Every pastime or hobby can be made that bit more enjoyable by taking advantage of the cutting-edge gadgets and accessories out there – and boating is no different. In fact, there are so many boat gadgets and accessories on the market, it can be tricky deciding which ones to use. That’s why we’ve created a list of 10 must-have boat gadgets and accessories. Which of these will you be taking onboard with you?
1. Waterproof Notepad
If you like to keep manual ship or maintenance logs, having an onboard notepad comes in very handy. However, finding a dry piece of paper mid-voyage can prove difficult.
That’s why a waterproof notepad is ideal for a number of scenarios, from making pilotage notes to playing hangman to pass the time!
2. The Garmin VIRB 360
Boating and photography have long gone hand-in-hand, and Garmin has taken this relationship to another level. Their VIRB 360 can capture a complete sphere of high resolution (4K) video and audio, as well as photographs.
Better yet, this new technology is waterproof for up to 10 metres, giving you the perfect opportunity to record your aquatic adventures. Plus, if you’re taking it onboard a sailing boat, it can be activated with voice control so your hands can stay firmly on the ropes.
3. A Solar-Powered Waterproof speaker
Most of us go boating to escape the pressures of life on land and enjoy the freedom it brings and a bit of background music really aids that feeling of relaxation. However, electronics don’t usually mix very well with the sea. Plus, what if the battery dies while you’re on the water?
That’s where the Altec Lansing LifeJacket 3 Bluetooth Speaker comes in. As well as being waterproof, the LifeJacket 3 is shock and sand proof. What’s more, with 30-hour battery life, you won’t have to worry about it dying mid-playlist. It also floats, meaning if things get bumpy and it takes a trip overboard, it’ll stay on the water’s surface until you can retrieve it.
4. An Amphibious Drone
Even though there are a lot of waterproof drones on the market now, the Splash 3 by Swellpro was the first fully amphibious quadcopter to hit the shelves. Like the Altec Lansing LifeJacket 3, it also floats, so you don’t have to worry about losing it to the unforgiving mistress of the sea if you misjudge your landing!
5. Polarized sailing sunglasses
If you take your boat out on the rare occasion we’re blessed with some sun, you’ll want to make sure your eyes are adequately protected. Unfortunately, your average pair of sunglasses just won’t cut it whilst you’re onboard. Glare from the water, harsh winds and lack of shade are bases your eye protection will need to cover.
Luckily, there are plenty of sunglasses that have been designed with boaters in mind – just make sure you go for a pair with polarised lenses. We recommend the Costa Polarized Pescador sunglasses, which offer seven lens colours ranging from low-light to extremely bright light options. They’re also made from recycled fishing nets, meaning you can feel like you’re doing your bit for Planet Earth.
6. Sublue WhiteShark
If you’re a keen swimmer, snorkeller or diver, the WhiteShark is perfect for you. Described as an ‘underwater scooter’, it is equipped with double propellers, which will pull you effortlessly through the water and explore the sea with confidence.
It comes with a GoPro mount too, which is perfect for capturing everything from your family holiday videos to your underwater sea life adventures.
7. An Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard
The appeal of paddleboarding is easy to see. It’s accessible to everyone, reduces stress, and helps you take your ocean adventures to the next level. You can put your anchor down in a tranquil cove you’ve found and take to the water on your SUP to explore further. Plus, it’s a great workout!
For boaters, we recommend an inflatable paddleboard. Not only are they more portable and easier to store, but they’re also cheaper than their fibreglass counterparts!
8. Garmin Quatix 5
Garmin makes a second appearance on our list as not many companies do boat gadgets better than Garmin – especially hi-tech watches.
The beauty of the Quatix 5 is that, unlike many other digital marine watches, this watch wouldn’t look out of place back on land at your favourite restaurant, as in regular mode it looks like any other analogue watch face.
First impressions can be deceiving though. In addition to its high sensitivity GPS tracking and navigation capabilities, the Quatix 5 is waterproof up to 100 metres and features a compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer and more.
Plus, if you’re into Watersports such as paddle boarding or canoeing, the Quatix 5 will track your stroke and distance per stroke plus your total distance.
Image credit: Garmin
9. A Thermal Mug
You’d struggle to find a hobby that requires a good quality thermal mug more than boating. If you’re cruising in the cold and wet, you’ll want a nice hot drink to warm you up. If it’s a hot summer’s day, an ice cold drink will go down a treat.
That’s where the Yeti Rambler Mug becomes your best friend. It keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, right until the last sip. It’s puncture and rust resistant and it’s got an extra-large handle, which is perfect if you’ve got large hands or you’re wearing gloves onboard.
Image credit: YETI
10. Full Face Snorkel Mask
If you take your boat out to sea because of your love of diving, this is the accessory for you. A full-face snorkel mask provides a 180o viewing area, meaning you can see more sea creatures. You can also breathe comfortably through your mouth without having to worry about holding onto your snorkel!
Most full-face snorkel masks also come with a GoPro mask, so you can watch back your underwater experience in case there was any sea life you missed!
If you are hitting the water with any of these boat gadgets or accessories, make sure you’re also protected with our Specialist Boat Insurance.