Boat Trip Checklist: 7 Essentials You Need on a Boat Trip



Packing for a boating trip is similar to that of an airplane. You start by preparing a list and packing your items. Deciding what to carry can be daunting to some, but it doesn’t have to be. Every experienced boater knows they must have a pre-departure checklist they refer to before they set sail. However, it isn’t easy to know what to bring along if you’re new to boating or tend to forget things often when you want to head out.

Fortunately, this article will highlight seven essentials you should have on a boat trip. This list will help you identify important items that you must carry.

If you plan to go on a long trip in a large boat, like a surf boat or a 24 ft wakeboard boat, you must ensure you carry your boating license, registration, and insurance documents. You should also carry your national ID or passport. You may be asked to produce them somewhere along your trip.

  • Smaller grab bag

You need to keep all your items of importance, like your keys, cash, wallet, passport, credit cards, prescription medication, mobile phone, and the like, in a small bag that you can grab easily in an emergency. In this bag, you should also include a list of emergency contact names and telephone numbers, insurance policy numbers, and medical providers’ names and numbers.

  • Soft-sided luggage

Store everything in soft-sided luggage, such as a backpack or a duffel bag, on a boat trip. It would be best to maximize onboard storage space. Hard luggage could be difficult to fit in your boat’s cabinets and closets.

  • Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a contender for the first item to carry on a boat trip. Always carry more sunscreen than you think you need. Ignoring sunscreen leads to serious skin conditions like sunburns and sun damage. A good rule of thumb is to only use sunscreens rated over SPF 15, as they provide maximum protection. Additional features like resistance to water and sweat are good to have.

  • Sunglasses

Most people think that sunglasses are just for passengers, but drivers need them too. The sun can be quite blinding while boating as its rays reflect off the water. Sunglasses will also prevent water from splashing into your eyes so that you can remain concentrated on the task at hand. It’s also a great idea to choose polaroid sunglasses to minimize the amount of glare reaching your eyes due to reflected light, enhancing your sight, and keep them open wide.

  • First aid kit

A boat trip is an adventure, and you need a first aid kit during any adventure. Accidents happen unexpectedly, and a first aid kit could save your life. However, before you head out, ensure the kit is waterproof, watertight, and fully stocked. The first aid kit should contain gauze, bandages, gloves, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, etc. Besides the first aid kit, you should also have a water-resistant flashlight, matches, flares, and a fire extinguisher.

  • Sailing Knife

Consider carrying a knife secured to your belt for convenience and safety. The knife will be handy when you need to cut through the sailing rope. You can also carry a marlinspike, which you might need if you want to pry rope strands open for splicing.

Concluding thoughts

Fortune favors the prepared. You must be well-prepared and have the right tools and equipment to have a successful boat trip. When deciding what to carry on your boat trip, we hope the abovementioned essentials will help you determine the most important items to pack. Whether planning for a single-day or a week-long trip, you must ensure you have the right items to make it through the trip – otherwise, you may encounter several challenges.


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