Last Updated on January 12, 2021 by Dani
Owning a boat is loads of fun. You have the freedom to go wherever you want and explore the rivers, lakes, and oceans at your own pace. For some, owning a boat is all about the excitement of the open seas, while for others it’s the luxury of disconnecting yourself from the network whenever you choose to.
Boating is fun but it is also dangerous. Man overboard situations aren’t the only drama that can happen to you out on the open waters. You could experience various malfunctions that leave you stranded, as well as incidents that could potentially compromise the structural integrity of your vessel.
Having all the safety equipment on your boat is key. We’re talking about different kinds of flotation devices, both wearable and the ones you can throw overboard. Then come the fire extinguishers. Make sure to stay on top of these as they need to be re-certified every so often. Having your visual and sound signaling devices while having an emergency beacon isn’t a bad idea either.
Next comes your personal gear. This will depend on the type of boat you have and the type of activities you’re partaking in. If you’re into kayaking, finding the best gloves for kayaking that fit your needs could prove crucial in the long term. On the other hand, if you own a sailboat, you would probably want to have a knife on you at all times in case you get tangled in lines.
Personal gear is that — personal. Sit down and figure out what you can’t do without and start from there. You can tweak your setup as you go.
Food and Supplies
There’s plenty of stuff out there on the open water, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a restaurant. Packing all the necessary food and provisions for your journey is key if you want to have a stress-free day, weekend, or week. That being said, it’s a good practice to pick your foods wisely and to pack extra food for emergencies.
Emergency Repair Kit
No one can anticipate when things could break, especially out on the water. Once a malfunction occurs, you could potentially be stranded in the middle of nowhere. Because of that, it’s a good idea to have a small emergency repair kit on your boat.
If your boat is motorized, have a complete tool set consisting of spanners, screwdrivers, and similar tools. Always have a few rolls of duct tape and electrical tape in your toolbox. These two can be true lifesavers in a pinch. Have a flashlight in there as well. You won’t get anything done in the dark.
Comms are important. Especially if you’re planning on heading out far from the shore. Being able to stay in touch with other vessels is crucial. More importantly, you need to be able to reach the Coast Guard should you need to.
Maritime fires aren’t rare, unfortunately. Needless to say, they happen fast and every moment counts. If you can get the rescue rolling your way as soon as you smell trouble, your chances of survival will skyrocket.
Have your Papers in Order
Last but not least, make sure that all of your paperwork is in order if you’re required to have it. Every state has its own set of regulations, so it’s a good idea to head over to your state’s governing agency’s website and find out what you need to have with you at all times. Getting caught without proper paperwork can lead to some pretty awkward moments, fines, and worse.
Pack Light but be Prepared
Packing for a boating trip requires hitting that balance between packing light enough where you’re not overburdened by things, and bringing everything you need for the trip. Every person has their own checklist that is customized to match their needs, the needs of their boat, and the trip they’re taking.
Try not to bring too much stuff on board, especially if said stuff isn’t absolutely necessary. Be frugal with your space and learn how to make do with what you have. That being said, never cut corners on safety and comms. Everything else can be tweaked until you’re fully satisfied with your rig.