4 Useful Boat Accessories for Family Trips

There is nothing quite as relaxing as spending a day on the boat, especially when your boat is outfitted with a few extra conveniences that make the experience more comfortable. Whether you plan to take the family out to watch a beautiful sunset, want to see if the fish are biting, or just feel like taking a serene afternoon cruise, there are a few extra boat accessories that you might find useful when riding on the waves.

Here are four accessories that I'd recommend for family trips

  1. Sunshade. If you don't have a boat with a cuddy cabin, there are a variety of sunshades on the market that come in a number of styles, colors and sizes. Depending on the size and model of your boat, you can purchase a bimini top shade, t-top shade, or clamp-on umbrella made from water-repellent and mildew-resistant materials. Sunshades are especially useful when boating with small children since they can help prevent over-heating and sunburn.

  2. Dry Bag or Waterproof Utility Case. You're bound to experience the splashing of the waves every once and awhile. To help avoid soggy situations, I always use a dry bag or waterproof utility case for anything I want to keep dry. You will find a dry bag or waterproof utility case extremely useful for storing cameras, phones, towels, and other important items while out on the boat in order to keep them dry.

  3. Boat Ladder. A boat ladder will make boarding and de-boarding much easier and safer for kids and grandparents. Boat ladders are available in a range of different sizes, so it's not hard to find one that will fit your boat well. Most boat ladders are made from either stainless steel or aluminum, which can get slippery when wet, so look for one that has non-slip steps.

  4. Marine Cooler. Invest in a heavy-duty, UV-resistant marine cooler for your boat that will hold up against the elements, keep your ice frozen, and keep your drinks plenty cold. If you live in a warm climate or use the cooler most often during the summer months, be sure to buy one that has a couple of inches of insulation around the sides and lid. You may also want to check to be sure that the cooler has non-slip, non-marking feet so that it stays in place on the deck of the boat as the boat moves.

What other boat accessories have you found particularly useful for family boating trips? Share your advice and input in the TakeMeFishing.org forums under boating.

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson

Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.