Life jackets, fire extinguishers and fishing poles, flippers and snorkel sets are a given. Any boating enthusiast knows to bring aboard those required safety items and fun features, but what about all of the things you don’t think about until you need them? Before you set sail on your next boating adventure, don’t forget to stow some of these handy items in your boat bag. You can thank us later.
Binoculars and waterproof camera
Whether you want to catch the kids skimming across the water on tubes, capture scenes of native wildlife or snap selfies with the wind blowing in your hair, a camera is always a popular item on a boat. What’s not popular, however, is accidentally dropping that camera or phone in the water. Pick up an inexpensive waterproof camera for all of your boat-based activities. That high dollar digital SLR might be better left on dry land.
You never know when something as simple as a screwdriver could come in handy. Stock your tool kit with marine safe tools and accessories such as wrenches, sockets, ratchets and pliers to stay prepared on the water. Add in a flashlight, and you’ll be good to go.
Bimini top or large umbrella
When out boating, it might seem like you would want to soak up all the sunshine and fresh air you can. Shade, however, is a very good thing. This is especially true when you’re in a sunny location such as Florida. Even if your boat doesn’t have a Bimini top, you can purchase a large umbrella to protect you and your guests. You can even whip up your own makeshift shade using a large towel and some alligator clips. While we’re on that subject, add some marine-safe alligator clips to your tool kit.
Extra hats and sunglasses
Never underestimate the advantages of having a few extra pairs of sunglasses and some inexpensive hats on board. They’re great to have around if a guest happens to drop theirs overboard. When you’re surrounded by water, things like that have a tendency to happen.
Weather out on the water can be unpredictable. Storms and downpours can flair up quickly. It’s nice to have a way to stay dry if you’re going to be boating in cool temperatures.
Dry bags and zippered plastic storage bags
We highly recommend a quality dry bag to keep all of your valuables safe and dry. Some dry bags even float if accidentally dropped overboard. Plastic storage bags, the zippered kind that you put your sandwiches in, are great for keeping phones, cameras and other small electronics high and dry. They provide a nice wall of protection against small splashes and watery surfaces.
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Boating is always an adventure which is part of what makes it the best way to spend any and all free time. Being prepared for anything helps you enjoy your time spent boating even more. This list is a good start; any boaters out there have more tips for us?