15 Things To Bring On Your Next Boat Adventure
Before you sail off into the wild blue yonder, there are a few things that every boater should have on board to provide fun and safety for the whole day. We'll start with the legalities:
- Always have a current boat registration on board. Many states now require every person operating the boat to have a license.
- Fire extinguishers, horns, flares and other safety equipment are not only a good idea, but are required by law.
- A fishing license is required if you're planning to do any angling.
- Always carry a life jacket for each person onboard.
- Boat navigation and electronics such as nautical charts, GPS, cell phones and VHS radios. The ability to communicate if in distress is extremely important, and many of these items are required if you're ever stopped by the Coast Guard, marine patrol or vessel safety inspectors.
[See also: Miami Boat Rental and Activity Guide]Next up is general safety, health and comfort:
- Stock a first aid kit with bandages, gauze and antiseptic cream as well as motion sickness medication. Hand sanitizer and wipes are nice if you're going to be handling fish and hooks. It might be a good idea to throw some insect repellent in there as well. It's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your onboard first aid kit.
- Sunscreen, chapstick, sunglasses and hats can't be stressed enough. Even if you're wearing a hat, slather on that sunscreen, it's easy to misjudge just how strong those UV rays are when you're out on the water.
- Non-slip shoes for onboard the boat, and water shoes for anchoring out and exploring small islands. As beautiful as they may be, many of those isolated areas can have rocky and shell-strewn surroundings.
- You might want a "dry bag" for documents, extra clothing, towels and other things that you don't want to take an unexpected dip into the water.
- Toss in a jacket or sweatshirt. The wind can get a little chilly when you're soaring across the water or taking an evening cruise.
- Bring along your Go Pros, waterproof cameras and binoculars to capture the fun of the day and let the nature lovers check out birds and marine animals. Sharing on Facebook and Instagram is half the fun!
- Take your tunes with you in the form of radios, iPods and MP3 players. Be sure to pick out the perfect boating playlist ahead of time.
- An insulated cooler for drinks and snacks (not to mention the fish you haul in). Being out on the water tends to make everybody feel a little snack-ish.
- Stow the waterskies, tubes, wakeboards and other water sports gear and equipment for the adventurous boaters in your group.
- Don't forget the fishing poles, bait and tackle.