You’ve purchase the best boat for your needs, tomorrow’s forecast is perfect, you’re heading to bed early for a day on the water. As a smart boater, the following list are items you’ll want to keep on your boat:
The states require them, they save lives, so just like a seat belt in a car, be sure to add a life preserver for every passenger in your boat. If you’re running offshore, many survivalist recommend a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) be added to your must have list. For owners with pets, don’t forget to also include preservers for your fuzzy pals.
In the event of the unthinkable, you’ll want a way to draw attention to yourself and a signal flare is a great solution. Remember if you don’t have a radio or mobile phone signal, anyone attempting to locate you could have a very challenging task. If you must send up a flare, be sure to fire away from your boat or flammable objects to help others find you.
Rule: Fire on a boat is B, A, D, BAD! For this reason alone, the Navy, Coast Guard and commercial vessels practice firefighting routinely. To help you and your crew remain safe, be sure to have a fully charged extinguisher on hand for the just in case factor. A pro tip: Use your mobile phone or calendar to periodically remind you to check your extinguishers charge.
Knife and/or Multi-Tool
Regardless of how resourceful you may be, having a sharp knife or multi-tool available to cut rope or turn a screw can make a bad situation livable. Before you leave the ramp, do a visual on this item as an absolute have-to-have.
Good old oxygen travels with us everywhere we go, how fortunate. Oddly enough, fresh water does not which makes one wonder why so boat owners push off from the landing without a drop to drink? Before you rev the throttle, make certain you have enough water for yourself and your passengers. As for the quantity, common sense applies and be sure to consider the length of your outing.
Many of us love a sun tan but over exposure to direct sun light can be hazardous. For this reason, triple check that your boat has a surplus of sunscreen. Keep in mind that those with fairer complexions, young children, and the elderly will need repeated applications to avoid injury.
First Aid Kit
Things happen so it’s a golden idea to keep a first aid kit on your boat. A few items you’ll want to ensure are inside include antiseptic, gauze-bandages, band-aides, medical tape, latex gloves, ibuprofen, and small scissors. Another consideration is heavy duty wire cutters for removing fish hooks!
It may sound silly but a little cover goes a long way to help manage body temperature. Given your dome is the closest part of your body to the heat source (you know that big yellow burning ball in the sky), it goes without saying that should you find yourself in an unfavorable situation, a simple ball cap or bucket hat could do miracles.
Like the “duct tape of the sea”, rope has many practical applications and should be available in ample supply. Why? You never know when you need it for securing gear or towing so don’t scrimp on rope; instead, be sure you have plenty available.
Available at most sporting goods stores, dry rations are expensive and have a considerable shelf life. Given this, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have rations aboard in case of emergency. Their compressed packaging and light weight make them easy to store and regardless of the war stories many are surprising tasty.
Regardless if you have a cellular signal or not, being able to keep your phone charged could be huge when in trouble on the water. Periodically, phones find towers that may not allow you to make a call but they might allow a text or to automatically send a location signal to the network. One consideration, keep an eye on your boat’s battery level as well. In short, don’t rob from one battery for the purpose of another without weighing the benefits.
What did we forget?
Understanding that every boater has different needs, we’re certain this list isn’t a one-size-fits all. Please feel free to comment below to tell us what we’ve missed. Finally, if you need help understanding the best boat type for you or how to find a good boat dealer.