Finding the Right Equipment for Your Boat

Your boat is a finely tuned machine, equipped with technology to make your fishing trips or casual excursions safe and secure. But with today’s boat accessory market flooded with gadgets designed to boost the safety and enjoyment of all boaters, do yourself a favor and consider adding a few to your vessel.

Boating Safety Accessories

Nothing is more important than the safety of those in and around your boat. The following accessories range from every day to emergency-only usage, but they’re all worth your dollar:

Flotation devices. State laws will dictate how many flotation devices you legally need to have on your boat, but think about buying other types in addition to standard life jackets. Throwable flotation devices can be had in many different varieties, including rings, jackets and cushions.

Air horn. Small but mighty, air horns can signal distress to other boaters, emergency personnel or people on nearby shores. A typical air horn produces a loud, harsh signal audible up to approximately one mile away.

Fire extinguisher. Despite being out on a body of water, you’ll need a fire extinguisher in case a fire of any size breaks out on your boat. Your extinguisher should be in an easily-accessed location, and all boat passengers should know how to use it in the event of an emergency.

Overboard sensors. If you’ve got a large boat and routinely have more than a couple passengers or pets onboard, look into overboard sensors. New versions offer keychain-like sensors that connect wirelessly to an app, alerting users if any of the sensors sense moisture or lose connection with the app.

First aid kit. A basic first aid kit should contain bandages, scissors, tweezers, tape, and gauze. You or any passengers should be able to treat minor injuries, or keep an injured person’s wounds stabilized until they can be reached by medical personnel.

Navigation accessories

Stopping, moving, and knowing where to go — all three are a heck of a lot easier when you’ve got these items handy:

Anchor. So you’ve found your perfect fishing spot, but can’t stop your boat from roaming away — well, get an anchor! Most boats come with an anchor, but make sure the size and weight of your anchor is proportional to your boat.

Paddles. You’d like to think it’ll never happen, but there might come a time when your motor fails while you’re out on the water. Paddling with your hands is tiring and 100 percent ineffective, and it’s after you’ve tried it that you’ll wish you had some real functional paddles.

GPS system. While your phone might have GPS capabilities, you’re better off getting a standalone GPS system built for boats to account for lack of service or a dead battery. If you like to boat on unfamiliar bodies of water, a GPS can serve you well when getting your vessel back to dock.

Trolling motor. A trolling motor allows you to slowly and quietly move your boat around the body of water. Say you’re fishing and you want to move your boat a few yards toward the center of the lake —instead of firing up your motor, wasting gas and making noise, you start up your trolling motor and scoot to your destination.

Comfort accessories

Cruising the open water is an unbelievably relaxing activity — except for when it rains or your boat malfunctions. Prepare for life’s minor inconveniences by picking up these items before you hit the water next:

Waterproof phone bag. You’ve got two options — risk dropping your phone in the water and losing it forever, or buy a waterproof phone bag for under $20, protecting your phone from the hazards of life on the boat.

Dry bag. There are plenty of things you’ll bring on your boat that you won’t want to get wet from wave splashes or rain, such as extra clothing, electronics and food. Have at least one on your boat to protect your items and your trip from turning into a soggy mess.

Multi-tool. You never know when a screw will need tightening, a fishing line will need cut or any other series of handyman-like tasks while present themselves. Don’t lug your entire toolbox on your boat every time you hit the water — grab a versatile multi-tool instead.

In addition to all of the safety accessories you’ve equipped your boat with, your American Family Insurance plan can help protect your loved ones and what’s important to you. Get in touch with your agent today and make sure your plan is up to your standards.

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Related Topics: Boat , Safety Tips , Lifestyle