Is there anything more tranquil than going for a boat ride? Feeling the waves lap at the hull of your vessel as you glide through the water is certainly an experience like no other. From the whooshing of the water to the sounds of seagulls in the distance, it offers a much-needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
But as much as the ride itself is enjoyable, being properly prepared for your journey is key to having a good time. There’s really no such thing as being too prepared when it comes to boating, as even the most experienced sailors can find themselves in precarious situations from time to time.
What Boating Accessories Should You Get?
While stocking up on accessories may not be the most exciting part of planning your next maritime adventure, it is certainly one of the most important. There are a few must-have items that every boat should have, regardless of size or type. They can help you stay safe and comfortable while out on the water, so be sure to add them to your shopping list before heading to the marina.
It doesn’t matter if you’re sailing during the day or at night, you should get a bright boat navigation light for increased safety. These fixtures are required by law in most cases, as they also help other boats spot you from a distance. Not to mention, they also make it easier for you to see where you’re going and avoid running into things.
Sure, night-time sailing when it’s pitch black outside may seem like an exhilarating experience, but it can also be incredibly dangerous. Without navigation lights, other boats may not see notice your vessel until it’s too late, which could result in a collision. By properly illuminating your boat, you can help avoid accidents and stay safe while sailing in the dark.
When it comes to day sailing, boat navigation lights are just as important. While the sun may be out and shining bright, there’s always the possibility of fog, rain or other inclement weather conditions to contend with. No one has the mental capacity to keep an eye on your boat 24/7, so it’s always a good idea to have some sort of light system in place.
Think of it this way – factories and other large buildings have industrial and emergency warning lights for a reason. These bright fixtures help everyone find their way, even in the most chaotic of conditions. The same can be said for a boat navigation light, so don’t skimp on this vital boating accessory.
In this day and age, there’s really no excuse for not having a GPS system on board your vessel. Not only can these devices help you get from Point A to Point B, but they can also be used in emergency situations. If you find yourself lost at sea, this device can help rescuers locate your boat and get you the help you need.
There are a number of different GPS systems on the market to choose from, so take some time to find one that best suits your needs. Some devices are more comprehensive than others, offering features like weather tracking, mapping capabilities and more. Others are more basic, providing only the essentials for navigation.
No matter which type of navigation system you go with, make sure to keep it fully charged and within easy reach at all times. After all, you never know when you might need to use it.
These devices are two-way transmitters that can be used to communicate with other boats in your vicinity. They’re basically the marine version of a walkie-talkie, and they’re often used in emergency situations.
If your boat is in distress, you can use a marine radio to send out a mayday call for help. These devices have a much longer range than your average cell phone, so they’re ideal for getting in touch with rescuers when you’re far from land. Plus, your phone might not have good reception out in the middle of the ocean.
Of course, the radios can also be used for non-emergency purposes, like chatting with other boats in the area. This is a great way to make new friends and find out about good fishing spots, so don’t be afraid to use your radio to socialize while you’re out on the water.
If you have a larger boat, then hauling all of your gear on board can be quite a challenge. Not only do you have to lift everything over the side of the boat, but you also have to put in extra effort to avoid dropping anything in the water.
To make all this a little easier, consider getting a boarding ramp. These helpful accessories attach to the side of your boat, providing a safe and easy way to get all of your gear on board. Simply put your gear on the ramp and walk it up, and you’ll be ready to go in no time.
They can also be used as a makeshift dock when you’re anchored offshore. They’ll provide a stable surface for you to stand on while you’re getting in and out of the water, which is much safer than using a ladder.
No matter how experienced of a boat captain you are, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. There’s no telling when you might run into bad weather or have issues with your boat engine.
Having a well-stocked emergency kit can make all the difference in a life or death situation. Some basic items you should have include a first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, flares and a life jacket for everyone on board.
You should also have a plan in place for what to do in an emergency situation. Let everyone know where the safety gear is stored and review the plan with everyone on board before setting out. That way, everyone will know what to do if something goes wrong.