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10 Things You Need On A Boat: Life jacket

A life jacket is a crucial safety item for anyone on or near water. It can keep a person afloat and prevent drowning in case of an accident. Wearing a properly fitted life jacket also allows for better mobility and can help maintain body warmth in cold water. It is important to choose a life jacket that is U.S. Coast Guard approved and suitable for the intended activity and weight of the wearer.

While a compass may seem outdated in the age of GPS, it is still an essential tool for boaters. A compass can help navigate in case of equipment failure or loss of power, and it doesn’t rely on battery power or a cellular signal. Knowing how to read a compass and using it in conjunction with a navigational chart can help prevent getting lost or stranded on the water. It is important to keep the compass properly calibrated and protected from interference from metallic objects or electronics.

Why do I need all these items?

It’s important to have all the necessary safety equipment on board your boat in case of emergencies. A life jacket can save your life if you fall overboard, and a compass can help you navigate your way back to safety. An anchor is important for keeping your boat in place during strong currents or storms, and oars/paddles can help you move your boat if your engine fails. A bailer/bucket is crucial for removing water that may accumulate in the boat, and rope/line can be used for tying up to a dock or towing another vessel. A first-aid kit is essential for treating injuries, and an emergency radio can be used to call for help. A flashlight can help you see in the dark or signal for help, and a boat cover can protect your vessel from the elements. A fire extinguisher is important for putting out small fires, and a communication device can be used to call for assistance. Finally, a tool kit can be used for minor repairs and maintenance of your boat.


Anchors are an essential piece of equipment for any boater. They provide security and peace of mind while on the water by keeping your boat in place, even in strong currents or winds. When selecting an anchor, it’s important to consider the size and weight of your boat, as well as the type of bottom you’ll be anchoring on. A good rule of thumb is to choose an anchor that is at least as heavy as your boat. Additionally, a chain can be used to provide additional weight and prevent the line from getting tangled. Remember to always carry a length of rope or line as well, as you’ll need to tie off the anchor securely to ensure it stays in place.


Oars and paddles are essential for any boater, whether you’re kayaking, canoeing, or rowing. They come in various materials, sizes, and shapes, so it’s important to choose the appropriate ones for your vessel and water conditions. Wooden oars or paddles are traditional and lightweight, but they require more maintenance and may be prone to water damage. Aluminum oars or paddles are sturdy and durable, but they can be heavy and cold to the touch. Fiberglass or carbon fiber oars or paddles are lightweight and strong, but they can be expensive. Regardless of what you choose, make sure your oars or paddles are in good condition, with no cracks, bends, or splinters, and that you know how to use them properly. Remember to stow them securely when not in use, and don’t rely on them solely to navigate your boat, especially in strong winds or currents.


The fifth item on the table of contents is the bailer/bucket. This tool is very important in a boat as it is used to remove excess water from the boat. This is especially important in cases where the boat is taking on water or in situations where there is heavy rainfall. The bailer/bucket is a simple tool that can be made from a plastic container or can be purchased from a boating store. It is important to ensure that the bailer/bucket is easily accessible and that it is secured in the boat. It is also important to check the bailer/bucket for any damages or cracks before use to ensure that it is effective in removing water. By having a bailer/bucket on board, you can ensure the safety of yourself and others on the boat.


One of the most important items on the list of things to have on your boat is rope or line. It is essential to have a variety of ropes with varying lengths and strength ratings onboard. Not only can rope be used to tie up your boat, but it can also be used for towing other boats, securing gear, and even rescuing someone who has fallen overboard.

It is important to keep your rope in good condition, as a frayed or worn rope could break when you need it most. It is also important to know how to tie various knots and hitches, as this skill will come in handy when boating. A bowline, for example, is a knot that creates a secure loop in the end of your rope and is often used when tying up your boat.

Make sure to have an adequate amount of rope on board, along with a few extra pieces, in case of emergency. Stow your rope in a dry, easily accessible spot, so you know exactly where to find it when you need it.

First-Aid Kit

Having a first-aid kit on board is crucial to ensure the safety of everyone on the boat. Accidents and injuries can happen at any time, and it’s essential to be prepared to handle them. A well-stocked first-aid kit should include items such as bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary medications for individuals with specific medical conditions. Regularly check and replace items in the first-aid kit to make sure they are current and in good condition. Remember, prevention is always the best course of action, but having a well-equipped first-aid kit on board is a necessary precaution.

Emergency Radio

The emergency radio is an important item to have on board any boat trip. It allows you to stay informed about weather conditions, potential hazards, and any emergency situations that may arise. In the event of an emergency, the radio can be used to call for help and coordinate a rescue operation.

When selecting an emergency radio, it is important to choose one that is waterproof and has a long battery life. You should also ensure that the radio is compatible with the channels used by local emergency responders. Some emergency radios also come with additional features such as a built-in flashlight or GPS capabilities.

It is also important to familiarize yourself with how to use the emergency radio before you set out on your trip. Make sure that you know how to access all of the different channels and how to send a distress signal if necessary.

Overall, the emergency radio is an essential item for any boater to have on board. It can provide critical communication in emergency situations and help ensure the safety of everyone on board.

Response to Section 9 – Flashlight

When it comes to boating, it is essential to have the right equipment on hand to ensure the safety of everyone on board. One important item on the list is a flashlight. A flashlight is not only useful in case of an emergency situation, but also for general maintenance and repairs.

For example, a flashlight can come in handy when navigating through a dark boat at night or when checking the engine for any issues. In case of an emergency, a flashlight can help signal for help or to alert nearby vessels of your location.

It is important to ensure that your flashlight has fresh batteries and is stored in a waterproof container to prevent damage from water exposure. Additionally, it is recommended to have a backup flashlight on board in case the primary one fails.

Overall, a flashlight is a crucial item to have on any boat trip and should not be overlooked in terms of safety and preparedness.

Boat Cover

Having a boat cover is essential for protecting your boat from the elements when it is not in use. It can help prevent sun damage, bird droppings, and even theft. A good boat cover should fit securely and be made of durable materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions. It is important to choose the right size for your boat and to properly secure the cover to prevent it from blowing away. A boat cover is a small investment that can save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run by prolonging the life of your boat. Don’t overlook this important item when preparing your boat for storage or transport.

Responding to Section 11: Fire Extinguisher

Section 11 of the table of contents lists the necessary item for any boat owner, the fire extinguisher. It is important to have a fire extinguisher on board in case of any fire emergencies that may arise, especially in the engine compartment or electrical system.

When purchasing a fire extinguisher, make sure it is Coast Guard-approved and easily accessible in case of an emergency. It’s also important to regularly check the pressure gauge to ensure it is still functioning properly.

In addition to having a fire extinguisher, it’s important to make sure everyone on board knows how to use it properly. It’s recommended that you review the manufacturer’s instructions with all passengers before setting out on the water.

Overall, having a fire extinguisher on board is critical in maintaining the safety of all passengers on a boat. Make sure it is in good condition and easily accessible in case of an emergency.

Response to Section 12: Communication Device

Having a reliable communication device onboard your boat is essential for safety and peace of mind. In case of an emergency, being able to contact emergency services quickly can mean the difference between life and death. A communication device can also be useful for keeping in touch with other boats or if you need to call for help while out on the water.

There are several communication devices available for boaters, including handheld VHF radios, satellite phones, and cell phones. While cell phones are convenient, they may not work in areas with poor reception, which is why it’s important to have a backup communication device such as a VHF radio or satellite phone.

When choosing a communication device, it’s important to consider factors such as range, battery life, durability, and ease of use. Make sure to also familiarize yourself with how to use the device before heading out on the water.

Overall, investing in a reliable communication device is a wise choice for any boater, as it can keep you safe and connected even in the most remote areas.

Tool Kit: A Must-Have for Every Boat Owner

Section 13 of the table of contents emphasizes the importance of carrying a tool kit on board. A well-stocked tool kit is a crucial component of boat safety and can save you from a lot of unnecessary trouble. As a boat owner, you must be prepared to handle any small repairs or adjustments that may need to be made while out on the water.

Some essential items for a boat tool kit include pliers, screwdrivers, wrenches, a knife, duct tape, spare fuses and bulbs, and electrical tape. It is also a good idea to keep a spare battery and some spark plugs handy in case of an emergency.

While not all of us are skilled at fixing mechanical issues, having a tool kit onboard makes it easier to troubleshoot problems and potentially fix minor issues without being stranded on the water. In conclusion, it is critical to have a tool kit on board and to keep it updated as needed. Stay safe and happy boating!