you buy is water resistant. You can also find GPS/fish finder combos available.

3. Tow Tubes


If you will be piloting a powered water craft (a boat with a motor), then you have the opportunity to have some real fun on the water. A tow tube can be almost any size, ranging from those designed for a single person to those that can carry four or more. They’re great fun, but make sure that the tow line is included with the tube/float.

4. Dry Bags

dry bag gift

We’re undeniably connected to our electronics these days, and you’ll doubtless have a couple of cell phones and other devices with you on the water. A dry bag gives you somewhere to store those devices where they won’t be affected by water. Note that there are also dry boxes if you prefer.

5. Grill

grilling on a boat

Fire and boats generally don’t go together, but that doesn’t mean that they’re impossible to combine. A boat grill is a specialty item that hangs off the side of the boat and allows you to cook anything from fresh fish to burgers and dogs that you bring with you. Most models use gas, but some charcoal types are also available.

6. Fishing Rod Holders

If you’ll be fishing while you’re on the water, make sure not to neglect fishing rod holders. These install quickly, and can be important accessories on any fishing trip.

7. Cooler(s)


Whether you’re storing your catch for later, or keeping your brews cold, you’ll need at least one good cooler on your trip.

8. Solar Chargers

solar charger gift

Being out on the water means having access to the power of sunlight, and solar chargers give you a way to use that power to charge your smartphone, tablets, GPS unit and other devices.

9. Boat Fenders


Most boaters have been there before – you’re docking when you feel a thud, and hear an unmistakable crunch. Boat fenders can help prevent that.

10. Anchor

boat anchor gift

This one should also go under the commonsense equipment heading, but it bears mentioning. If you intend to sit in one spot on the water, you’ll need an anchor to hold you in place.

These 10 must-have items should be on hand before you hit the water this summer!

Browse by experience

Explore articles