You and your family have always enjoyed taking weekend trips on the water. So, when you find a great deal on a boat, it feels like a no-brainer to pick it up. We’re here to say that your shopping isn’t done once the boat is in your hands.
There’s a large number of accessories that you’ll need in order to make being on your new vessel safe and fun.
Trust us, you don’t want to get caught out at sea without navigation lights as a boat owner. They’re a legal requirement.
That’s not the only thing that you don’t want to be without. Check out this guide for a complete list of things to shop for.
1. Safety Kit
The main thing that every first-time boat owner needs is a safety kit. Accidents happen. You don’t want to be without a way to help a hurt passenger.
This is especially true when this passenger is someone you love. The problem is that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a boating safety kit that contains every item that you need.
This means that you’ll be tasked with making one all by yourself. Luckily for you, we know everything that should go into one:
- Boat flare (there are electronic ones that you can buy that won’t burn out on you)
- Air horn and whistle
- VHF Radio
- A multipurpose tool that contains a knife, screwdriver, and other helpful functions
- Zip ties
- A Flashlight
- Dry clothes
- Bug repellent
Store all these times in a dry area of your boat until you have to use them. The main thing you need is a way to contact other boats and people if you get stranded. Prioritize that first.
2. Solar Dock Lights
The thing about riding around on your boat at night is, it can be hard to see. You don’t want to go crashing into your dock.
Solar Dock Lights are one of the best boating accessories to have even if you don’t have a vessel yourself. It will prevent other boaters from running into your dock.
It will also stop your child from falling off the dock into the water below if they’re playing outside after dark.
3. Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is a piece of boat equipment that isn’t optional. The law requires you to have one. This means you’ll have to go shopping ASAP if your boat didn’t come with one.
You may need up to three of them if an inspector deems it necessary. You should make sure that you pick up a marine extinguisher. It works a little differently than regular ones.
Once you have your extinguisher(s), be sure to put them in a place that’s easy to get to.
You’re enjoying a nice day out on the water when all of a sudden, your engine decides to stop working. No matter how many times you try to crank it back up, it doesn’t respond.
This is a scenario that many boaters find themselves in more often than not. In emergencies like this, you need a paddle to get you back to shore.
We recommend picking up a folding paddle because they don’t take up quite as much storage room as your standard ones.
5. Battery Charger
If it’s not your engine going out, it’s your battery. It’s for this reason why you need both a jump pack and jumper cables.
The jumper pack can get your boat started so you can make it back to shore. If you need to get help from another vessel, having the cables will allow you to get a jump without relying on them to have the proper equipment.
We also recommend getting a solar panel for battery charging purposes. They can’t keep your battery up and running for long by themselves.
What they can do is feed power to your battery when you’re not using the boat. This way, it doesn’t wear out while it’s sitting there doing nothing.
Having a GPS is a great tool for both safety reasons and fun. If you’re traveling somewhere new, having the GPS can help you stumble your way around.
It will let you know when you’re about to reach shallow water, so you don’t dive off the boat and hurt yourself. It will also show you what’s in the water.
This will make it easy for you to find ideal fishing spots and avoid rocks and other sharp objects.
7. Navigation Lights
It’s required for boat owners to have navigation lights much like drivers have to have functioning headlights. They will help you navigate your way to the dock after sunset.
They’ll also allow other vessels to see you and avoid bumping into you and get you through the fog and other trying conditions.
Make sure that the lights you pick up don’t flash red or blue. These colors are reserved for emergency vessels only.
They must also light your path from at least two miles away. This is another item that you’ll have to talk to an inspector about.
Depending on the size of your boat, you may only need one light, or you could need several.
All the Things a Boat Owner Could Ever Need
As a new boat owner, we know that you’re excited to get out there on the open water as soon as possible. There are a few accessories that you’ll need to pick up first.
Without the proper safety equipment, you’ll put yourself and all your passengers in danger. You also don’t want to get caught without an item you’re required to have by law.
If you’re looking for more ways to be ready for anything the open sea has to throw at you, we have you covered. Check out our blog daily for more articles like this one.