10 Must-Have Boat Supplies For Every Mariner

Selection of boat supplies depends on your purpose. Are you going for deep sea fishing? Is it a party cruise with snorkeling? Whether you are partying offshore or working offshore, you have to be prepared. When you are miles away from the shore, what you have with you can make a big difference. So, there are certain items every mariner must have. Most of the mariners agree that they cannot live without flashlight or headlamp. The next most important item they mention is a multi-tool and/or a knife.

However, there are several other essentials every mariner must carry. So, in this article, we have listed the top 10 must-have boat supplies for a mariner:

Common Essentials

If you are heading to sea, make sure that you have the following common essentials in your possession: 

●     Headlight or flashlight

A personal light source really comes in handy in case of emergencies. Engineers and crews use waterproof, LED flashlights during emergencies, for signaling, doing the rounds, bridge watch, in the case of power loss and more. Mariners prefer USB rechargeable batteries.

●     Rigging Knife

Make sure that your rigging knife has a built-in marlinspike and shackle key. The knife should be sharp enough to cut through strong fiber lines. You need marlinspike to untie knots.

●   Multi-tool

No experienced mariner leaves shore without having a multi-tool. Find a boat supplies shop near you for a multi-tool.

●    Binoculars

You need binoculars in order to get a clear idea of what’s happening ahead, giving you time to think and prepare.

●     Credentials

Have your Merchant Mariner Credential and license, physical and drug screening, a TWC card etc.

Tool Essentials

Even if you are not working as a mechanic, it’s a good idea to have the following tools:

  • Spud wrench
  • Zip ties to fix things
  • Electrical tape
  • Duct tape
  • Allen keys
  • Lubrication products
  • Screwdriver
  • Grabber/pick up tool 
  • Thermometer for checking engine temperature
  • Multimeters
  • Rags

Electronic essentials

Following are the electronic essentials you need for navigation, communication and entertainment. Most of these are battery-operated equipment.

●     Cellphone

There is no network coverage for making and receiving calls. However, the navigation app with preloaded maps can be of great use.

●    Apps

There are many apps for compass, navigation, tides, AIS, weather, radar etc.    

●    Marine Handheld Radio

Buy a very high-frequency satellite radio for communication. It is an essential lifeline that saves the lives of the crew. Handheld GPS is another piece of equipment you need.

  • Laptop computer for entertainment purpose
  • Alarm clock and wristwatch

Health Essentials

A medical emergency in the middle of the ocean, can be a very difficult emergency to address. Make sure that you have packed the following health essential items:

●     Fresh water
●    Sunscreen
●   Medicine kit

Personal comfort essentials

Most of the mariners carry the following items of personal comfort:

  • Dry bag to keep your clothes and other items dry.
  • Polarized sunglasses for protection from the sun and wind and also for improved visibility.
  • Hat
  • Knee pads
  • Toiletries
  • A small, portable, rechargeable fan
  • Hot water bottles
  • Clothing according to the weather

Safety Essentials

Safety essentials can save lives and also the vessel in case of emergencies. Don’t start your voyage without the following boat supplies:

  • Personal flotation devices
  • Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon
  • Survival raft  
  • GPS Tracking Device
  • Plastic sheets in case there is a breach
  • A manual bilge pump

Equipment Essentials

Following are the equipment you need to operate and maintain the vessel:

  • Compass
  • Line
  • Rope ascenders
  • Ratchet straps
  • Bungee cords
  • Swim goggles
  • Fuel
  • Spare parts 

Reading And Writing Essentials

It’s a 40-day long voyage. Have a historical book or a novel to pass the time. It can be an ebook, audiobook or physical book. Following are the other essential reading and writing materials:

  • Logbook
  • USCG rules of navigation
  • Paper charts
  • Personal notebook
  • Instructional manuals

Food Essentials

Every mariner has personal preferences when it comes to food. However, when there is limited space, it is not possible to accommodate the individual preferences of everybody. Make sure that you have the following food essentials:

  • Coffee
  • Energy drinks
  • Chewing gum        
  • Pressure cooker saves time and propane

Fishing Essentials

When you are left stranded at sea with hardly any food left, fishing is the only option available to you. A life raft often attracts curious small fish. You can catch those fish to address your nourishment needs. Once you have caught a few fish, remove guts and use as bait to catch more. Find a fishing boat services provider and get the fishing essentials:

  • Fishing rod 
  • Fishing reel
  • Fishing line
  • Fishing lures and baits
  • Hooks
  • Sinkers
  • Swivel
  • Fishing nets
  • Fishing pliers