When you buy a boat, you necessarily want to equip it as well as possible. If this is a new boat, there are many “builders” options. Not always affordable, they have the advantage of being designed for your boat. There are also equipment and fittings shops that allow you to benefit from professional advice. Many points are to be expected: safety, comfort on board, navigation assistance but also multimedia equipment, those that make life on board easier or that allow basic maintenance. It is essential to anticipate so that you are not caught off guard.
Everything will depend on your budget and the space on board, but some accessories can really make everyday life easier.
What type of equipment should you take on the boat?
On board a boat there is the mandatory equipment and accessories. In addition to the fittings, it is necessary to provide the equipment related to safety and navigation. While some are mandatory, others are strongly recommended. And then there is the equipment to make life on board more comfortable, whether in the cabin, the cockpit, or the deck.
Thus, an annex, a raft or a paddle will be used to disembark anywhere.
Good organization means having everything on hand.
The compulsory safety equipment includes and depends on the nautical activity chosen (coastal, mid-ocean, offshore).
In any case, a good knife is essential to quickly cut a halyard or a halyard, free a part of the propeller…
Some equipment is not compulsory but extremely useful for navigation.
The equipment must also relate to comfort for the layout of the cabin or cockpit.
Multimedia equipment will simplify navigation but also keep you entertained.
We must not forget all these little extras that improve life on board or keep the boat in good condition.
Recommended equipment for navigation
At sea, it is essential to always know where you are, where you are going and how fast. If the GPS is now often present, a compass, a compass and a good paper map can overcome any failure. Likewise, a portable VHF facilitates communications. A good waterproof smartphone equipped with a GPS can replace it. A radar will allow you to position yourself and know your speed even at night or in fog.
A depth sounder measures the depth of water under the boat for fishing, diving or to avoid stranding.
Binoculars are not mandatory on board a boat less than 24 meters, but they are strongly recommended. They are used both for safety and to admire the surroundings.
A weather receiver allows you to anticipate and avoid unpleasant surprises.
The handheld anemometer is not just for purists who want to know the strength of the wind.
The autopilot is the equipment of choice. It is installed directly on the helm of boats less than 12 meters or under the bridge. A simple tensioner can do the trick, but it is less reliable.
Self-tailing Winches are essential for all boats over 7.50 meters. As for the lazy jacks, they make it easy to lower the mainsail.
Sailing does not have to mean discomfort. The cabin, even cramped, can be fitted out as best as possible to provide maximum comfort. A water bottle, a thermos and a small cooler are among the essential accessories. For a day or more, the small kitchen appliances, a gas stove or a hot plate will ensure hot meals. A compression fridge guarantees the preservation of fresh produce without encroaching too much on space.
There are also low energy freezers that guarantee you a stock of valuable food products. It is of course particularly useful to have a specific radiator on board, not to mention the air conditioning. Solar ventilators are self-contained and work even with little sunlight. Plus, they stop at night, so they don’t interfere with your sleep.
Many products are designed to be space-saving. Cushions and blankets can be compressed into special bags. Storage accessories ensure that everything is in its place. Crockery, glass holder to fix, Velcro, avoid many problems. The bucket is probably not the first accessory we think of. Yet it is useful for washing dishes, cleaning the cockpit, washing clothes, storing fishing… Better to have several compactable models on board.
A sprayer limits water consumption. It is used both for rinsing dishes and for rinsing the body after a sea bath… The most motivated will embark on a barbecue to have the privilege of cooking outdoors on the deck. Do not forget the Biminis and the sun awning for good protection. An anti-roll cover to sleep on the benches in peace is a good idea. The folding benches, stored in the bulwarks, take up little space and guarantee appreciable comfort. For relaxation, opt for sunbathing and folding seats.
Various multimedia equipment is useful, whether it is to pass the time, to occupy the youngest or to stay in touch with the mainland. They do not take up much space: a screen for watching TV or playing on the console can be a plus. This does not prevent you from taking a good book (or an e-reader) and decks of cards…
These multimedia equipment can quickly be expensive because they are specific: if you choose a parabolic antenna, this one must have an automatic positioning system making it possible to pick up the signals even by strong pitch. If, on the contrary, you opt for a TNT antenna, it must also be specific and suitable.
At sea, Internet coverage is not guaranteed, and some areas have little coverage. To avoid cuts, it is possible to install a 4G antenna which amplifies the signal. This type of antenna generally provides a range of 15 miles from the coast. If you opt for offshore navigation, the solution is satellite communication. The choice of system then depends on the use you want to make of the Internet (sending and receiving emails, SMS, telephone, surfing the Web, etc.)
The technology has its strengths, but a signal mirror can send light signals to other vessels and replace defective equipment.
To avoid being caught off guard, some accessories are very useful.
At sea, it is essential to anticipate weather changes. A fleece is one of the basics even if the sun is shining when you leave. An oilskin, warm, breathable, and waterproof clothing is essential. Without forgetting the protections against the sun.
A headlamp with red light will keep your hands free and be less aggressive on your eyes.
A flexible and waterproof bag is recommended for storing the main items. Waterproof pockets are always useful for your phone or important documents.
Polarized sunglasses eliminate reflections on the water’s surface and help anticipate gusts.
For fun, or to check the hull or propeller, a mask and snorkel are essential.
Electricity on board can be problematic. It is important to provide the couplers and battery chargers so as not to break down. A generator can ensure production in all circumstances. Between the refrigerator, lights, autopilot, water maker and other devices, the original alternators can be supplemented with solar panels. They are installed on adjustable supports or on a rigid Bimini.
Do not forget the survival blankets. They really do not take up space and can save a life.
There is always something to do on board a boat. Maintenance of the latter is essential, both for comfort and for safety. It guarantees a pleasant living space and prevents premature wear.
Besides the knife, multipurpose pliers are of great service. Some carry up to 20 tools in one. Always have fuses, nuts, clamps, sealant on hand. On a motorboat, self-vulcanizing tape, motor oil and grease are essential. On board a sailboat, provide spare sheets and halyards, adhesive for the sails, spare blocks, shackles, pins, and cleats. A mast chair allows you to control the rig or the weathervane.
For cleaning the boat, white vinegar, black soap, a few rags associated with a kit with pump, a hose and a washing gun will save you time.
An electric bilge pump is possible.
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