Unlocking the Secret – The Key to Essential Boating Equipment

Every boat has basic safety equipment that is required by law. Life jackets, paddles, bail bucket, flashlight, whistle etc., are all staples of safety; but just because there is no legal requirement to carry more, does not mean you shouldn’t.

[adsense_id=”1″]Besides those little additions that make life easier on the boat, there should be much more to what you carry. As an initial example of what should be added to the regulations, is a survival kit. In the event you are broken down on the far side of a large lake, it would be of great benefit to be able to know that you will be okay for a few days.

Be A Survivor
I would suggest storing this, in a place that is both easily accessible and dry. Place the survival kit, with a few extras (sweater, water, snacks etc.) in a dry bag, and leave it on the deck. Also, attaching a bumper or float to the bag will ensure that in the event the boat does go down, you (wearing your life jacket), and the survival kit will float.

Next would be a good quality knife. I am surprised that this really isn’t a part of the essential equipment. Every boat carries a large amount of fishing lines, dock lines, anchor rope etc.; all of which can get tangles in the propeller. The ability to use a strong knife with a grip that is easily holdable when wet, may be crucial to freeing yourself. As a side note, many anglers keep a fillet knife in their tackle box and assume that this will suffice. Unfortunately, there is not enough of a backbone to these knives to do some of the work that may be required.

In the strange event that you happen to disembark the boat in the middle of the lake (either on purpose or not) you will need to get back onboard. Most boats that are multi-function (ski and fish) have a ladder on the stern to assist skiers, however, this is not true for all boats.

An excellent option for boats without a ladder, is to purchase a portable boat ladder (approximately $60), and place it on the boat. This can be of great value to you, and even another stranded boater. Try and keep this in a location on the boat that can be easily accessed from the water.

The Tools That Make The Man
Finally tools. Although you may not be an expert mechanic, there are a few items that you need to take just in case. Some minor pieces of equipment in order to change the propeller, replace spark plugs, tighten loose screws, and make general repairs, can be a true life savor. As a basic list try: a crescent wrench, sockets, multi-bit screwdriver, hammer, pliers, electric tape, WD-40, and duct tape.

In addition to the tools, make sure to carry a spare propeller, spark plugs, and a pull cord for the motor. I also like to have strong and flexible twine onboard. This is to tie the tools to the boat when they are in use. There is nothing worse then needing a tool that you brought, only to drop it into the drink.

Have fun and keep your line wet,

The Skipper

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