6 Things You Need for a Long Boat Ride


Anytime you head out to the water, you need to be prepared for a variety of scenarios. If you’re heading out for a long-distance boat ride, you’ll need to do a little more preparation since there’s more of a chance for something to go wrong. The further away you are from land or home, the more serious things can get.

Next time you go for a long-distance boat ride, take the following into consideration before setting sail.

  1. Comfort

It’s one thing to head out to the lake to fish for a few hours, and it’s another to spend hours traveling across the water over a distance of miles. You may not care about comfort when you’re just going to fish, but when you’re driving your boat for hours, it won’t take long for you to notice what’s uncomfortable about your boat.

Before you go on your next long-distance adventure, make sure your seats are comfortable. If not, get some new boat seats for you and your crew. You shouldn’t have to settle for sitting on worn-down or lopsided seats for a long period of time. New seats will make a great upgrade to your boat and they’re pretty affordable.

  1. A reliable motor

It should go without saying that you need a reliable motor to take your boat on a long-distance trip. Even just being a short distance from shore is a drag when your motor fails. If you think it’s exhausting having to paddle back to shore from the middle of a lake, you won’t want to experience a failed motor further out.

If you have a strong outboard motor, you’re probably okay, but if you haven’t done any maintenance in a while, it’s good to get it checked out.

  1. A refueling plan

It’s critical to know how far you can travel on one tank of gas so you can create a solid refueling plan. First things first, know where your gas docks are located along the way, so you don’t get stuck anywhere. Second, always follow safe refueling practices like putting out cigarettes and only filling your tank 90% full. Fuel will expand in your tank when it gets warm, so this is especially important.

If you’re carrying portable fuel containers with you, make sure you store them safely and that they’re not too awkward to use to refill your tank. This will prevent spills.

Also, be sure you know what type of fuel your boat takes. This seems obvious, but many people have accidentally filled their tanks with the wrong type of fuel.

  1. A physical map

Now that technology has replaced paper maps, it’s become second nature to head out for a trip without a physical map in hand. It’s not always a big deal on a road trip, but that’s a bad idea on a boat.

While you’re out on the water, your cellphone battery might die, or you might drop your phone overboard into the water and your digital map will be gone. Sure, you can use your radio to call for help, but that’s not a reliable backup plan.

Always carry a set of physical maps with you out on the water. When you’re traveling long-distance, paper maps make it possible to see more terrain at once. With a digital map, you’re limited to the size of your screen, so you’ll have to keep scrolling just to see small areas.

  1. Entertainment

Long boat rides require some kind of entertainment, whether it’s movies on your iPad, card games, or some kind of water game. If you’re traveling with kids, you can’t skip the toys. Kids will get bored quickly and will need a fun distraction.

Load your boat with different types of toys, games, and movies for people to watch. Some popular card games people might like are Uno, Skip-Bo, and Cards Against Humanity. You may not have the space to play complex board games, so try to stick with games that don’t have lots of pieces.

  1. A new fire extinguisher

Hopefully, you never have to use a fire extinguisher on your boat, but you can’t predict the future. Has it been a while since you got a new fire extinguisher? If so, get a new one because over time, they can fail even when they haven’t been used.

Older units that have been sitting around for years don’t always engage and a fire extinguisher that’s been used might not have enough fire retardant left to put out a fire.

Be safe on your boating adventure

Boating should be fun, but be sure to balance fun with safety before heading out for your next long-distance boating adventure.

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