The sun is out, the wind has calmed down and everyone in the family is ready to spend all day on the boat. Sounds like fun, right? But, before you cast away on your adventure, someone needs to pack everything you may possibly need for the day. That can be overwhelming. Every boater has had that feeling of being out on the water and forgetting something essential. Like when you brought a cooler of beer bottles with no bottle opener or forgot sunglasses for your daughter. The key to getting out on the water quickly with everything you need is preparation. Follow these tips for how to make the packing process easier.
The first thing you need to do is make sure your boat is prepared for a journey. Is there enough gas? Are the batteries charged? It’s helpful to keep some small parts and extra boat supplies onboard at all times. Materials like zip ties, extra hoses, hose clamps and duct tape can make the difference between being stranded on the water and making it back to the dock.
You can never have enough water when you plan on being outside all day. Besides drinking, water can be used to wash cuts or flush stinging eyes. Place food in a clean cooler that won’t be hijacked for fresh-caught fish. It’s helpful to designate a small bin to hold plates, cups, silverware and any other kitchen tools you regularly use. A container of vinegar will be handy if anyone gets stung by jellyfish. Make sure to include a real knife, tongs and trash bags. Leave all these materials in the bin so that you can easily grab it before each trip.
Driving around in the boat may be exciting enough, but when you stop and throw in the anchor you’ll need some supplies. Keep a boat bag stocked with sunscreen, a solar-powered charger, a Bluetooth speaker and maybe an air pump and patches if you brought floats. Floating foam pads are wonderful if you have the room. They don’t need to be inflated and provide a large surface for people to hang out. Portable folding anchors can be used to keep floats and pads in place. If you have children, then keep a beach bag packed with pool noodles, shovels and buckets. These will keep little ones busy for hours and can stay on your boat. One less thing to worry about packing.