Essential Gear for Your Boat

Essential Gear for Your Boat

Sometimes you don’t know what you need until you need it. But if you’re on the water when you need something – and you don’t have it – you might be in for a long, miserable day.

HERE ARE SOME ESSENTIAL ITEMS YOU SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE ONBOARD YOUR BOAT FOR WHEN SOMETHING BREAKS OR THINGS GO WRONG.

  • Life jackets.  This is a no-brainer. Make sure you have enough PFDs for everyone onboard. Also, throwable flotation devices are required on any vessel over 16 feet.
  • Communication devices. Never leave land without a VHF radio and a cell phone.
  • Tool box. You should have an onboard tool box stocked with basic tools including a hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, duct tape and scissors or shears.
  • Always carry waterproof flashlights and/or headlamps, preferably several.
  • Spare batteries. Make sure you have plenty and that you have different sizes available for various purposes.
  • Spare parts. Carry equipment spares onboard such as light bulbs, fuses, a fuel filter, water pump and more.
  • Sound-producing device. Your boat should have a horn that can produce a four-second blast that can be heard a half-mile away.
  • Distress signals. Carry flares and day signals onboard and make sure they are easily accessible.
  • First aid kit. Read what to keep in your onboard first aid kit here.
  • Fire extinguisher. You should have at least one fire extinguisher onboard (preferably more), and more sure it is easily accessible.
  • Tow line. Have a sturdy line available to make it easy to get a tow.
  • Jumper cables. It’s smart to have a set of cables available for when your battery dies.
  • A bailer. If you get a leak, even a small one, you’ll want something onboard that you can bail water with.
  • Spare food and water. If you get stuck on the water for a while, you’ll want access to food and drinking water. Carry a small stash onboard for emergencies.
2017-07-06T11:52:35+00:00

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