Any travel addict needs to be prepared in case something happens ―from ropes to safety devices. Regardless of how long or short, your trips are, you must own certain boat gadgets and products to ensure a smooth journey across the ocean. Let’s see what the essential things to have when travelling by boat are.
Check out these 9 must-have boat gadgets:
#1 Solar Cooker
If you used to travel for longer periods, you might long for cooked meals. Regardless of the food you find in markets, cooked meals are always a better decision to keep you fed and energised through the day. Therefore, a solar cooker is the best choice for you since you can use it even if the weather isn’t all that sunny.
Solar cookers are also a great alternative for travelling in places where propane refills are unavailable while eliminating the risk of fire. However, you need to consider the location of your journey because these stoves can’t be used in cloudy settings.
#2 Digital Pocket Anemometer
When travelling by boat, it’s crucial to measure the wind speed so that you’re aware of the potential currents. And with the latest technology, you’ll be able to do this in the palm of your hand while using a digital pocket anemometer. Regardless of the built-in system, sometimes it’s best to have a backup plan and be prepared with a smaller device that you can use freely.
This device is handy when docking or anchoring. At the same time, it provides insight into how the wind might change later in the day. Depending on your boat type, the wind can be more or less dangerous, so you need to measure it constantly.
#3 Waterproof dry bags and backpacks
Carrying important documents and belongings with you can be risky sometimes when travelling by boat. Depending on your chosen boat model, you need to consider protecting your precious things in waterproof dry bags and backpacks. At the same time, you might need them even outside the sea, so they’re an excellent investment. It would be best to get a backpack for the waterproof dry bag in case you plan to travel on foot after getting to land by boat.
#4 Spare motor
If you’re new to sailing or just have a smaller boat, you might need a spare motor to ensure you’re not at risk of the engine cutting out while at sea. An outboard motor can be a perfect choice, especially if it’s electrically started and has a remote-control system that can help you in case the original motor fails. However, if you don’t travel for longer destinations and your engine is well-serviced, you might not need a spare motor, but that means you regularly need to take care of the current motor system.
Having a radar installed on your boat allows you to get crucial information about the distance and the bearing relative to your position of any other solid object or surface around. It’s the perfect navigation device for when you find yourself in an area with reduced visibility (which can happen during the day and night too). At the same time, a radar helps you monitor the movement of other ships around so that you can assess whether you’re at risk of collision or not.
The main controls of radar include:
- Range, which determines the maximum distance that you’re shown on display;
- Gain that controls the sensitivity of the receiving antenna;
- Rain, which is used for reducing the visualisation of the reflection produced by rain;
- Sea minimises the reflection of the waves near the boat;
#6 Battery charger or maintainer
If you want to boost your boat’s engine, you might need a battery charger or a maintainer. A battery maintainer is a great device for your boat if you use it to store it away for winter or start it rarely. This prevents the boat’s battery from going flat even after sitting in the garage for a longer time. Even if you have a Suzuki outboard motor that is usually consuming low amounts of fuel and starts easily at all times, keeping your boat unused during the winter, for example, might drain the battery, which can cause further damage.
#7 Phone signal booster
Keeping in touch with friends and family might be challenging when at sea, especially in out-of-the-way anchorages. Therefore, a phone signal booster picks up the remote signal from a cell tower, allowing you to get a better signal. However, before purchasing one, be wary of the power that it will use because if your boat has limited battery banks, a phone signal booster can consume much more energy than any other system on the boat. Just consider where you’ll place the signal booster to make the most out of its features. Usually, the best place is somewhere away from other major interference, and make sure the device is in a well-ventilated area as it’s prone to getting hot quite fast.
#8 Waterproof USB charger
It’s always necessary to have more USB chargers for anything around the boat. However, you should choose a waterproof one to make sure it’s still usable if water gets to it. It’s best to get one with a longer cable length and cable ties and adhesive so you can mount it somewhere convenient. When purchasing one, check if the product has the following:
- More than one type of connector (Type-A, Type-C);
- A UV-resistant shell;
- A standard barrel size to fit USB sockets;
#9 Boat Bungee Dock Lines
Dock lines or spring lines are essential when you need to hold the boat to the dock. Spring lines prevent the boat from going forward or backwards, while dock lines keep the boat laterally. A proper product is able to absorb shock, cleats and other hardware. When purchasing dock lines or spring lines, consider the recommendations for certain docking boats and PWCs since not all of them can be used universally. For example, 4 ft, 5 ft and 6 ft boating lines are perfect for docking boats up to 3,500 pounds.
Boat Gadgets – Final thoughts
Travelling by boat can be one of the best experiences of your life. Still, you need to be careful and take precautions to ensure you can safely return home.