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20 Must-Have Boat Accessories

Summer is right around the corner and now is the perfect time to stock up on accessories for your boat. When you’re ready to take your boat out on the water, make sure you’re stocked up on these must-have accessories. These also make great gifts for family, friends, and loved ones. 

Fun and practical boat accessories that cost less than you might think. Check out these 20-must have boat accessories, perfect for gifts or your next trip out on the water 

Dry Bag or Box 

Keep all your valuables, non-waterproof electronics, and anything else important from getting waterlogged. Thereof a ton of options for dry boxes and bags, but for a basic dry box that gets the job done, try this Attwood Boater’s Dry Box or this DryCASE Waterproof dry bag.  

For those unexpected rainy days or when the spray gets everywhere, you’ll be glad you have a dry box and your items aren’t soaked. Check out our full selection of waterproof bags and cases


When people find out you have a boat, their minds tend to go to fun on the water. Treat friends and family to some fun with a variety of towables. With air pump and tow rope–for a fun day out on the lake, variety of different floats and tubes, just stay safe and make sure everything is tied and hitched correctly. Whether you’re carting everyone around or just allowing single riders, you’re sure to have a great time. 

Life Vests 

A no-brainer for getting out on the water. These days life vests come in so many different, sizes, shapes, and styles. Get a cheap pack of them to keep on your boat, or find the perfect life vest fit for you and your family while you’re all out on the water having fun. From infants to experienced boaters, there should be a fitting life vest onboard for everyone to use. 

Boat Fenders 

This item is probably one of the most important on the list, and if you don’t already have boat fenders, you should get them. Fenders prevent scratches and scrapes on your boat hull when docking and can save you thousands if your boats even gets a little too close to a dock post. Most boat fenders do the same thing, so as long as it fits well, your boat will be protected. Check out some of our basic boat fenders and keep your boat safe. Don’t forget those fender lines, either! 

Boat Towing Membership 

It may not be a physical accessory, but whether you’re on a local lake or along the cost you can get a boat towing membership to ensure you have a backup if things don’t go to plan. It’s better to be a member with a local towing business than to pay an arm and a leg on the off chance that you need a tow and haven’t invested in a membership. 

Sea-Tow and TowBoatUS are the most popular services, and they typically reimburse for towing when their services aren’t available near your boat. An annual membership usually costs anywhere from $149-$179, while the one-time cost of on-water towing can be anywhere from $250-$500/hour. In fact, according to BoatUS, the cost of an on-water tow back to port by a commercial provider average about $700 per incident. 

Fishing Rod Holder 

Boating and fishing are almost synonymous in some places, and if you love to fish you know the importance of a good rod holder–unless you plan to hold your fishing rod all day or give up on catching anything. There are plenty of fishing rod holders on the market, but invest in a quality one to ensure you don’t lose your pole. Make life easier for yourself on the water with a mounted rod holder

First Aid/Safety Kit 

Keep standard first aid items onboard like sunscreen, bug spray, bandages, antibiotics, antiseptics, and sterile tools in case of a medical emergency…or a bug bite or scratch. With all the different ways to accidentally cut a finger or sustain more serious injuries, it’s smart to have a well-stocked safety kit on your boat at all times. You never know when you’ll need it and you’ll be grateful to have it when you do use it. 

Tool/Resource Kit 

While you can purchase these sort of tool kits, it helps to add your own items to them to stay functional. Keep more useful things like a basic tool kit, towels, spare shirt and shorts, additional boat flares or a flare gun, an air horn and whistle, tape, knife, zip ties, a flashlight, and more all in an easy to locate kit or toolbox. Most of these items are extremely useful and you’ll be glad they’re in one location for easy access. 

Emergency Paddles 

Having extra paddles is a good idea, especially for smaller boats. These telescoping paddles are a great choice and even come with a nylon carrying case. For paddles that are a bit longer, try these 25”-75” telescoping paddles with a boat hook handle. 

Boat Fire Extinguisher  

if you don’t already have one or your boat didn’t come with one, you need a boat fire extinguisher. From putting out the grill when someone is too enthusiastic to stopping dangerous boat fires, extinguishers should be on board your boat at all times. 

Jump Starter Pack For Boats 

You never know when your battery might die on you, and it’s better to be prepared in case of an emergency. These little jump starter kits are powerful enough to give your battery a boost so you can get back to land and purchase a new one. They are specially calibrated for boats, so you don’t have to string along any car jump starters. 

Solar Panel  

Choose a larger solar panel for keeping your boat battery charged or smaller ones for your phone and other small electronics. Solar panels are much more efficient and affordable than they used to be. Leaving a solar charger out on the deck is an easy way to power all your devices. Solar chargers come in lots of different sizes, from charging a phone to charging a boat battery, so shop around to see which panels are the best fit for your needs. 

12v Charger 

Charge phones, keep 12v air pumps going, and power anything else you might have onboard. There are plenty of 12v charger options, from large lithium battery backs that take solar panel energy to specially created boat battery chargers. Make sure you have enough power at all times for all your electronics and get the right 12v charger. 

Boating Anchor System 

There are tons of boat anchoring system options out there, and the one you select will depend on your boat size. From a small weekend boat that provides an hour or two of fun to a sailing vessel that can stay out on the water indefinitely, an anchor is a must-have. Check out our boat anchor systems to see which is a best-fit for your boat. 

Marine GPS 

Be sure to have a GPS handy for when your phone dies or can’t get a signal. Most people on small lakes are just fine with using their phones, but for larger lakes and the ocean, a GPS is a must-have. Many marine GPS devices also come with multiple functionalities such as fish finders, AIS, chartplotters, and other neat abilities. For a great GPS gift, check out these Garmin Quatix marine smart watches with GPS in blue and stainless steel.  

Boat Grill 

If you spend whole days out on the water, then a boat grill is a must-have accessory, and most can be had for the same amount or less than a regular grill. Most boat grills are mounted to the side or railing of your boat and provide an easy way to grill up food for everyone. Once you have purchased a grill, you can get a boat grill mount to attach it to the railing of your boat.  

Keep everyone fed and happy with a great boat grill for those weekends out on the water. From skewers to hotdogs and burgers, you can guarantee everyone onboard will be glad you chose this addition. 


A cooler for your boat is a no-brainer. Keep your drinks, snack, and everything else cold on those hot days out on the water or store freshly caught fish for later. Since the sun can really dehydrate you after hours outside, make sure to bring plenty of bottled water, drinks, ice, and your favorite foods to hydrate and keep your energy up. 

Magnetic Compass 

A compass is great backup tool for navigation, or an excellent and thoughtful gift for the boater in your life. There are tons of different compass options, but for under $100 we like this Richie Angler Compass with a 5-year warranty. Check out of full selection of magnetic and electronic compasses and see which one strikes your eye the most. If you’re looking for an easy to remember, on the go compass, try this simple Timex watch with integrated mini compass. 

A compass is great backup tool for navigation, or an excellent and thoughtful gift for the boater in your life. There are tons of different compass options, but for under $100 we like this Richie Angler Compass with a 5-year warranty. Check out of full selection of magnetic and electronic compasses and see which one strikes your eye the most. If you’re looking for an easy to remember, on the go compass, try this simple Timex watch with integrated mini compass. 

Cooling Towel 

Stay cool and safe on those beautiful, hot, and sunny days. Cooling towels usually use cooling gel or special fabric material to keep water cool against your skin. If you need a recommendation, try this Klein Tools Cooling Towel in gray and blue. You’ll be glad you brought it when the sun is glaring down on you. 

VHF Radio 

Ensure you have a way to call for help if nobody is around and incorporate many functions in one great device. We like this Standard Horizon Matrix Fixed Mount VHF Radio with AIS & GPS, and since there are so many different radios out there to choose from, you’re bound to find one you love. 

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