Boating adventures are a great way to relax and spend time with family and friends. A fresh catch and soaking up the Southwest Florida sunshine are two of everyone’s favorite things in the area. However, you might have some questions if this is your first time planning a trip like this. For example, you might wonder, what are some fun things to have on a boat? Our suggestions will ease the planning process and help you create memories you will cherish forever.
One of the best things about boating is that there are so many activities you can participate in. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling experience or simply relaxing, knowing what fun things to have on a boat is key to a successful trip. This article will cover must-have boating accessories and gear, easy and convenient snacks, fun gadgets, and much more. So continue reading to plan your perfect trip on the water.
What Are the Most Common Fun Things to Have on a Boat?
A boat trip is always a great way to spend the day, but if you don’t pack the right boating accessories and fishing gear, there is a chance you may get bored pretty fast. In order to avoid that, let’s discuss the most common fun things to have on a boat.
Never go on a boating adventure without the proper fishing gear. Take a moment to imagine being deep in the water and seeing the trophy fish you’ve been dreaming about catching but not having appropriate fishing gear. Your disappointment and regret will last a lifetime. To prevent this from happening, always carry rods, reels, lures, terminal tackle, and extra lines to ensure that you’re prepared when the right opportunity presents itself. Then, double up on the fishing gear so you can share that special moment with a friend or family member.
For any adventure under the sun, a cooler is a must-have. A cooler or ice chest is necessary, whether you plan on using it for all the fish you catch or storing food and drinks to keep them cool. Spending all day in the hot Florida weather will make you thirsty, and everyone knows that warm water doesn’t quench your thirst and it’s not pleasant to drink. In addition, if you forget to bring an insulated cooler, your food will spoil quickly, leaving you hungry and possibly moody. It’s best to get a soft-sided cooler because it’s compact and doesn’t take much space on the boat. In addition, it gets lighter as you empty it.
There is nothing better than diving into crystal-clear waters and taking a swim under the sun’s rays. However, you can only improve that experience if you are equipped with all the necessary snorkeling gear. That includes a mask, snorkel, cap, fins, and booties. The good news is that they don’t take up much space, and we guarantee the snorkeling gear will help you have an experience you won’t forget anytime soon.
Social media makes it easier for you to share your boating experiences with family and friends. So, what better way to show off your skills than by posting a trophy fish on your Instagram feed? Don’t forget to bring a waterproof camera so you can capture all the fun and beautiful moments on the boat and underneath the deep waters. In addition, make sure you get a picture of everyone, including yourself. With the photos you take, you will be able to relive those beautiful memories with your loved ones and share many stories.
Water Sports Gear
Taking your boat out for a ride is a blast, but what happens when your boat is parked is equally as enjoyable. To take advantage of your trip fully, don’t forget the wakeboards, surfboards, water skis, standup paddle boards, and inflatable kayaks. That way, everyone on the boat can indulge in different experiences. Of course, if you bring sports gear to the water, there are no limits to the adventures you can go on.
What Do You Need for a Day on the Boat?
Are you planning on spending the day on the water, perhaps fishing and then sailing into the sunset? When you intend to spend most of your day outdoors, it is helpful to make a list of everything you need to bring with you. This section will cover the safety essentials, electronics, and fun things you can bring on your boating adventures.
In some cases, the safety essentials are the most overlooked, but they are crucial for any boat trip. Among these essentials are IDs and documents, including the boat’s registration and operating license. Your fishing license is also essential if you plan on going after the big fish. In addition, boaters must carry horns, flares, fire extinguishers, life jackets for everyone on board, and boating equipment such as GPS devices or radios. Carefully check everything before sailing to ensure the life jackets are in good shape and that the communication devices are in order. Taking these precautionary steps may save your life.
Some items are not mandatory but would be extremely useful, and one of them is a first aid kit. Antiseptic cream, bandages, and gauze are always a good idea to pack, but you might also want to include medicine for motion sickness, allergies, pain, and fever – just to be on the safe side. In addition, since you’ll be out in the sun all day, it’s crucial to protect your skin, eyes, and head from the harmful UV rays, so don’t forget to bring a high SPF sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Considering that the weather can change quickly, keep a jacket handy in case of sudden storms or unexpected cooler weather. Finally, the best piece of boating apparel advice we can give you is always to bring slip-resistant shoes that are comfortable and easy to walk in on the shore and the boat. That will prevent you from slipping or cutting your foot on sharp rocks.
Don’t Forget the Fun Stuff
The crucial things to bring on a boat are now out of the way. It’s time to focus on the fun stuff. What boating accessories do you need to have a blast on the water? It’s always a good idea to bring fun gadgets like a smartphone, binoculars, or a camera so you can capture all the beautiful moments you can experience on the water. Imagine how disappointed you will be if you see a dolphin right next to you and cannot take a photo to share with your friends. If you want to go one step further, you can bring a GoPro with you, where you can capture captivating underwater footage of beautiful coral reefs or fish swimming next to you. Music is another essential for fun. What’s a boating trip without singing along to your favorite songs? Whether you bring a radio or your phone, you should blast your favorite happy mood songs. In addition, given that you will be taking electronics with you, remember to bring power banks so you can charge them even in the middle of the ocean; otherwise, what’s the use if their battery dies and you can’t fully enjoy the fun activities?
Despite all the other points discussed in this section, the most important ones are snacks and drinks. Most likely, you will be on the boat for most of the day, you will get hungry at some point, and if you forget to bring anything to snack on, it won’t be fun for anybody. In the following few sections, you’ll find some suggestions for what kinds of easy and delicious snacks you can bring with you, but first, let’s talk about how to keep the little ones entertained.
How Do You Keep Kids Entertained on a Boat?
When planning a family day out on the boat, it is important to ensure everyone has a good time, not just the adults. Things can quickly get out of hand without a plan for entertaining or caring for the youngest passengers. Here are a few recommendations for keeping kids entertained on a memorable and enjoyable trip.
- Bring fun snacks – Everybody loves a tasty snack, especially kids. Granola bars, pretzels, nuts, M&Ms, baby carrots, and peanut butter jelly sandwiches or crackers are popular snacks among kids, not to mention that you won’t have to stress about them making a mess. You can even consider putting together a trendy “snackle box.”
- Assign them a job – We mean a fun job, like being the designated DJ for the boat. Bring your Bluetooth speakers and let your kids be in charge of the music. It’s one less thing you have to worry about, and it’s a responsibility they’ll genuinely enjoy.
- Invite their friends – Brining their closest buddies on the boat is bound to be a never-ending source of entertainment, and it’s less work for you. It’s no secret that kids enjoy playing games with each other, sharing stories, and explaining boating rules to their friends, which are all activities that will keep them happy and busy for hours.
- Bring the tubes and the slides – Everyone knows that children love to splash around and have fun with outdoor toys, especially on warm days. So bringing a large towable tube that holds a few kids and an inflatable water slide that can easily be set up along the boat’s side will keep them entertained all day.
- Help them learn how to fish – This is an activity they will remember for the rest of their lives. After all, everyone remembers the excitement of their first big catch and looks forward to the next one. Fishing with your kids not only teaches them a valuable skill, but it’s the perfect bonding opportunity to create new memories and heartfelt conversations.
- Throw a pizza party – What kid doesn’t love pizza? Organize a pizza party and get various toppings to enjoy with the kids. Get some breadsticks and marinara sauce. We recommend having it delivered to the dock, so it stays fresh and warm when you’re ready to eat it.
- Play fun games with them – You can do plenty of activities with your child. For example, you can go over how the boat works and what each part does and make a game of it. This way, children will gain knowledge that will be useful while playing a fun game at the same time. Another example of a fun game is “I Spy with My Little Eye.”
What Food to Bring on a Boat Ride?
Snacks are one of the most important things to bring on a boat. Generally, the simplest and most convenient option would be individually packaged foods that you can quickly grab and eat. However, if you are feeling adventurous, it is possible to create quite a diverse menu with some proper planning. Now let’s talk about a few delicious ideas.
First and foremost, don’t leave the house without crackers, chips, or dip. As long as you have a cooler, you can make room for hummus, veggie dips, salsa, cheese, and meats. Additionally, don’t forget lighter snacks such as pre-cut celery, carrots, and cucumbers. They are perfect for dipping and ideal for those moments when you feel somewhat hungry but not starving. In addition, you’ll burn off a lot of energy while swimming, playing, and having fun in the sun, so having healthy options is a great way to fuel up. If you want to make things easier, cut and prepare all the veggies at home and put them in a zip lock bag. That way, they can be eaten right away. The same applies to fruits. Apples, oranges, and watermelons can make a great refreshing snack when you’re in the sun all day. Naturally, we understand you may be tempted to pack a few bananas for extra energy, but we recommend against it, and we’ll explain why in the next section.
Apart from all the ideas listed above, other options include ham and cheese wraps, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or bacon and egg biscuits. Just remember to wrap each one individually in foil or plastic wrap and bring individual packets of ketchup, mayo, mustard, or hot sauce. Pre-made salads are a great option if you’re in the mood for something on the lighter side, but you have to make sure there’s space in your cooler to keep them fresh throughout your trip. Additionally, to avoid a soggy salad, put the dressing in a small separate container and pour it over your salad just before serving. Finally, if you’re aiming to satisfy your cravings with a good source of protein with very minimal effort, pack some beef jerky or dry meat in general.
In order to have a successful day on the boat, make sure you bring food, utensils, napkins, bags for trash, condiments, bags for dirty utensils, and plenty of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
Can I Bring Bananas on a Boat?
Perhaps you find it a little odd that you are advised not to bring bananas with you. No worries, we’ll explain why. As it turns out, it’s pretty simple – there is a myth that bananas bring bad luck. The nautical superstition dates back to the 1700s and continues today. It all started when the trade ships sailed from the Caribbean and Europe, and they began disappearing. According to many legends, bananas were found floating among the wrecks, and people believed the yellow fruits were responsible for the sunken ships. Additionally, many fishermen considered bananas a sign of bad luck and believed the fruits influenced poor fishing, problems with machinery, and even bad weather. We all know that fruits are known to attract unwanted insects over time, and since it took the crew a long time to bring the bananas back ashore, it added a lot of discomfort and potential risks on board.
Until this day, there are still people who believe in these legends and refuse to take not only bananas on board with them but also banana-related products or anything related to the fruit. These include banana boat sunblock, banana-flavored foods or drinks, and even banana bread. Clothes from the Banana Republic? Not welcomed on board. “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani is also not welcome on your boating playlist. There’s no point in risking your fishing chances, the great weather, or your brand new boat, regardless of whether you believe the legend or not. Enjoy the bananas at home, but don’t bring them on board.
You Can Find All Your Boating Needs at Port Sanibel Marina
Want to make the most of your time in Southwest Florida? Port Sanibel Marina offers half-day, full-day, and weekly boat rentals, allowing you to take advantage of the gorgeous weather to the fullest. For those who aren’t as experienced and need some guidance by their side, you can also call (239) 437-1660 to book a fishing charter. The Port Sanibel Marina captains are waterways and migration patterns pros, ensuring you’ll find plenty of fresh fish to catch. If you’re already in the area, make sure to stop by the store – there, you can find all the fun things to have on a boat. In addition, you can also stock up on boating accessories, fishing equipment, and nautical apparel.