Pack for your first boat outing of the season

March 25, 2021 by PEMCO Insurance

For a lot of Northwest boaters who found their time on the water cut short last year by COVID, the early start to the 2021 season (officially, Saturday, May 1) can't come soon enough!

GettyImages-1222083900.jpgTo help you tackle the must-dos before your first outing, run down this 20-point spring checklist for your boat and trailer. Plus, you'll enjoy your trip even more when you add these items to your on-the-water packing list:

Water-friendly clothing. 

Pack one full set of clothes for each day on the water and, even for day trips, at least one change so you'll never have to spend an afternoon in soaked, salty or fishy clothes. Choose breathable layers to complement your foul-weather gear, and look for quick-drying choices.

Health supplies. 

In addition to your onboard first-aid kit, carry a few extra days' worth of essential prescription medication, motion sickness and stomach upset remedies, pain reliever, antihistamine, instant ice packs for sprains or strains, toothbrushes, RV/marine toilet paper and personal hygiene supplies.

Basic cleaning supplies. 

A rocking boat means messes happen! All-purpose cleaner and paper towels can keep stains from setting on carpet and vinyl.

Sun- and rain-ready supplies. 

That includes sunscreen, insect repellent, spare sunglasses (if yours fall overboard), brimmed hats and tarps to quickly cover gear in a rain squall.

Phone charger. 

Many boats offer USB ports to keep electronics charged.

Duct tape. 

Because, you know … duct tape. It's good for everything!

Boat-friendly fare.

Aim for grab-and-go foods that require minimal fuss to eat (still, try to remember that squirt of hand sanitizer!). Here are some favorites:

  • Wraps. They're easy to customize with high protein or vegetarian choices and, since they can be hand-held in foil or a plastic bag, you won't have to worry about added plates and utensils.
  • Cold fried chicken. Whether your go-to is KFC, Ezell's, Popeye's or good ol' homemade, it's almost always a hit – and drumsticks and wings are the ultimate finger food.
  • Fruits and nuts. Nuts make a filling protein boost while fruits help with hydration. Watermelon, grapes and oranges are great choices thanks to their liquid content. You even can freeze the grapes (delicious!) to help keep other items in the cooler cold.
  • Crackers and hearty dip. The cracker serves as its own edible plate.
  • Popcorn, energy bars or trail mix. All easy to grab, minimally messy choices.
  • Canned rather than bottled beverages. After use, cans easily can be crushed to minimize space required for a recycling bin.

Have a favorite boating take-along? Please tell us in Comments!

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