Play

Boating day trip kit

What to pack for a fun, safe day on the water

Spending a bright, sunny day sailing the open seas is so much fun. But, there’s nothing worse than getting underway only to realize that you forgot something essential—like snacks or life jackets. Guests get grumpy when they’re hungry. And the Coast Guard doesn’t mess around when it comes to personal flotation devices (PFD’s).

To help you avoid having to turn back mid-cruise, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of everything you’ll need for a fun, safe day on the water. Do a quick run through the handy infographic below before you leave the dock and you won’t miss a thing!

boating checklist

Safety

This is easily the most important category (with refreshments coming in a close second). Your boat likely comes equipped with most of these items, but it never hurts to double check—just in case. And don’t forget to check the weather conditions and take a headcount before you get underway!

  • Air horn
  • Binoculars
  • Boat hook
  • Compass
  • Fire extinguishers
  • First-aid kit
  • Flares
  • Flashlights w/ extra batteries
  • Guest headcount
  • Life jackets (1 per person)
  • Maps/digital GPS
  • Throwable life ring
  • VHF radio
  • Whistle

Refreshments

When in doubt, pack a bunch of water. All that sunshine and salty air can lead to serious dehydration! If you’re planning on a longer trip, you’ll want to have some extra goodies onboard, too.

  • Beverages & water
  • Extra snacks
  • Food
  • Hot chocolate
  • Ice
  • Utensils

Comfort

Conditions on the water can change minute to minute, so you’ll want to be prepared. Getting a serious sunburn or freezing your you-know-what off is no fun!

  • Aloe vera
  • Anti-nausea medication
  • Blankets
  • Bug spray
  • Hair ties
  • Hats
  • Layers
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Towels

Cleanup

Any boat captain worth her salt has an onboard waste management plan. Designating garbage bags and recycling bags and keeping plenty of napkins, rags, or paper towels handy will make post-cruise cleanup much easier.

  • Garbage bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Napkins
  • Recycling bags

Fun/Miscellaneous

Bringing games, floaties, and good music aboard will virtually guarantee that you and your guests have a great day on the water. So don’t forget to pack the fun stuff, too!

  • Bathing suits
  • Camera
  • Card or dice games
  • Floaties
  • Music

Pro tip: share this infographic with your guests prior to your planned trip. You can ask each person to bring certain food and cleanup items or suggest that they use the “comfort” section as their own personal packing list!

Photo credits Jacquelyn Warner Photography