Ready to pack for a boat ride, but not sure where to start? Whether you’re heading out for a day of deep-sea fishing or family fun, knowing what to bring will make your day easier and safer.

Follow our list or print out a copy to keep handy when you’re prepping. From safety equipment to everyday essentials, always remember:

Safety equipment

  • Life jackets for all passengers. Make sure they are U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
  • Fire extinguisher. Check to make sure it hasn’t expired and brush up on how to use it.
  • Signaling and sound devices, like a horn, bell, and/or whistle.
  • Day and night flares (which are required if you’re operating in a coastal area).
  • A first-aid kit, including motion sickness medication.
  • A marine radio and fully charged cell phone. If your phone is not waterproof, consider purchasing a waterproof case or sleeve.
  • Oars (in case you need to paddle to shore).
  • Toe lines (in the event you need to be towed).
  • Water floats for guests who are less comfortable in the water.

Sun protection

  • Broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
  • Lip balm with high SPF.
  • A lightweight long-sleeve shirt or sun-protective rash guard for all family members when you need a break from the sun.
  • Wide-brimmed hat.
  • Sunglasses.
  • An umbrella or pop-up covering if you drop anchor and want extra shade.

For your comfort

  • Insect repellent.
  • A change of clothes (in case you get sprayed, splashed, or dunked).
  • Jackets or sweatshirts. Temperatures on the water can be very different than on land and can drop rapidly in the evening.
  • Snacks and beverages. Keep ample water on board so everyone stays hydrated. Encourage water breaks to avoid dehydration.
  • Hand sanitizer or wipes. These are helpful after handling bait, fish, an anchor, or fuel.
  • Towels.
  • A trash bag or container to keep garbage contained and out of the water.

For fun

  • Swimsuits.
  • Games, water sports, and other activities for kids and guests.
  • A waterproof camera or smartphone to capture memories of your day on the water.
  • A portable radio to play music. Just remember, sound carries on the water. Be respectful of the homes and boats around you.

Official business

  • Up-to-date boat registration.
  • Fishing license. If you’re planning on fishing, make sure your license is current.
  • Your wallet with a driver’s license, emergency cash, and credit cards.

While packing for a boat ride is important, having the right coverage for your boat is just as necessary. Talk to a local, independent agent about a policy today.

This content was developed for general informational purposes only. While we strive to keep the information relevant and up to date, we make no guarantees or warranties regarding the completeness, accuracy, or reliability of the information, products, services, or graphics contained within the blog. The blog content is not intended to serve as professional or expert advice for your insurance needs. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for coverage advice and policy services.