You just booked your first boat rental
, and your excitement level is off the charts. You picture yourself lounging on the boat’s deck, soaking up the sun while you sip an icy drink. You also invited your friends or significant other along for the ride. To set yourself up for a safe, enjoyable boat rental experience, pack these 10 boating essentials or confirm that they’re aboard the boat.
Top 10 things to bring on your first boat rental:
First Aid Kit
–Bring a basic first aid kit containing bandages, gauze, and antiseptic cream. To minimize queasiness, pack motion sickness pills or tastier crystallized ginger. Add hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, especially if your boat rental includes some fishing time.
–For a warm-weather adventure, wear loose, light-colored clothing. A jacket or sweatshirt will fend off chilly winds, and layers are useful for cooler temperatures. Pack a rain jacket, too. Heels or dress shoes have no place on a boat – period. You’ll be ripe for an accident, and the video will likely wind up on Facebook. Wear non-slip shoes with white soles, as dark soles can leave undesirable deck marks. If your boat rental includes an island excursion, pack water shoes to protect your feet from rocky beaches and shells.
Sun Protection Gear
–Consider clothing containing SPF protection, and add a wide-brimmed hat to help shield your face. Quality polarized sunglasses will reduce the sun’s glare on the water. Slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF factor, and add an SPF-containing lip balm. Don't forget to re-apply often!
Effective Insect Repellent –
You could face an onslaught of thirsty mosquitoes and the dreaded no-see-ums (also called the “flying teeth”). To fend off this airborne torture, pack some insect repellent. DEET-containing sprays are popular, along with lemon/eucalyptus oil and other regionally popular concoctions.
Drinks and Snacks
–Pack cold drinks (especially water) in a compact insulated cooler. Bring plenty of non-perishable snacks, such as granola bars, fruit, or nuts – all great for noshing underway.
Your Favorite Tunes
–Here’s where your iPod, Beats Pill or other type of MP3 player comes in handy. Enjoy your boating-friendly playlist via earbuds, or crank up the volume and share it with your shipmates.
Binoculars and Cameras
–Binoculars help you spot elusive navigational markers, and also get you up-close-and-personal with intriguing marine life. Whether you have a high-tech GoPro, a nice digital setup, or a simple waterproof camera, you’ll find many great photo opportunities.
Water Sports & Fishing Gear
–If you enjoy wakeboarding, tubing, or snorkeling, bring that gear along. Add dry-off towels, extra clothing, and maybe a dry bag. For a fishing-focused boat rental, bring your poles, tackle, and bait – and that all-important fishing license.
Boat Operational Gear
–Every boat must have a current registration certificate aboard.
The United States Coast Guard’s minimum vessel safety gear requirements include current fire extinguishers, visual distress signals, and sound-producing devices. Each person aboard must have a personal flotation device (PFD), which fortunately are much more comfortable these days. Your boat rental captain and the boat’s owner will handle this but it is worth your time and effort to check in on things before setting sail.
Navigation & Communication Equipment
– The US Coast Guard recommends that most boats have navigational charts aboard. Although electronic charts and GPS units are common, paper charts are foolproof if the boat’s power fizzles out. Because mobile phone coverage could be spotty, confirm that the vessel has a working marine (VHF) radio, enabling you to contact the marine patrol or Coast Guard in an emergency. Also, if the Coast Guard boards the boat for a Vessel Safety Check, they want to verify a reliable means of voice communication. Again, your boat rental captain and the boat’s owner will have covered this topic...but checking in on it is never a bad idea!
To get your boat rental going, contact Boatsetter, the leading boat-sharing company that helps boaters to connect with local boat owners and rent privately-owned powerboats and sailboats. Book with or without a captain, and get ready for an exciting day on the water.