Boating is a great activity that can be enjoyed solo, with friends or with the whole family. Taking to the sea, the lakes, or even the lochs in Scotland, is a wonderful way to spend the day enjoying the sights and sounds, doing some fishing or just taking a break from being on land.
But preparing for a boating trip requires a lot of essential equipment and items to ensure that you don’t get left stranded drifting in dangerous waters. Here are our recommended top five boating essentials that you should pack for your next trip.
Even if you and your guests know how to swim, there should be enough lifejackets onboard for each person. In fact, in some places having enough lifejackets onboard a vessel is a legal requirement, not just a recommended boating essential.
Being a strong swimmer won’t prevent people from getting into trouble if there are high winds and rough waters, which can make swimming to shore very difficult. Swimming long distances can be incredibly challenging even if the water is calm and still, which is why a lifejacket is essential to keep you above water when your arms and legs get too tired to keep treading water. And should you or someone else lose consciousness in the water, their lifejacket will keep their head above the water and prevent them from drowning.
Every person should have their own lifejacket, and it should be a proper fit for the person wearing it.
Boating is a relaxing pastime, but it can also be dangerous, and accidents can happen. So, as well as lifejackets, other emergency items are boating essentials, even if they never get used. Take a look at our boat safety checklist:
- Visual distress signals such as flares to grab the attention of coast guards in emergencies.
- Whistles and/or airhorns to produce sound and signals in reduced visibility.
- First aid kit for treating minor cuts and bruises or seasickness.
- Fire extinguishers for any fires that occur as a result of faulty electrical wiring or fuel problems with the engine.
- A working mobile to call for help if needed.
- A torch for seeing in the dark so you can continue to navigate.
- A toolkit for repairing any miscellaneous wear and tear that can occur out on the water.
- A life preserver to help rescue someone fallen overboard.
Every boat needs an anchor to secure it to the marina, as well as help keep the vessel stationary during storms. Some people might not think they need an anchor for casual boating, but they are a boating essential. If you should encounter a loss of power, high winds or a strong current, an anchor can prevent your boat from drifting away. No matter the length of your voyage or how close to the shore you plan to stay, you should always have an anchor on board, just in case.
If you require any ID or licences for sailing, you should make sure you always bring them with you on your trip; otherwise, you could risk receiving a fine. In the UK, you don’t require a license to sail a boat offshore, but you will need one for sailing in any inland waterways in the UK. For a license, all you need is a boat safety scheme certificate and boat insurance. You’ll also need to register your boat if you want to moor at or use inland waterways.
You’ll need to dock your boat into a marina at some point during your trip, so ropes are essential to secure it to the docks. They can also be used for laying anchor, rigging sails or reeling in life preservers. Ropes can be worn away by wear and tear, so make sure you have plenty of spare, sturdy rope stored away on board.
The next time you get ready to set sail, make sure you have everything you need for a safe and enjoyable trip. If you own or rent a boat for sailing, its also esential to keep it in tip-top condition with marine cleaning products. Keeping your vessel sufficiently clean with the right kind of cleaning supplies can extend the life of your boat and keep it looking as good as new.
At Offshore Supply, we stock a wide range of boat cleaning supplies and general boating supplies including Nalfleet marine chemicals, marine tape and Gamazyme. You can browse our range of marine cleaning products online and place an order today. We have extensive expertise in providing marine supplies for boats, yachts and the entire offshore industry. Contact us today to find out more.