Yes, of course, boats are cool all by themselves. No matter whether it’s a ski or wakesurf boat, a pontoon boat, a sailboat or an express cruiser, a boat can be all the fun a family needs for a great day out on the water. However, there are ways to crank up the fun quotient by a few notches.
Here are some cool, fun things to bring along for your next day out in the fresh air boating—also be sure to read 10 Things You Need on a Boat.
1. Towable Tubes
Towable tubes are great because they take no skill for the rider to use, which means beginners have fun within about the first 10 seconds of using them (assuming they can hang on for 10 seconds).
Towable tubes also come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, for one, two, three people or more. That means siblings can enjoy the fun in the water together while mom and day stay dry and happy on the boat.
2. Snorkeling Gear
On a hot, sunny day, there is nothing better than jumping off the boat for a refreshing dip in the water—except, perhaps, jumping in with snorkeling gear. Near coral reefs full of fish, it’s hard to find anything more fun than snorkeling. The gear is compact, so it doesn’t take up too much space on board, and it lets kids and adults alike explore the underwater world.
Having the right cooler on board can turn a good day into a great day. The best coolers are the right size for the number of people who will be on the boat. And don’t just think about ice and drinks; also think about cool, iced-down snacks ranging from fresh veggie and fruit slices to sweet pops.
Depending on the size of the boat, a soft-sided cooler might be ideal. As you empty out the contents during the day, the cooler itself will take up less space on board.
4. Bluetooth Speaker
If your boat lacks a built-in sound system, don’t fret: Today’s portable Bluetooth speakers have all the volume and base boost to get the party started and keep it cranking. There are lots of options in this product mix, so look for a speaker that’s waterproof (just in case it gets splashed or goes overboard) and that has long battery life (if you don’t have the ability to recharge it out on the boat).
5. Waterproof Camera
A waterproof camera is a great idea for a boat in case of splashes, of course, but it’s also a must-have if you plan to jump into the water and look around at the fish with snorkeling gear. Make sure you get a model that comes with a high-quality wrist strap; that way, when you’re underwater, you can let the camera drag from your wrist without having to hold it the whole time you’re snorkeling.
Half the fun of being on a boat is looking out at everything around you. A good pair of binoculars enhances everything from bird-watching to people-watching, no matter whether you’re cruising in an untouched natural habitat or off the coast of a popular beach. Some binoculars these days are not only waterproof, but also stabilized, making it easier to look through them when the boat is underway.
7. Handheld Mister Fan
Small, portable, and everyone’s favorite thing to have at the height of the noonday sun, a handheld mister fan is ideal for boaters in warmer climates. Some handheld mister fans are foldable for easier onboard stowage, and others have low, medium and high speeds that let you create your personal comfort zone.
8. Inflatable Raft
Sometimes, you want to be just a few feet away from the boat, on a raft where your feet can dangle into the cool water. The way to achieve this moment of bliss is with an inflatable raft tied to the boat.
Many rafts come with attached lines that you can tie off just like a water-ski or wakeboard line, letting you float as close to or as far from the boat as you please. Some rafts also have cup holders (hint, hint).
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