As boaters, sailors and seafarers who love messing about on the water, we know that having the right gear on board can make a huge difference in the overall boating experience.
In this post we’ll take a look at some of the best boating accessories available on the market today. Whether you’re a seasoned vet or just starting out, these accessories are sure to enhance your time on the water. But before we get in to the complete article, here’s three of the best boat accessories to whet your appetite.
We’ve split the article into sections to make it easier to navigate.
Essential Safety Gear
When it comes to boating, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some essential safety gear items that every boater should have on board:
The Best Life Jackets and PFD’s
Life jackets and personal flotation devices (PFDs) are a must-have for every boater. They are designed to keep you afloat in case you fall overboard or are involved in an accident. It’s important to make sure that you have enough life jackets on board for every passenger, and that they are the appropriate size and type for each person.We love the O’Neill Men’s Superlite USCG Life Vest because it’s a great price for pretty much every feature you need in a budget life vest.
And if it’s a money no object type of purchase, and well, it is a life jacket after all, we really like the Bluestorm Stratus 35.
Fires can happen on boats just as easily as they can on land, so it’s important to have a fire extinguisher on board. Make sure that the extinguisher is the correct type for the type of fire that could occur on your boat, and that it is easily accessible in case of an emergency. God forbid you do ever need to tend to a fire, we like this option from First Alert.
Best Fire Extinguisher
First Aid Kits
Accidents can happen on boats, so it’s important to have a first aid kit on board. Make sure that your first aid kit is well-stocked with items like bandages, antiseptic, and pain relievers. It’s also a good idea to take a first aid course so that you know how to use the items in your kit in case of an emergency. Disclaimer: Yes this is our own first aid kit, but we feel like it’s the best in the business for marine use.
Best First Aid Kit
Emergency Signaling Devices
In case of an emergency, it’s important to have a way to signal for help. Emergency signaling devices like flares, whistles, and mirrors can help rescuers locate you quickly. Make sure that you have the appropriate signaling devices on board, and that you know how to use them. By making sure that you have these essential safety gear items on board, you can help ensure that you and your passengers stay safe while enjoying your time on the water. Here are a few signalling devices we highly recommend.
Of course, all boats over 16 feet long must carry a flare at all times – and even if your boat is smaller, it’s still a good idea to always be prepared. And while our top pick is not a flare in the traditional sense, it complies with all of the US Coastguard regulations.
Navigation and Electronics
There are a ton of gadgets and gizmos you can buy for your boat. Here are just a few of the favorites.
A GPS chartplotter is an essential tool for any boater. It helps you navigate the waterways and avoid hazards. The Garmin Echomap is one of the best GPS chartplotters on the market. It has a 3-inch color display and comes preloaded with BlueChart g3 coastal charts. It also has a built-in compass, barometer, and accelerometer.
Best Fish Finder
VHF Marine Radios
A VHF marine radio is an essential safety tool for boaters. The Cobra HH350 is pretty awesome – submersible, backlit display and with a floating design, you’ll be happy with this purchase.
Anchoring and Docking
When it comes to boating, anchoring and docking are essential for safety and convenience. In this section, we will discuss the best accessories for anchoring and docking your boat.
Anchors and Rodes
The type of anchor you need depends on the type of boating you plan to do. For most boats, a danforth or fluke anchor is the most common type. This type of anchor features two sharp blades that stick into sandy or muddy bottoms. If you are boating in rocky areas or near structures, a plow anchor may be a better choice.
When selecting an anchor, consider the size and weight of your boat, as well as the type of bottom you will be anchoring in.
It is also important to have the right rode, or anchor line, to ensure that your anchor stays secure. A good rule of thumb is to have at least seven times the depth of water in rode length.
Dock Lines and Fenders
Dock lines are essential for tying your boat to a dock or other stationary object. Nylon is the most common material for dock lines, as it is strong and durable. It is also important to have the right length and thickness of dock line for your boat, as well as the right number of lines to ensure stability.
Fenders are also important for protecting your boat from damage while docked. They are typically made of durable vinyl and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. It is important to have the right size and number of fenders for your boat to ensure maximum protection.
Best Dock Line
Comfort and Convenience
Now we get to the good stuff! We think having the right gear for that perfect day on the boat has to include things top make your trip confortable – gear for grilling and gear for chilling!
Marine Seating and Deck Chairs
Marine seating and deck chairs are essential for any boater who wants to relax and enjoy the ride. There are so many different types of marine seating and deck chairs available, from simple folding chairs to high-end captain’s chairs with built-in armrests and footrests.
Best Boat Seat
Coolers and Refrigeration
Keeping your food and drinks cold on a hot day is essential for any boater. Coolers and refrigeration systems are the perfect solution for this problem. There are many different types of coolers and refrigeration systems available, from simple ice chests to high-tech refrigerators that can be powered by solar panels.
This cooler is designed to be rugged and durable, with a rotomolded construction that can withstand even the toughest conditions. One of the best coolers for 2024 is the Yeti Tundra 45. It also features thick insulation that can keep your food and drinks cold for days on end.
Best Portable Cooler
Best Large Cooler
Marine Grills and Galley Equipment
If you love to cook, then a marine grill or galley equipment is a must-have accessory for your boat. There are many different types of marine grills and galley equipment available, from simple portable grills to high-end built-in grills that can be powered by propane or natural gas.
One of the best marine grills for 2024 is the Magma Newport 2 Infrared Gourmet Series Gas Grill. This grill is designed to be compact and efficient, with a powerful infrared burner that can cook your food quickly and evenly. It also features a built-in thermometer and a grease tray that makes cleaning up a breeze.
Best Boating Grill
Fun Boat Accessories
Towables and Tubes
Towables and tubes are great for adding some excitement to your PWC experience. Some of the best towables and tubes for 2024 include:
- Airhead Mach 2: This towable can hold up to two riders and features a backrest and side wings for added stability.
- SportsStuff Poparazzi: This towable can hold up to three riders and features a unique “winged” design that allows riders to steer and control the towable.
- O’Brien Super Screamer: This tube can hold up to two riders and features a durable nylon cover and multiple handles for different riding positions.
Best for One Rider
Best for Two Riders
Best for Multiple Riders
For a more leisurely PWC experience, paddle sports equipment is a great accessory to have. Some of the best paddle sports equipment for 2024 include our following picks.
Best Inflatable SUP
Best Budget SUP
An inflatable boat dock is a floating structure made of inflatable materials, offering a portable and lightweight platform for boats and water activities. Typically constructed from durable materials like PVC or Hypalon, these docks are easily inflatable and deflate for convenient transport and setup. They serve as temporary solutions for mooring, boarding, and other water-related uses in areas where permanent docks may be impractical. Inflatable boat docks are commonly used in lakes, rivers, and marinas, providing versatility and ease of use.
Best Inflatable Dock
When it comes to boating accessories, fishing equipment is a must-have. Here are a few of our top picks for 2024:
Fishing Rod Holders
Rod holders are essential for keeping your fishing rods secure and organized while you’re out on the water. In 2024, we recommend investing in adjustable rod holders that can accommodate a variety of rod sizes and styles. Try to look for models that are made from durable materials like aluminum or stainless steel, and that can be easily mounted to your boat’s gunwales or rails.
Fishing Tackle Storage
Keeping your tackle organized and easily accessible can make all the difference when you’re trying to reel in a big catch. We suggest investing in a tackle storage system that can accommodate all of your lures, hooks, and other fishing gear. Look for models that have multiple compartments and trays, as well as secure latches or locks to keep your gear safe and secure.
Lighting and Underwater Lights
Lighting can add a whole new dimension to your boating experience. LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular and is available in a wide range of colors, making it easy to customize your boat’s look.
A good sound system can take your boating experience to the next level. High-quality speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers can make your music sound better than ever before. Bluetooth connectivity is also a must-have, allowing you to stream music wirelessly from your phone or other devices.
Graphic Wraps and Decals
If you really want to make a statement with your boat, consider adding a graphic wrap or decal. These can be customized to your liking, allowing you to create a unique look for your vessel. Whether you want a bold design or something more subtle, there are plenty of options available.
Best Of The Rest
Of course, as this is a best boat accessories blog post we have to include our very own waterproof backpack. The Fogland waterproof pack has been developed over trial and error – read more about it here.
Having the right accessories can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying time out on the water. Whether you need to stow gear securely, want to fish, or simply relax on deck, our list of top boat accessories has something for everyone. As you head into the 2024 boating season, consider picking up some of these must-have items that will help you make the most of your time on the waves.
They’ll no doubt enhance your excursions and become indispensable additions for all your aquatic adventures in the months and years to come.