Accessories every boat owner needs

Written by

Luke Hilton

Luke Hilton is a Warrington-based email content writer and designer in the financial services industry. He enjoys mixing analytics and creativity and can usually be found with his head buried in stats, piecing together the patterns that make good content. In his spare time, the drive to figure things out continues with what can only be described as a love-hate relationship with DIY. With a keen love of the outdoors, Luke is usually up a mountain somewhere or in his garden growing his own oasis.

Monday 19th June 2023

Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or you’ve just invested in a new boat, there are some must-have accessories every boat owner ought to have.

In this guide, we’re sharing the equipment and supplies that every new boat owner needs to have on board…


1. Your registration documents

When you purchase a boat, you’ll be required to register it. Not only do your registration documents provide proof of ownership, but they can also be vitally important in the event of an emergency. Having your boat registration documents on board can assist search and rescue teams in identifying your vessel. These documents may also be required by your insurance provider, so having them on board can help to facilitate any necessary interactions with your insurance company should there be an accident or incident.

Ensure you’re familiar with the local regulations before travelling, so you can make sure all the documents you may need are on board. Keep everything filed together in a waterproof container and store in a dry, safe place.

2. Essential safety equipment

There are lots of equipment and accessories you should permanently keep on board to assist you in case of emergency.

Consider purchasing the following:

  • Life jackets (ensuring there are enough jackets in the correct sizes for all those on board)
  • Floating devices such as life-buoys
  • A first aid kit (specific marine first aid kits are available)
  • Distress signalling devices (both visual and sound)
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Protective gloves
  • A safety whistle
  • A floating keyring
  • Towlines

3. Anchoring equipment

Whether you’re mooring a yacht or a narrowboat, you’ll need the right docking equipment to keep your boat (and those on board) safe when securing the boat in place.

4. GPS systems

You’ll need to be able to navigate safely and accurately, so a GPS system on board is a must-have. It’s also a good idea to have a compass to aid with your navigation too.

5. Underwater inspection camera

Identify faults or damage to your boat quickly with an underwater inspection camera. This specialist equipment can be submerged below the waterline, giving you a low-cost way to investigate potential damage before it becomes a bigger problem.

6. Communication devices

If you’re just cruising the canals on a narrowboat, perhaps your mobile phone may be all you need to stay in touch with the wider world. But it’s all too easy to set off without the right chargers and power adapters. Make a list of everything you need in advance, and do a quick stock take before setting off to make sure you won’t be left without a working phone halfway through your journey.

VHF marine radios or handheld radios are also crucial for communication with other boaters and emergency services while out on the water.

7. Boat covers

Keep your boat in pristine condition with a boat cover, which protects the vessel from sun exposure, adverse weather and debris. There are plenty of different covers to choose from depending on how long you need to cover your boat.

8. A bilge pump

It’s imperative you have a bilge pump on board, which helps to remove any excess water that accumulates at the bottom of your boat. This prevents damage occurring but, more importantly, improves the safety of your boat. If you encounter a small puncture, it could prevent your boat from sinking while you repair it.

9. Water-resistant toolkit

We all know how useful a trusty toolkit can be around the house, so why not take a water-resistant version on board? You never know when you’ll need to address minor boat maintenance issues. Invest in a basic toolkit complete with wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, Allen keys, a rigging knife and much more so you’re prepared if you ever need to perform routine maintenance on board.

10. Lighting equipment

You may need to operate your boat at night or when visibility is poor. That’s why it’s a legal requirement to have working navigation lights on board.

Also consider the different lighting you might need to make your trip more comfortable, such as spotlights or flashlights. You could always string up some fairy lights inside the boat to create a cosy, brighter space too.

11. Marine binoculars

Binoculars can assist with navigating the waves but they’re also great for spotting wildlife while you’re out at sea or cruising the canals. Marine binoculars are particularly suitable as they’re waterproof and specifically designed to give you the most suitable magnification and objective size.

12. Boat fenders

Boat fenders (also known as boat bumpers), are a vital piece of equipment that prevents your boat getting damaged when you dock it. Bumps and bangs against other boats or the side of a boat dock can cause damage, but boat fenders are there to help prevent this.

13. Dock lines

Dock lines, also known as mooring lines, are a must-have if you’re planning to secure your boat to a dock or mooring. They’re a specifically designed high-strength, durable rope used to keep your boat in place. Another essential item is the mooring cleat, which secure the ropes that are used to tie your boat to the dock, and a telescopic boat hook.

14. An extra tank of fuel

Extra fuel containers can be useful for longer trips, ensuring you have enough fuel to reach your destination and return safely.

15. Porthole bungs

Become a ship stylist in no time by choosing your very own porthole plug. These covers are a great alternative to blinds or curtains, allowing you to bring a bit of personality to your boat. For just a few hundred pounds you can bring style to your space.

16. Creature comforts

Consider all the essentials you’d find in a hotel room and make sure your new boat is all stocked up. Think about towels, blankets and spare bed linen. You should also invest in a kettle, mugs and a selection of teas and coffee sachets to make sure your boating experience is as comfortable as possible.

17. Entertainment on board

If you’re heading off on a boat trip, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time on board. Stock up on games, create a mini library or buy a sound system to make sure you and your guests won’t be bored on board.

18. Cleaning supplies

You’d probably keep a selection of cleaning supplies handy at a holiday home or cottage, so make sure you’ve got cleaning equipment to keep your boat pristine. Not only will this help make your time on board more enjoyable, as you’ll be spending time in a clean environment, but it’ll help maintain the boat's appearance over time too.


How to fund your boat accessories

Kitting out your boat with all the essential equipment, supplies and accessories you need could cost thousands of pounds. Finding that kind of money upfront, particularly if you’ve just invested in the vessel itself, can be challenging.

With a personal loan, you can spread the cost of your equipment between two and seven years. This gives you the flexibility to buy what you need now and pay for it over time. No worrying about finding the money upfront or having to wait for your savings to grow before investing in essential equipment.

A loan gives you the freedom to buy what you need, too. You won’t need to explain what you’re using your loan for or be limited on where you can buy your equipment from. Simply borrow between £1,000 and £35,000 at low rates from 7.4% APR Representative (£7,500-£25,000) and use the money to kit out your boat with essential equipment.

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