Essential Equipment for Your Boat 

A nice day out on a lake in a boat can be one of the most relaxing things to experience in the summer. Be sure you are prepared to go out on the water with the right equipment on board.

Navigation Instruments 

On larger bodies of water, it is a good idea to equip a boat with navigation equipment. Electronic navigation systems are an easy way to mark where you have been and where you want to be. Check out a boat parts retailer for the different kinds of units available. There is a multitude of new gear for navigation on the market. A map of the area you are in along with traditional navigation tools such as parallel rules and a divider can be used as a backup if the electronic instruments fail. Check your in-dash gauges beforehand and replace them if they aren’t functioning properly.

Lighting and Signals 

Most states have laws on the use and necessity of having lights aboard your boat. Red and green colored lights give a visible signal to other vessels on the water in the evening hours. Red identifies the left side of the boat and green identifies the right. Spotlights come in handy for after-hours fishing and as a beacon to other boats. Ensure your wiring is also up to date and working before going on night cruises. Trailer lights are a must when hauling your vessel.

Safety Check 

Safety should be on your checklist when hitting the open water. A basic first aid kit will supply you with materials to fix minor wounds. Lifevests or life preservers are also required when boating recreationally. Useful rescue accessories include harnesses and lanyards in case you must enter the water for a rescue. A stash of flares is a great idea to have in case electrical systems happen to fail after the sun goes down. Remember, being prepared will safeguard you and fellow boaters against accidents and mishaps.