4 Things You Should Be Packing Every Boating Trip

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Days spent on the water can be treasured memories. Whether it’s a weekend at the lake, or a day trip on the ocean, there’s just something special about spending time out on the water. While the scenery can be beautiful, remember conditions can change quickly, and you should always leave the shore prepared. Here are five things you should take aboard every boat trip.

1. Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)

You will want to have a personal flotation device for every passenger on the boat. A life jacket denotes a certain type of PFD, a “throwable device” is another. Check your states laws on PFDs and life jackets to ensure you have the correct number of each.

When choosing a lifejacket, look for the United States Coast Guard Approved stamp on the inside. Check that jackets are free from rips and tears. Life jackets should be snug, but allow you to move freely.

2. Boat Certificate and Registration

Just like you always carry your driver’s license in your car, you should always have your boat’s registration aboard.

3. Fire Extinguisher

Did you know that U.S. Coast Guard approved, marine-type fire extinguishers are required on boats where a fire hazard could be expected from the engines or fuel systems? It recommended to keep the fire extinguisher in a readily accessible location.

4. Emergency Survival Kit

Pack or purchase a marine first aid kit. Here are some suggestions on what should be included:

– Variety of adhesive bandages
– Gauze pads
– Cold packs
– Scissors
– First aid cream
– Antiseptic wipes

In addition to first aid supplies, other items to include in the kit are:

– Audible signaling device (such as a whistle or an air horn)
– Visual signaling devices (such as flares)
– Sunscreen
– Bailer
Offshore boaters will want to pack additional items, such as a satellite phone in a water-tight enclosure.

Follow these boating safety tips to be more prepared the next time you head out on the water. 


This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.