What are the Essential Gear For Your Boat?

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Experienced anglers know that your kayak or boat needs more than just fishing equipment. Sometimes, the situation may get out of hand unexpectedly, and there’s next to nothing we can do to prevent that. However, we can take precautionary measures that will reduce the impact of the situation. Equipping your boat with some essential gear will help you take some control over the situation and prevent potential harm.

Dock Lines

Dock lines are essential to secure your boat to a dock. You can not go without dock lines, as you will be at risk of your boat floating away if it is not secured and you are not on board. If you are on board and happen to stop near a dock to fish, without a dock line to secure your boat, you might lose your spot and miss a good chance at catching a good fish.


To ensure your trip is smooth sailing, it is advised that you make use of fenders on board. They will reduce the severity of any kind of impact on your boat, which can spare you from sea sickness or headaches. This serves to be especially useful for novice anglers who are not used to harsh waves.


Not a lot of anglers choose to equip themselves with an anchor when they go offshore. However, it should be considered a necessary piece of safety gear. Sometimes, when mother nature gets out of hand and you are met with a sudden gust of wind, you can use the anchor to secure your boat in position. You might also run into some technical problems and power loss, and you wouldn’t want your vessel to drift away. An anchor would help prevent this.

Required Safety Gear

The US Coast Guard requires boats to be equipped with the necessary safety items before they set sail. These items include:

Life Jackets

Nearly all watercraft are required to carry at least one life jacket for every person on board for emergency purposes. For boats that are 16 feet or longer, excluding kayaks and canoes, they must have a throwable life-saving device, too.


There must be at least two ventilation ducts that can ventilate from the bilge of the ship. The ventilation must be in the fuel tank compartment that uses gasoline.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are necessary equipment for all watercraft, and they must follow certain conditions. Boats shorter than 26 feet must carry a minimum of one B-1 Type portable extinguisher. Boats that measure 26 to 40 feet long must carry a minimum of two B-1 Type extinguishers and one B-2 type extinguisher. Boats between 45 and 65 feet long must have three portable B-1 Type extinguishers or a combination of one B-1 and B-2 Type fire extinguishers.

Navigation Lights

From sunset to dusk, you will be required to turn your navigation lights on. In the case of unpredicted weather conditions, such as fog, rain, and haze, you will have to make use of the navigation lights at that time, too.

Visual Distress Signal

Boats that are smaller than 16 feet must have a Visual Distress Signal (VDS), such as flares. However, boats that are over 16 feet long must have at least three distress signals are approved by the Coast Guard.

Sound-Producing Devices

Boats are required to be equipped with certain sound-producing devices in case of certain circumstances, such as meeting, crossing, or overtaking another boat. During the time of reduced visibility, sound-producing devices come in handy, especially for safety purposes.

First Aid Kit

Always make sure that you carry a first aid kit when you set off. Should you be unable to protect yourself or another crew member from harm, be it small or great, you must be prepared. You need to be prepared for any kind of deadly situation you may run into while you are sailing on the sea. Update your kit regularly and be aware of the expired items that may be in your gear. Also, make sure that your kit is air-tight to prevent any water from seeping into it.

VHF Radio

Signals are not necessarily the strongest while out on the water, and at times like these, your cell phone might be useless. As an emergency backup, keep a VHF radio with you in case you run into some kind of unfortunate event.

Extra Food and Water

Dehydration and weakness are among the most common symptoms people face when they are out on the water. It is always wise to stock your vessel with extra food and water.

Bottom Line

It is always important for anglers to keep their kayak or boat equipped with essential gear. This will help you avoid any unforeseen circumstances that could possibly cause you harm. Follow the tips mentioned above to keep your boat equipped at all times.

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