Whether you are a new boat owner or a tenured captain, you know how important it is to be prepared with the proper items whenever you leave the dock. Here is a list of four essential items that every responsible boat owner should always have onboard.

Boat Maintenance Accessories

No matter how clean and well-maintained your boat is to start the season, you will have to do some work throughout the year to ensure that it stays in tip-top shape. Make sure you have important boat maintenance accessories such as cleaning supplies (for leather, carpeting, and teak) and other essentials such as engine oil in case any incidents occur while on the water.

Life Preservers

You must have a life vest or floatation device for every person onboard, no matter how strong their swimming skills are. In many instances, young children will need to wear a vest whenever the boat is underway, so ensure that any young guests come prepared with a vest that will fit them or that you have a selection of sizes available on the boat.

First Aid Items

No one expects the worst to happen while enjoying a day on the water, but it is important to be prepared just in case. Pack a first aid kit that stays on the boat, and fill it with items such as Band-Aids in a variety of shapes and sizes, antiseptic wipes to clean wounds, and first-aid cream. If you swim in an area where you may get stung by a jellyfish or sea nettle, having sting cream or even meat tenderizer (a boating life hack) onboard is a great idea.


Whether electronic or old-school simple paper, every responsible boater should have maps and waterway guides on their boat. You may know the water where you boat like the back of your hand, but if something happens that renders you incapable of driving the boat and someone else has to take over, they may not be as familiar. Weather can also change in an instant and blow you off course or cause you to change your destination, so having a simple way to see where you are going is essential.

Boating is a fun activity and nothing beats taking family and friends out for a ride and showing them your expertise. Keep these tips in mind before you set out for the season and you’ll have a wonderful time on the water.

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