5 Best Boat Accessories Every Boat Owner Needs

When it comes to boating there is a lot of equipment, gadgets, and tools you’ll need to get the best out of your experience.

The type of accessories and equipment will vary depending on whether you plan to fish, sail or cruise.

But there are some things you absolutely don’t want to miss out on taking with you the next time you head out on the water.

Making your next boat trip as comfortable, safe, and fun as possible will rely on the accessories you choose to take with you.

But as you may know, there is limited space on even the biggest boats, so making sure everything has a purpose and earns its spot is as important as anything else. 

Whether it’s fishing, yachting, or cruising around the lake, there’s always something you may have overlooked that can make things safer, more enjoyable, or easier to maximize the capabilities of your boat.

To help you get the most out of your next boating trip, we’ve listed some of the best boating accessories that you may have overlooked or be unaware of.

Each of these accessories has a slightly different purpose to help you consider the most key aspects of sailing, including practicality, safety, and storage.

If you have questions about the different features of these accessories or are new to boating, feel free to check out the buyer’s guide and FAQ at the bottom of this article, to ensure you are getting the right accessory for you.

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OUR TOP PICK

Coleman 3000001526 150Qt Marine Cooler, White

Coleman is one of the most well-known and highly regarded camping and outdoor brands in the world, thanks to their excellent quality and customer service. 

One of their most popular products is their marine cooler, which as you may have guessed is perfectly designed for taking out on your next boating trip and is packed with features to make every skipper swoon.

First and foremost, this cooler has amazing insulation and can keep your catch or beers cool for up to 5 days at temperatures of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

This means that even on the hottest summer days you can rely on this cooler to keep things cool, giving you great peace of mind.

The superb ice retention capabilities make this cooler highly versatile and will be a great addition to your boat whether you plan to head out on the lake for a good time or out to sea for some fishing.

With a 150 quart capacity, it can hold 252 cans and offers plenty of room for a day’s catch.

It also has a specially designed and treated antimicrobial liner that helps the cooler to resist mold, fungus, and bad odors, helping your cooler stay clean for longer.

The boating focussed design can also be seen in the rust-resistant stainless steel fittings and UV-protected plastic, meaning that the rigors of boating won’t be able to easily damage and wear down this excellent piece of kit.

It also has a host of other thoughtful features including cup holders, a cutting board, carry handles, and a draining channel.

It is even strong enough to sit on and can support up to 250lbs on the lid, which makes it both convenient and functional.

Pros

  • Excellent Insulation

  • Great Capacity

  • Anti-microbial interior

  • Rust resistant

  • UV resistant

Cons

  • No lock included

EDITORS CHOICE

Sea-Dog 325039-1 Three-Pole Side Mount Rod Holder - Black

There is a good chance if you’re boating you may well want to give fishing a try, but storing fishing rods on a boat can be a surprisingly awkward task.

Space becomes crowded fairly quickly and as passengers move around it’s easy to run out of room for essentials, misplace things or even break things.

This is where having a Rod Holder installed can really improve the comfort and convenience of your next boating trip.

Having your rods easily accessible and safely stowed prevents them from getting damaged and also makes them easily available when you’re ready to start casting.

The Sea Dog Three Pole has three injection-molded slots that can be easily installed with the included self-tapping screws.

Installation is easy and enables you to mount them almost anywhere for maximum access and control.

Made with a tough polypropylene construction they can easily stand up to the rigors of fishing and boating, and also come with a few smaller utility slots that can mount knives, pliers, and lures.

This means that it’s easy to grab what you need as soon as you need it,  preventing a frustrating fumble through pockets and bags while you try to fish.

These holders are capable of mounting rods up to a width of 1-3/3” in circumference, which makes them quite flexible for most fishermen.

Pros

  • Strong Construction

  • Three Rod Holders

  • Knife, Lure, and Plier mount

  • Easy to Install

  • Compatible with several rod types

Cons

  • Not the most secure hold

BEST VALUE

EVERSPROUT 5-to-13 Foot Telescoping Boat Hook | Floats, Scratch-Resistant, Sturdy Design | Durable & Lightweight, 3-Stage Anodized Aluminum Pole | Threaded End for Boating Accessories (13 Feet)

One often overlooked boating accessory is the highly useful boat hook.

Capable of rescuing wayward ropes and even manipulating your boat near the pontoon or harbourside, this versatile accessory is a must-have for every boat trip.

The benefit of the EVERSPROUT is the telescopic design, which allows for a fully extended length of 15 feet, while a collapsed size of just 4 and a half feet.

This makes for a super flexible tool that can be manipulated in various ways to achieve all sorts of tasks onboard a boat and is also easy to stow away.

The EVERSPROUT is made of durable aluminum and is rust-resistant, including a new improved galvanized locking system to further resist corrosion.

Weighing only 1.5 lbs, this boat hook floats well and can be easily retrieved if dropped overboard. 

The non-slip EVA foam grips provide excellent handling capabilities even when putting a lot of pressure on or when wet. 

An added bonus is that EVERSPROUT will plant a tree for every order of this boat hook.

So environmentally conscious sailors can do their bit for the environment while making sure they have a boat hook that provides excellent features and functionality.

Pros

  • Rust Resistant

  • Floats well

  • 15 Ft Maximum extension

  • 4.5 Ft collapsed for easy storage

  • Good Grips

Cons

  • The anodized coating can scratch off

RUNNER UP

Driftmaster 255HR Duo Rod Holder with 1/2-Inch Stem, Black Finish

Another accessory geared towards fishermen, the Driftmaster Duo is an excellent rod holder that can be used while fishing, allowing you to relax and crack open a beverage while waiting for a bite.

The Driftmaster is, as the name suggests, ideal for drift or trolling rods and holds the rod at a 0 or 30-degree angle depending on your preference, which gives a lot of control and precision over where you want your rod to be placed.

It is also easy for you to quickly reposition your rod without needing to make adjustments or changing the position of the holder.

Ideal for mounting on the side of your boat, this holder is well built, strong, and is great for lake or river fishing.

The design of the Driftmaster is perfect for right or left-handed hook sets and has an extended cradle, positioned to provide easy and fast access to your rod in the event of a bite.

A 10″ stem makes it easy to adjust the height of your holder to fit between or over the rim or railing of your boat.

The rust-resistant stainless steel construction makes this a rugged and simple accessory that can massively improve your comfort and relaxation while fishing.

Pros

  • Two Position Rod Holder

  • Rugged Stainless Steel Construction

  • Easy Installation

  • Ideal for drift fishing or trolling

Cons

  • Base plate not included

RUNNER UP

Lalizas 73670 Rescue System Life-Link M.O.B Boat Throw Ring, White

One important aspect of boating aside from practicality and comfort is safety.

Making sure you have everything you need to head out on the water in a safe manner is key and no self-respecting skipper would put themselves or others at risk by going on the water ill-prepared for accidents or emergencies.

Aside from having life jackets, first aid, and ample navigation and communication methods, one important added safety accessory is an overboard rescue system. 

The Lalizas Life-Link is designed to be mounted on the rails or side of your boat in its PVC bag.

In the event of an overboard emergency, there is a 118ft (36m) floating line attached to a PVC floatation sling that can be used to throw into the water. 

Once the float is in the water the boat can circle the casualty allowing them to easily find and grab the Life-Link float, meaning that they can be safely towed and hauled back aboard the boat. 

The Life-Link is available in White and Yellow to stand out and meets ISAF regulations, with a breaking strain of 200kg for the line and 700kg for the sling.

Pros

  • Long Floating Line

  • Strong Tolerance Rating

  • PVC Bag and Mount Included

  • Personal Retaining Clip for Added Safety

  • Easy Mounting System

Cons

  • Floating line could be longer

Best Boat Accessories Buying Guide

Getting the most out of any hobby will sometimes require a few extra accessories to really maximize the enjoyment you can get.

But when it comes to boating there are so many things to keep track of and so much equipment that is essential it can be easy to overlook the small, nonessential accessories that can really help add to your experience.

In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to highlight some of the key things to look out for when searching for boat accessories to enable you to get the most out of your next fishing trip.

Practicality

One of the most important aspects when it comes to any sailing or boat-related activity.

The utilitarian, rugged nature of all boating means that everything you bring aboard needs to be practical, in terms of its weight, size, ability to be stored, and functionality. 

Always make sure that the accessories you bring aboard are the right size for your boat. Being too ambitious can make things cramped and uncomfortable, and having everything you need easily accessible is very important when boating.

Safety

The most important thing to consider whenever you step onboard a boat, as it could potentially save your life in the event that you fall off.

Aside from life jackets, rescue systems, and essentials such as navigation and communications, there are again certain things that are so simple and obvious that they are easy to overlook.

Bringing an adequate supply of water and food, even for short boat trips is paramount for the health of both passengers and crew.

Sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are also important to keep you safe, as the sun’s power is amplified when out on the water, and the risk of sunstroke, heatstroke, sunburn, and dehydration can be just as deadly as anything else.

Best Boat Accessories - FAQ's

Do I Need a Life Jacket?

Almost certainly yes, there should always be enough life jackets available for all aboard your boat including the crew.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a strong swimmer or relatively near to land, even the simplest boat trip can end badly without the correct safety equipment.

It is also a legal requirement in some places, so to avoid getting in several different sorts of trouble, keep enough life jackets and keep them equipped.

What is a dry sack?

A dry sack is a bag that is very waterproof and is used to keep valuable and essential items safe while boating.

Expensive items such as phones and other electronics can be kept in dry bags to prevent them from getting water damaged, however dry bags are also a great place to keep emergency equipment such as flares or emergency equipment.

What type of clothing should I wear?

It depends on where you’re boating and the weather conditions. Packing spares and wet weather gear is always a good idea.

However, as the weather can change quickly especially out on the water, and being caught cold in a storm may end up being more than an inconvenience if you don’t have the right gear available.

Last update on 2021-06-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API