There are many boat accessories that you should have on board your boat to ensure your safety and to be prepared for any emergency. This will also depend on the purpose of the boat. The accessories used in a leisure boat or a fishing boat can be quite different. If you are fully stocked with the essentials, you will be able to make the most of your time on the boat.
Safety is the number one priority when it comes to selecting boat accessories. You need to make sure that the safety of everyone on the boat is accounted for when there is an emergency. Make sure that there is a first aid kit that can be used whenever there is an accident. There are some basic items that should be included in a first-aid kit such as different types of bandages, gauze, pain relievers, cold packs, antiseptic, basic medications etc. Think about what is in your home first-aid kit.
There are certain medications that you need to carry as well. Seasickness is something that can happen to the passengers of the boat so it is best to keep some motion sickness pills at hand. Also stock the boat with sunscreen, burn care and an emergency space blanket. Other safety items include life jackets, personal floatation devices and fire extinguishers. There should be at least one fire extinguisher on the boat.
You need accessories to signal when you are in distress. Make sure that there are signal flares on hand. While some regulations specify that signalling equipment should be on board small boats only at night, it is best to have them at hand at all times. These include smoke signals, parachute flares, hand held flares and electric distress lights. You should also have a VHF radio that will help you when in distress and this is something you can buy from a marine parts store. There are different channels you can use for different situations. There should be a GPS system on the boat. This way, you can easily map where you are going and identify where you are. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, you will be able to let the Coastguard know your exact location so that they can reach you quickly.
When docking your boat, it is normal to have your boat very close to other vessels or any other object. This can cause some damage to your boat if you are not careful. One way of ensuring this doesn’t happen is to use boat bumpers. This protects the boat from collisions. You will also need to have a dry box or dry bag that can carry personal items safely. But you need to think about the number of people that can be on board and the size of box required to store everything. Make sure there are solar powered chargers in your boat that can act as a reserve to charge different devices such as the GPS, phones, fish finders, VHF radio etc.