#1 Person Overboard Recovery!
Yes, we’re starting the list off the one thing you hope you’ll never have to use, but you’ll be glad to have one if you do! (The list gets more fun as we go, we promise!) We haven’t personally tested the Lifesling MOB Recovery System: Lifesling 2, but we have heard good things about this USCG-approved device, and everything suggest that it will come through when you need it.
#2 Automatic/Manual Inflatable PFD
The biggest problems with PFDs is that they don’t do much good if you don’t wear them! But, let’s be honest, they’re not always the most comfortable things and they can get HOT on a warm day! These ONYX A/M-24 Automatic/Manual Inflatable Life Jackets (don’t worry; pink isn’t the ONLY color!!) are great from anything from kayaking to pleasure boating, and they let you stay cooler on those hot days. Remember, you’ll still want to carry standard PFDs unless you ALWAYS wear these.
If you have 4 legged friends, remember they need to be safe, too! The Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket takes care of that! We can personally say this one is just as important as your life vest. Sure, any dog can doggy paddle, until they get caught on a rope or some other unforeseen incident (isn’t that what ALL life jackets are for??). Our dog was fortunate to have one of these when a rope got tangle on her leg as she jumped in the water.
Now, the most important thing about boat safety is knowing where you are! And while these devices not only contain maps, and are also commonly called fish-finders, their REAL utilty comes in when they become rock finders! The Garmin 010-01569-00 echoMAP CHIRP 55dv with Transducer is cheap insurance when you consider the price of repairs from hitting an unseen obstacle.
#4 A Relaxation Station
Sure, you might be able to find a 8 person version of this Intex Pacific Paradise Relaxation Station Water Lounge River Tube Raft at your local Costco, and it’s not tow able (keep scrolling!), but if you like to pick a cove to park at, and just like to lounge, these are great! When the air is hot, and the water’s cold, throw your drinks in the middle and spend a few hours relaxing with your friends! We recommend a good rope to moor this so you don’t float away.
#5 A Barbecue!
Everyone needs a barbecue! The Weber 50060001 Q1000 Liquid Propane Grill has enough space to cook for 4, heats up quick, and the finish should hold up even in marine environments. If your boat doesn’t have one already built-in, this is a great option! It runs off the little propane containers OR the big tanks with an adapter. You can even get a little cart to move it between your boat, RV, or campsite.
#6 A Great Towable!
A great towable that can hold two (kids OR adults!!) is almost a must-have accessory! The AIRHEAD AHM2-2 Mach 2 Towable has hand-holds are well positioned, and it has inflatable seat cushions to make the punishment of getting bounced around not so terrible! See how long YOUR passengers can hold on!
#7 A Good Marine Battery
OK, this isn’t the most fun thing on the list, but the LAST thing you ever want is a dead battery. With 750 Cold Cranking Amps, the Optima BlueTop Starting and Deep Cycle Marine Batteries are lighter than comparable batteries from other manufacturers, and have a great reputation for a reason. Remember, the blue tops are for starting, and if you wanted deeper cycling, make sure you go with a yellow or red top!
A Good Radio!
You may notice we didn’t include this on the list; that’s because a good radio is more than just a great accessory; it’s a MUST-HAVE! There are tons of great options out there, but the Uniden UM380 Class D VHF Marine Radio is small, affordable, and gets some great reviews, both from our Boat Krazy Facebook fans and from Amazon buyers. We’ve also heard good things about the Standard Horizon GX1300W Eclipse. Whichever you go with, remember to test it out before you leave the dock, even with a simple radio check with another boat. The time to find out your radio doesn’t work is NOT when you need it!
Thanks for checking out our list, and let us know about YOUR product recommendations/experiences!