A new boat is one of the biggest toys you’ll add to your collection, but it’s also a big commitment, and you can’t expect to become a legendary sea captain overnight. Boating should be a relaxing experience, but there’s no way to predict what types of difficulties can arise when you’re on the water. You can troubleshoot most problems beforehand by planning in advance.
Before charting your course, check out this list of must-have items for every boater:
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1. Fire Extinguisher
If you’re manning a boat with an engine, the law states that you must have a working fire extinguisher on hand at all times. If the smallest blaze flares up because of faulty electrical wiring, or fuel problems with the engine, it can easily consume your entire boat. This can be disastrous when you’re adrift several nautical miles outside the nearest safe harbor. Make sure your extinguisher is up to date and equipped to combat medium-sized fires or larger.
It’s best to keep not one, but two anchors on your vessel. A larger anchor will secure you in a marina, and help keep your ship fixed during more violent storms. Smaller anchors are beneficial if you’re floating in relatively placid waters for a brief period of time.
3. Ropes and Pantyhose
If you learn how to tie a sailor’s knot, you can show off for your passengers, but knot tying also has tons of practical applications. Boaters rely on ropes to help them lay anchor, rig sails, and reel in life preservers. Salt and water, or wear and tear can erode even the most sturdy of ropes over the years. For this reason, it’s essential to keep extra lengths of rope stowed away.
Pantyhose can be a worthy substitute. Their durable material can tie things together, replace broken belts for a quick fix, and filter debris out of engine oil and gasoline.
4. Emergency Items
Every person on your boat needs a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket they can access quickly in case of an emergency. Keep flare guns and flashlights on board to convey a visual distress signal. Whistles and air horns meet the legal requirements for sound devices since they can produce a four second-long blare that stretches for up to a half-mile. It’s also helpful to have a first-aid kit readily available to treat minor cuts, bruises, and seasickness you and your passengers might experience during your voyage.
5. The Absorber
High waves are a hazard for even the most seasoned captain, but how do you troubleshoot the water that splashes onto the deck when you’ve hit some choppy waves? Our Absorber cloth is one of the only products designed to soak up water from boat seats, and towel off wet crewmembers, too. Its super absorbent material draws moisture from surfaces. After you’re done using it, squeeze it out and store it back in its durable plastic tube. The Absorber is machine-washable and lasts for years.
This quick list of items is a must for every boater to set out with minimal worry. Of course, you’ll customize your own checklist as you gain experience, but what better way to start than keeping your beloved vessel safe and clean.