There’s probably nothing better than enjoying the long summer days on a boat’s deck, staring at the image of an endless blue horizon. But in order for this trip to go well, each captain needs to have the essential pieces of boat equipment. We are talking about super practical and potentially life-saving items you need to bring with you each and every time.
So here are the top ten must-have boat accessories we believe should be an indispensable part of every amateur or professional boat captain.
First aid and safety kit
No matter if you are alone on your boat ride or you have a company of several people, it is crucial to make sure you have a first aid and safety kit prepared. You never know what sort of accident you may face at the water, so you need to be prepared for all sorts of emergency situations. But bear in mind – you need to know how to use all of the items from the kit, to be informed what procedures in several different scenarios are, and to constantly replenish these supplies.
Each kit of this kind should contain bandages, disinfectants, some multi-tool, a whistle, and flares that will mark your location in case you need help. Also, you should think about purchasing a waterproof case that will keep all of these items safe.
Okay, this item needs to be on your top ten boat accessories list only if you are planning to sail on a smaller-sized boat. In that situation, this little piece of plastic and metal could be a lifesaver, but it would be ridiculous to bring it on a yacht, for instance. In case of an engine failure, this way, you would always be able to bring yourself back to the shore safely. Most modern paddles are telescopic, so you can fold them and place them in small spaces. Also, some of them have a hook on the other side of the stick, which could be very useful, and they are not an expensive piece of boat gear.
If we are talking about safety, and we most certainly are, having a fire extinguisher on a boat is super important, but also abiding by the law. This is not something you can decide not to have, you are required to do it. And don’t forget that you have an obligation to check on a regular basis if it’s working correctly, as well as if it’s charged. How many of these items you will have to have on your boat depends on its size.
For smaller ones, only one will be enough, but larger yachts will ask for two or three fire extinguishers. Also, know that we are talking about a special marine fire extinguisher, not the regular one you use for home purposes.
Let’s be honest and admit that phones became an inseparable part of our lives and that we most certainly need to know we will be able to charge them all the time, even when we are on our boat, in the middle of nowhere. But besides for social networking and other fun reasons, we can use our phones as a GPS, like a flashlight, for calls in case of an emergency, etc. So a solar power battery bank can actually be quite an important part of boat accessories.
One of the 10 things you need on a boat these days, at least if you want to make sure not to face a dead battery, is definitely a marine solar panel. This piece of equipment will allow you to charge your main battery as well as all other boat appliances without the fear of power ever running low.
Each day the charging process will start all over – your solar panel will collect and generate sun rays into the electricity you will be then able to use for whatever you need. Now, it’s not good to fully rely on the solar panel as the main source of energy, but it can be a perfect alternative solution.
Among all other accessories for a boat, you most definitely need to have a life vest in proper size. Every member of the crew needs to have their own life jacket that fits them perfectly, their body shape, and particular weight. If there are children on the boat, you need to make sure to provide them with adequate smaller life vests that will allow them to act normal while having them attached. Bear in mind that kids under a certain age are required to wear a life jacket all the time, it’s not optional. For more information about this subject, check the laws and regulations in your state.
Boat fenders or boat bumpers are another thing you need to have on your deck in order to make sure your vessel is well protected from each side. They will provide a protective layer between yours and other boats or some other items that could damage it when waves rock the vessel. Fenders are usually used when you tie your boat to another boat or dock, and you can place them on every side of the boat whenever they are needed.
It is a must to have a good anchor on your boat every time you sail off. It will make sure your vessel is steady when you are somewhere in the middle of the sea and when you are not using your engine. But it is important to know what anchor type is adequate for what sort of vessel and water bottom. That’s why some sailors will advise you to own two different types of anchors, especially if you don’t know what type of water bottom you can expect on your sailing trip. Also, you can use both of them if you want to make sure you are extra steady.
This one is a no-brainer. Every boat needs to have a GPS navigation device, no matter how good and experienced the captain is. The new age GPS devices have a high-frequency sonar system that will show you what’s in the water, they will point to good and safe spots, and they will show and follow your position all the time. It is especially important to have one of these if you are going into unfamiliar waters.
Most of them will show you the depth measures, which is crucial if you don’t want to find yourself in some sort of trouble and to damage your boat. Because if the water is too shallow, and you don’t know it, you could hurt your engine, for instance.
It is a well-known fact that each boat should have an adequate navigation light for safety reasons. They are used mostly in cases of low visibility due to heavy rain or fog. Also, experts suggest you should make your vessel more visible with these devices in a short time frame between sunset and sunrise because the light shift could endanger you for a moment.
They are usually made from durable and waterproof materials, they are super easy to install, and they are very practical given that they will allow you to better see the other vessels, but also to allow others to see you more clearly, which, in foggy water can be crucial for safety reasons.