There are just a few things that may take the fun out of boating but the one that takes the cake is getting a violation while on a lake or river! If you do get pulled over there are always a few must have items to make sure you are sent on your merry way! Here is a list of must have items..
Make sure you have your vessel registration number on either side of the boat. You’ll also need to be sure to carry your Paper Registration on board at all times. An easy way to make sure that this paper is always ready to show, laminate it and put it in a dry compartment that is easily accessible.
In case of an emergency, make sure you have a “day time” and a “night time” distress signal. A red, or orange flare and an orange flag.
Personal flotation devices are a must for each person on the boat. Make sure if there are young kids aboard, you have the proper ones for their weight and size.
A fire extinguisher is not something you’d automatically think about having aboard a boat. Well heads up it’s a must! Also, make sure you are checking the dates regularly if it has been on your boat for a while. It needs to be fully functioning.
Every boat is required to have a throwable flotation device on board.
Having an oar onboard may not be a requirement, but there have been customers who have been asked to show them in the past. You never who when you may need one as well!
Another item you would need to have is some sort of noise signal. A whistle is most common but something like an air horn might come more in handy. Just make sure it’s out of reach of small children (You wouldn’t want that going off accidentally!)
If your boat is over 16 ft long (which most are) then you need red/green navigation lights on the front of the boat.
Of course there are items that aren’t a requirement but definitely won’t hurt having them onboard. A Flashlight, VHF radio and a first aid kit are just to name a few!