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Marine Accessories Buying Guide

 For any boat owner, marine accessories are important for getting the most enjoyment out of one's watercraft, and for safety in the case of emergency.

Lawful Essentials

Required to leave the harbour
  • Required for every person on board.
  • Come in different sizes , and colours , even for pets . 
  • Buoyant in case of emergency. 
  • You look just as cool as everyone else on board. 
  • In case of emergency, others can hear you.
  • A good warning for other, larger ships that might run into you, especially in Inclement weather.
  • Different styles, mounted ,hand held and battery operated , and classic air horn . 
  • Really big ships can see you on their radar.
  • The Coast Guard can see you on their radar.
  • Don't leave the harbour without one.
  • For emergencies. 
  • Great if the fire is inside the boat, too far from the water.

Necessary Provisions

A radio is a must if you are going to leave the harbour. It not only allows you to send a distress signal in case of emergency, but also makes it possible to:

  • Check the weather and any storm warnings.
  • Help other crafts in distress.
  • Communicate with the coast guard or any other mariners who are radio equipped. 

Mounted radios hold their own when weighed against hand-held radios. 

  • Easy to find in an emergency.
  • Reliable energy source.
  • Won't get lost or damaged in rough seas.

Some find that hand-held radios are preferable to their mounted counter-parts. 

  • Can be stored on your person.
  • Waterproof.
  • In the case of a life-raft deployment, you can take it with you.
  • Runs on batteries.
  • Won't rust.
  • Less clutter on your dashboard.

Again, useful for leaving the harbour.

  • A GPS lets you, and therefore others, know exactly where you are, even in storms.
  • Mounted versus hand-held have the same pros and cons as the marine radios. 
  • Mounts are available, making a hand-held convertible. 
  • In the case of an emergency, others will know your position for easier location.
  • Waterproof.
  • Some even come equipped with fish-finders and even radios.

A bilge pump can help to keep from taking on too much water, or to simply avoid standing ankle deep in water.

  • Comes automated or manual.
  • Different sizes.
  • Automated versions turn on and off depending on water level.
  • Manual versions make it easy to bail out smaller vessels.
  • Recommended for larger craft to purchase secondary pump.

A docking light can make nighttime docking less stressful, and less likely to dent your boat.

  • Docking lights come in mounted  or torch  versions.
  • Mounted on the bow, works very much like car headlamp.
  • Improves visibility .

Not just for first-aid.

  • Most marine emergency kits come with extra rope, megaphones, light sticks, sunscreen, drinking water, emergency compass, and a siphon pump. 
  • In case of emergency, whether it's a fishing lure mishap or you're stranded in a life-raft, it's a good idea to have one.
  • A good back-up kit is not a bad idea.

If you don't have a dock, or are overnighting it in the ocean, an anchor is generally a good idea.

  • Keeps your boat from drifting away.

Know what kind of anchor you need before you buy, they differ with boat size and terrain.

  • Some are as simple as a mesh bag full of rocks.
  • Some are complicated, heavy, and require extra winches and equipment.
  • It really depends on what kind of water craft you need it for.

 

 A mounted marine compass is a quick way to check your direction, and stay on course. 

  • Can be mounted on the dash for speedy navigational verification.
  • Maritime course-plotting standard.
  • Easy to use.
  • Won't be damaged by salt water.

In case your motor stops, you lose your existing paddles, or you end up in a life-boat.

  • Most float, so in an emergency, they are easy to find.
  • A good back-up source of propulsion.
  • If you can't find a life jacket, paddles can be used as a personal floatation device in an emergency.
  • Many come with hooks attached to the end, for easy rope retrieval. 

If you have anything on board that might fail in the event that your battery runs out, this might be handy. 

  • Recharges your battery.
  • Available for on board and portable use.
  • In the case of an emergency can be used as a power source.
  • Keeps your electronics running.

Replacement/ Extra Parts

You might want an extra

If your microphone for your radio gets damaged or lost, a backup is not a bad idea in the case of an emergency. 

With so much gear to mount, sometimes we forget to buy the mount to attach it with. Double-check that your GPS, compass or radio comes with its own mount, or pick up an extra.

For swimmers, accidental or proper, a ladder makes reboarding your boat a lot simpler. 

You never know when a propeller will get snagged on a line or chewed by unseen rocks. An extra means less worry about paddling back to port. 

 Trailers and Accessories

Trailer trappings

If you plan to take your boat on the road, a trailer is absolutely essential. You can rent one from a dealer, but having your own has its benefits, like being able to store your boat at home, or go away for a mini break on a whim. Make sure the size of the boat matches the size of the trailer. 

If your trailer gets a flat, you'll find yourself looking for a spare. Save yourself some time--buy one early.  You can never be too prepared, and nothing ruins a holiday like a flat. 

A trailer jack makes it easier to load and unload your boat trailer from your vehicle.  They come in different sizes, and weight classes, as well as manual and electric. 

If you have a trailer, you need a winch to keep your boat on the trailer and keep it secure. There are many different kinds of winches, but the standard hand crank is easy to use. 

Related Products

A fish finder shows you the fish before you cast. Mounts onto your boat for easy access. Waterproof and won't corrode. 

For trolling accuracy, a downrigger can be helpful. Some come with depth counters, and can be salt-water resistant. 

Helps protect your seats from salt water and rain. One size fits most boat seats.

For wakeboarding, water tubing , and waterskiing .