Summer Boating Gear

Unless you are among the most dedicated of boat owners that take the vessel out year-round, summertime sees you on the boat more often than any other time of year. Summer is also the time that most non-boat owners get invited to go out on the water. Here are some useful tips for summer boating supplies and boating accessories you’ll want to consider- whether it is your boat or you want to be a well-prepared guest.

What to Wear: You’ll probably be tempted just to wear a swimsuit, but have a collared shirt may be the most practical way to go. It will cover you up from too much sun (including your neck) and can be used to stay warm if you are wet, and the sun is going down. Lightweight shirts with air flow are best, and a button-up shirt over your bathing suit can be opened or closed depending on the temperature. Men, bring a couple of pairs of board shorts (trunks) with pockets to carry what you need. Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen are highly recommended.

Protect Your Feet: Sure, we shed our shoes as soon as we get on the boat, but a good pair of water shoes are indispensable for a day on the water. Loading up the boat, getting it in the water or wading in shallow water can result in cut up feet (or at least a lot of discomforts) if the bed has shells or rocks; water shoes will protect your feet and dry quickly. Who wants to water-log their regular shoes? Also, water shoes are great on the boat to help prevent slipping while not being too hot. If you are canoeing or kayaking, and thus getting in and out often – water shoes are a must.

Keep Your Cool: So what is on the agenda? Fishing, water skiing, or just sunbathing, you’ll need plenty of replenishment – people sometimes don’t realize how quickly summer sun can drain you of hydration and nutrients. The right cooler is essential given the sun beating down on it – make sure it is highly insulated and is large enough to carry drinks and snacks for everyone on board without taking up all the available space.

Dry Is Better: Some of us love to cruise, some of us are adrenaline junkies. If you are planning to wakeboard or ski – or you just love going fast – you’ll want to keep your clothes and valuables safe and dry from the guaranteed water spray and even rough waves. Again, for those in a kayak or canoe, dry bags can be one of the essential marine supplies in their kit.

Scout it Out: A good set of marine binoculars will become a favorite when it comes to marine accessories – use them to scan the shoreline for coves or clearings, look for the perfect fishing spot, or even just get a better look at the wildlife or birds without disturbing them.

Safety is the most important thing to keep the top of mind when out on a boat in the summer. While some of these items may seem too obvious to mention, it is often those everyday things that get overlooked. Make sure you have the following on board every time you set sail.

Be Ready for Small Scrapes: A first aid kit in the glove box or storage compartment of the boat is an apparent necessity – but make sure it is fully stocked every time, and that it hasn’t been depleted over time. Ensure that you have a kit capable of addressing several injured persons – some smaller kits have supplies for only one person.

Quench the Fire: We don’t even want to consider a fire on a boat. But should it happen, always have an aquatic fire extinguisher, and keep it in an accessible location; teaching everyone on board how to use it is a great precaution as well.

Flotation for Everyone: If you do not have enough life preservers for everyone on board, ask them to bring their own or rent them. There is no situation, ever, that you should be on a boat without sufficient flotation devices for all. Whether in a worst case scenario you end up in the water, or someone slips off the boat – or even if you just have a weak swimmer in the water – this is non-negotiable.

Summer is full of fun and adventure, especially when you are lucky enough to be out on the water. Make sure you are protected, safe and hydrated, and your excursion is guaranteed to be a memorable one for all the right reasons! Do an inventory of all your boating accessories and marine supplies before you leave – and don’t forget your Sign & Glide membership. If something happens to your boat, we’ll be there to help.