Boat riders who are experienced will have a list of necessary items for their boats before they venture out on the water. The checklist will often include safety equipment and essential gear for emergency situations. Here is a list that every boater should have before they leave the dock.

1. Your registration and license

Consider the requirements of your state for operating and owning a boat. To prove you are the owner of the boat, you will first need to register it. Depending on the size and type of your boat, registration fees can vary between states. A boat license can be renewed each year for 25 to 250 dollars. You will also need your boat permit and your personal identification documents.

2. Life jackets

Every boat operator should have life jackets. If you have guests, always keep extra life jackets. There are many life jackets available. Make sure you have the right flotation devices for your expedition. Only purchase USCG-certified jackets for life that have been tested for safety, reliability, and durability. A quality life jacket can be purchased for between 20 and 100 dollars.

3. First aid kit

You can use a first aid kit to handle any emergency that might arise on your boat rides. You can get hurt, scrapes and bruises on your boat rides, especially if you’re riding in a stormy weather. You should ensure that you have enough first aid equipment to provide for all passengers. A first aid child can help save lives if there are minor injuries. Keep your first aid kit stocked with new supplies, as well as those that have expired. First aid kits are inexpensive and easily accessible at any boat dealership.

4. Repair tool kit

Boaters who are experienced always have a well-stocked toolkit with them when they leave the dock. You can fix minor repairs quickly and without having to call an expert. The following are some examples of common repair tools:

  • A knife that will help you untangle knotted lines.
  • The screwdriver can tighten loose screws that could cause vibrations.
  • Jumper packs are used to jumpstart an engine after the batteries have died.
  • Use duct tape to attach any items that are not in the boat.
  • Use electrical tape to cover exposed wires.

If you plan to use your boat for long-distance cruises, consider adding mercury outboard components to your toolkit. A repair kit should include extra oil, fuel filters, oil change kits and lubes as well as an adjustable wrench.

5. Anchor and rode

Even if you don’t plan to anchor at sea, it is recommended to have an anchor to ride with you. Anchors are essential for maintaining your boat’s position in case of mechanical breakdowns or other difficulties during your expedition. You risk being swept away into deep waters and beyond the radar of rescue boats. An anchor and rode allow you to enjoy lunch on deck while avoiding the risk of your boat drifting. There are many options for anchors, but you can get a small boat anchor that is high quality and affordable at $50.

6. Fire extinguishers

Everyone involved is at risk if a fire breaks out on a boat at sea. A fire extinguisher is the best way to protect your boat, passengers, and cargo. The requirements for a fire extinguisher vary depending on the type and size of your boat.

7. Flashlights and emergency flares

If you are stuck at sea or run out of fuel, emergency flares can help call the rescue team. To increase your chances of obtaining assistance if you are stranded, choose visual distress signals that emit a lot of smoke and light. Flashlights are useful for night vision and can be used as distress signals if you run out. Always keep an extra set of flashlight batteries with you.


Boat rides offer an relaxing escape. You can enjoy the outdoors while you unwind from the world. For more information on boat riding, check out our other content.

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