Recreational boating is tons of fun, and it’s something that many people take part in. However, even though boating is supposed to be a casual activity, there are still plenty of things you need to do to fully prepare for any outing on your boat.
If you’re going out on the water, you need to have the proper equipment on hand to keep you safe in the event of an emergency or unsafe conditions. Operating a boat can be complicated, so you’ll probably also want some accessories to make the experience a little more convenient.
And sometimes you just need something to make boating a bit more fun.
Today, we’ll be looking at ten of the best boat accessories to help make your boating experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.
SYOSIN Waterproof Dry Bag
If you’re going on a canoe or kayak trip and you need to bring along some supplies, it makes sense to have a waterproof bag to put your stuff in. You don’t want your phone or other water-sensitive items to get ruined should you accidentally capsize or take on water.
This dry bag from SYOSIN may be just what you’re looking for. It comes in a 10-liter capacity and is made from semi-transparent PVC, which lets you easily view the contents of the bag and find items without having to actually open the bag up and rummage through everything.
The bottom of the bag uses a reinforced design to ensure that it won’t break or tear even if you’re carrying a heavy load. The bag itself uses a seamless design, leaving no space at all for water to get in and making it extremely waterproof.
Despite its waterproofing and overall toughness, this bag is designed to be as portable and lightweight as possible. If you’re not using the bag for anything, it can easily be folded down into a much smaller size and stored somewhere out of the way.
The bag comes with a long strap and a handle, meaning you can carry it either over your shoulder or by hand, whatever you prefer.
Aside from just the 10-liter dry bag, this package from SYOSIN also includes a fanny pack and a phone carrying case, which are made from the same PVC material and are equally as waterproof.
Better Boat Boat Erasers
As a boat owner, you want to keep your boat looking spic and span as much as you can. But it’s tricky if you’re actively using your boat often.
Dirt, mud, grease, grime, and other assorted types of scum are inevitably going to collect on your boat if it’s exposed to the elements, and your deck and seats are probably going to receive a few scuffs from having things bump into them.
If you’re in need of a quick and simple way to get rid of all the unappealing stains on your boat, you might want to consider checking out these boat eraser pads from the Better Boat company.
While these erasers may not be suitable if you’re trying to do a thorough deep-cleaning of your boat, they’re more than capable of removing surface stains and scuff marks.
These erasers can remove marks made by shoes, tackle boxes, coolers, and other such objects. You can use these erasers on any surface of your boat, whether it’s on the exterior or interior.
These boat erasers contain no bleach or other corrosive chemicals, making them safe to use on a variety of surface types. You can safely clean surfaces like vinyl, fiberglass, wood, plastic, and leather without worrying about damaging them.
These erasers are durable and made with a reinforced core, letting you scrub stains vigorously without having to worry about the eraser disintegrating.
EVERSPROUT Boat Hook
If you happen to own a larger vessel, docking or undocking, it can be a bit of a challenge. It’s tricky to pilot a large vessel with precision, and oftentimes you might need some kind of device to help you maneuver around and make small adjustments to your boat’s position.
A boat hook is a great tool for this purpose. You can use it to latch onto a dock and pull your boat in or use it as a pushrod to help move your boat away from a dock or other obstacle that it’s drifting toward.
The problem with a lot of boat hooks is that they’re long and unwieldy to use. Obviously, it makes sense to have a reasonably long boat hook, but then you run into the problem of how to store it.
This boat hook from EVERSPROUT addresses this issue. It’s a collapsible boat hook which can extend from 1.5 feet in length to 3.1 feet in length. If you take the length of your own arms into account, you get a range of about 6 feet with the boat hook fully extended.
The extension pole is made from anodized aluminum, and the locking mechanisms that hold the pole in place are made from galvanized metal, meaning that this boat hook is highly resistant to rust.
This boat hook is also slightly buoyant and will float for up to two minutes if dropped in the water.
When extended, this boat hook can push/pull up to 30 pounds of pressure, and when collapsed, it can handle up to 100 pounds of pressure.
Ironwood Pacific DryWave
If you have a larger vessel that spends a lot of time sitting at the dock, like a small yacht or any other boat with an enclosed cabin, then you might be concerned about mold or mildew building up in the cabin over time.
You might experience this problem, particularly if you leave your boat outside during the cooler times of the year, like spring and fall. When the air is cold and damp, moisture tends to condense on various surfaces, which is ideal for breeding mold.
The DryWave from Ironwood Pacific is a great device for keeping your vessel mold-free during cool, damp weather. This device is an air dryer that uses convection heating to raise the temperature of the room it’s placed in to prevent mold and mildew from building up.
This air dryer contains no fans or other moving parts, making it safe to use for extended periods of time (which is what it’s designed for). It includes an automatic thermal shut-off switch that activates when it detects overheating, to prevent any fires from occurring.
It also has the ability to automatically restart itself after shutting down if the temperature goes back down to a safe level.
The DryWave plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet and draws about as much power as an ordinary light bulb.
The DryWave is only effective as an air dryer if it’s used in cool, damp areas like the Pacific northwest. It’s not great for use in hot, humid areas.
Seachoice Life Vest (Bag of Four)
It’s incredibly important to have enough life vests on hand for everyone on board in the event of an emergency. Even if you’re not expecting a boating mishap to occur on your voyage, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.
Depending on where you live, it may be a law that you have to carry a life vest or another type of personal flotation device for each person on board your vessel.
If you don’t already have life vests for your vessel, you should absolutely change that as soon as possible. These life vests from Seachoice are an excellent option if you need to make sure your vessel is as safe as possible.
These life vests come in a bag of four that measures 20 inches x 12 inches x 10 inches, making them relatively easy to store on your boat. These life vests come in the U.S.
Coast Guard-approved Type II design, which is designed to ensure that wearers are always face-up in the water, even if they happen to be unconscious.
These life vests are made with a polyester outer shell and contain a PE foam filling for buoyancy. These life vests are intended for adults who weight 90 pounds or more and can accommodate a chest size from 30 to 52 inches.
They come in a bright yellow color, which helps enhance the visibility of the vest while it’s in the water.
Ezbnb Portable Radio
Having a radio, you can bring with you wherever you go can be extremely helpful if you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the water or in an outdoorsy-type of situation in general. A portable radio is perhaps most useful for receiving weather updates, which can give you time to prepare if, for example, you’re out on the water and a storm is approaching.
Of course, the issue with most portable radios is that they operate off of battery power. A radio is only useful as long as it actually works, and having a finite supply of power to work with can really hinder the usability of a portable radio.
This portable radio from Ezbnb, however, has a great feature that circumvents this problem. It comes with a hand crank that allows you to recharge the radio whenever you need to.
It also contains a built-in solar panel, and it can even take AAA batteries if you don’t want to bother with cranking it every time you want to charge it.
This device isn’t just a radio, either. It also includes an integrated flashlight and a USB outlet for charging devices like cell phones and tablets. You also get a headphone jack.
The flashlight has five settings: low, medium, strong, flashing, and SOS. When you put the radio into SOS mode, not only does the light flash, but the radio itself will make a warning sound, which makes you even more noticeable if you’re lost and need to be found.
One minute of using the hand crank will give you enough power to operate the flashlight for 1 to 20 minutes, or enough power to use the radio at medium volume for 15-20 minutes.
Coleman Sportsman Waterproof First Aid Kit
If you want to be prepared for any emergency while on your boat, you need to have a first aid kit handy. A good first aid kit can help you deal with most minor medical emergencies on the spot so that you don’t have to cut your boating trip short.
The Coleman Sportsman first aid kit is one of the best first aid kits to have on your vessel. The case of this first aid kit is completely waterproof and will keep your medical supplies dry no matter what.
This kit will also float in water if you happen to knock it overboard, and it’s designed to be crush-proof to protect the contents inside from being damaged by heavy impacts.
This is a 100-piece first aid kit and contains all the stuff you’ll need to treat cuts and scrapes. You get supplies like antiseptic wipes, bandages, medical tape, antibiotic ointment, gauze, and safety pins.
Not only this, but the label on the kit glows in the dark, which can help you locate the kit in the event of a power outage or any other low-light situation.
It’s a great first aid kit that is suitable not just for boating applications but is also extremely handy when it comes to general outdoor safety and emergency preparedness.
Garmin Striker 4
For the fishermen out there, the Garmin Striker 4 will be an incredibly useful device for you. The Striker 4 is a combination GPS/fishfinder that can help you locate fish wherever you are and can also save routes and waypoints that will help you find your way back to any great fishing spots you discover.
The Striker 4 uses CHIRP sonar to locate fish and underwater obstacles. If you’re not familiar with CHIRP sonar, it’s a type of sonar that began life as a military technology but has become more popular with recreational boaters and fishermen within the last ten years.
Basically, while most sonar devices transmit a single frequency or up to three fixed frequencies, CHIRP sonar transmits a range of frequencies with each pulse the output. This gives you a more accurate depiction of the terrain and objects below your boat.
With the Striker 4, you have access to a traditional down-imaging sonar view, but you can also switch to a flasher sonar view for applications like ice fishing or vertical jigging.
The Striker 4 doesn’t come with any maps pre-installed, but you have the option to create your own waypoint maps that let you keep track of obstacles and find your way back home.
Boat Trix Boat Trash Bag
If you’re planning on taking some friends out on your boat for a party or a get-together, you need a place to put whatever trash you generate. Most boats don’t come with built-in trash cans, and you can’t just toss your garbage overboard.
Not only is that not very environmentally responsible, but it’s also probably illegal in most places anyway.
So, what to do with all the trash you have on hand? You could just bring a trash bag with you every time you plan to have a party on your boat, but frankly, that’s a bit wasteful. It makes far more sense to have a reusable bag for trash that you can keep permanently on your boat.
This bag from Boat Trix is a great example of such a bag. It’s made of mesh and nylon and comes with a cord that you can use to easily secure the bag in a convenient spot.
The bag is 9 inches across and 27.5 inches deep, which can hold up to 20 standard-sized (12 ounces) uncrushed cans. In total, this bag can contain up to about 5 gallons worth of trash.
The cord is divided into two halves, which are connected by plastic clasps, so you can easily remove the bag and empty it without having to untie it from where it’s been secured each time.
LuxoGear Emergency Whistles
The final product on our list is another safety item. Along with life vests and first aid kits, a good whistle is something you absolutely need to have with you if you want your boating experience to be as safe as possible.
A quality whistle can potentially be a life-saving device. Even if no one can see you, a loud whistle can help alert people to your presence if you happen to be lost or stranded somewhere.
This emergency whistle from LuxoGear is a powerful whistle that can create sounds of up to 120 decibels, which can be heard from over a mile away. This whistle uses a pealess design, meaning it lacks that little round ball that you can find in some whistles.
Because it doesn’t have this ball, it’s much more durable than pea whistles, as there’s nothing inside the whistle that can break or obstruct the flow of air.
This whistle is made out of highly durable, moisture-resistant plastic. It also comes with a reflective lanyard, helping to improve your visibility in situations where you need to be noticed.
It goes without saying, but the best boat accessories to have are the ones you actually need to be as safe and responsible as possible while out on the water. That’s why things like whistles, life vests, and portable radios are incredibly necessary to have.
If you have all the most important safety stuff, however, then you might be looking for things to make your boating experience go more smoothly.
In any case, this list we’ve compiled contains some of the best boat accessories for anyone to have, period.