15 essential items to bring with you when you weigh anchor

Anyone who has ever forgotten an item on a boat trip should raise their hand! We all know, it's very important to have everything you need on board to avoid any risk when the trip takes an unexpected turn. But thanks to this list, you can have peace of mind and concentrate on the pleasure of sailing.


  1. Important documents
    It may seem evident, but you must carry your operator card with you at all times. It proves that you have the skills to operate a boat, since you had to take a boating safety course to obtain it. And don't forget to carry a secure paper copy of your boat licence or registration certificate with you.
  2. PFDs
    By law, each passenger in the boat must have his or her own lifejacket, or personal flotation device. Not only is it required that they are on board, they must also be in a good and functional condition. Make sure to keep them maintained, and inspect them regularly. If they are not in proper condition, ensure you replace them.
  3. A fire extinguisher
    It must be operational and easily accessible at all times. To learn more about the number and type of fire extinguishers you should have, click here.                                                                                                                                               
  4. Bottles of water
    Dehydration can sometimes happen unexpectedly, especially on boats. Bring more water with you than you need.                                                                                                                              
  5. Binoculars
    They will allow you to spot other boats, to find your bearings by observing the landscape, but also to explore the surroundings.                                                                                                   
  6. Sun lotion
    Even when the sky is overcast, the effects of the sun can still be felt. Always have plenty of water repellent sunscreen on hand, especially when the sun is strong.                                
  7. Signaling devices
    Visual and auditory signaling devices are essential. If you run aground in the water or need to signal another boat, fog horns and flares will be very useful. Ensure they are kept in good condition.
  8. A first aid kit
    Having a first aid kit on board can save you a lot of headaches. Gather these few items and keep them in a safe place:
    - sea-sickness tablets
    - antiseptic products
    - gauze and other dressings to cover a wound...
    - prescriptions for people on board who have a medical condition and require medication, such as diabetics or people suffering from hypertension                                                           

    You can also buy a first aid kit in many stores or pharmacies.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  9. Non-perishable foods
    In an emergency, having snacks such as nuts or granola on board can help to save your life.                                                                                                                                                                             
  10. An emergency navigation device
    Sometimes there is no cellular network or your GPS no longer works. What that happens, you would want to know you have reliable nautical maps and a military compass with you.                                                       
  11. Insect repellent
    You'll be happy to have some with you, especially during mosquito season.                                                                                                                                                                                                              
  12. A change of clothes, blankets and towels.
    If it rains or you get wet, having these extra items will come in handy to avoid a cold or even hypothermia.                                                                                                                                               
  13. A repair kit
    Create your own kit to repair anything on board that might break. You can include:
    - Oil
    - Rope
    - White vinegar (to remove engine clogging)
    - Tool kit                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
  14. Waterproofing items
    Items that are not to be wetted on the boat must be protected. No need for sophisticated marine boxes. Waterproof Ziploc style bags work very well.                                                        
  15. A flashlight
    It's unthinkable not to bring a flashlight on board. Bring one with a high intensity and don't forget the spare batteries!




Yellow pages: 15 essential items to take boating



The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice. Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks of Aviva plc. and are used under licence by Aviva Canada Inc. and its subsidiary companies.