Must-Have Boat Accessories
Boating is a great hobby, whether you’re into fishing, hunting waterfowl or just going for a cruise. However, it can also be frustrating due to the care and maintenance needed to keep your boat running. Water, rust and corrosion are constant problems, tying ropes is a pain, and there’s never enough light when you need it. Fortunately, there are accessories that help solve these problems, making your boat easier to care for and easier to use. That way, you can focus more of your time on having fun. Here are some must-have boat accessories you can use to improve your boating experience.
You’re not always going to be able to use your boat when it’s bright and sunny out, which is why you need lighting for visibility. While halogen lights used to be common, manufacturers have moved over to LED lights, thanks to their low power draw, compact size and durability. We partnered with Southern Lite to offer their Gen 3 Boat Lite because it’s designed to withstand the most rigorous use. This light bar provides a 220-degree arc of light with no gaps, giving you the visibility you need, whether you’re in open water or hugging marshy shorelines. While this is a must-have for duck boats, it’s also a great upgrade for any other type of boat.
Having a hatch or lid close on you is annoying when you’re trying to access cargo or work on your boat. It’s even worse when you think you have the hatch closed but water is getting in. Hatch springs solve both problems. They’re under tension with the lid shut, pulling it open automatically when you release the latches. This keeps the hatch open when you need access and makes it easy to tell when it’s not locked down. Unlike gas struts, these springs won’t leak and wear out.
Outboard motors need a constant supply of water for their cooling systems, which is a problem when your boat is on a trailer or in a dry dock. A motor flusher channels water from a garden hose to the pump inlet on your engine, feeding the cooling system. This lets you keep the engine cool while adjusting the idle and doing other repairs out of the water. It’s also handy for flushing salt and deposits out of the engine before storing.
When you’re towing your boat, the outboard is free to move around as you go over bumps. This bouncing and vibration is hard on your transom and your steering hydraulics. A motor support lifts the tail shaft, taking the stress off of the transom while your boat is towed. Both over-the-roller and bolt-on designs attach between the tail shaft and the trailer, stabilizing the engine.
Do you hate having to tie knots every time you moor your boat? With quick cleats, you don’t have to. The cleat has a channel for the rope that is covered by a spring-loaded cover. Just slide the cover, place the rope in the cleat and release the cover. The rope is now locked in place. When you’re ready to leave, just tilt the cover back to remove the rope. Quick Cleat makes models for ¼- to ⅜-inch rope and ⅜- to ½-inch rope, with several options for finishes and mounting.
If you fish competitively, this is one of the best fishing boat accessories you can add. It makes docking and undocking faster, giving you more time to get to your fishing spot.
“Which boat supplies should I always have?” While other items on this list make boating easier, nothing is as important as protecting your boat from rust and corrosion. This requires constant vigilance against water; leave a component soaked for too long, and it can freeze solid and stop working. A water displacer pushes water away before it has time to react with metal. Unlike other water displacers, Strike-Hold leaves a protective film after application, delivering long-term protection. It’s also safe to use on electronics, preventing corrosion on contacts. Keeping a can or spray bottle with your boat lets you stop corrosion before it starts. Apply a layer of this spray on rust-prone components before storage, and you won’t have to worry about corrosion-related problems the next time you get your boat out. This makes it one of the top boat supplies you should have on hand.
Obviously, you need to replace your boat’s drain plug now and then to keep the hull sealed. However, there are options that can make sealing your boat easier. Shoreline Marine’s 1-inch/25-mm plug uses stainless steel construction with a large T-handle built into the top. This lets you install and remove the plug without needing a wrench. Unlike flip-top plugs, this design lets you adjust the tension, so you can compensate for wear and tear on the seal for a tight fit.