Boating Equipment Checklist

Use this Basic Boating Equipment Checklist to Ensure You Have Everything You’ll Need for Your Next Trip

There’s nothing like getting out on the water on a sunny summer day, or really, any day! Whether you’re going to a nearby cove for a day of fishing, or further out to explore the open waters, always take the time to make sure your boat is properly equipped. In addition to our full boat maintenance checklist, this boating equipment checklist gets back to the basics. It will help you make sure you have everything you could need in the event of a generator outage, electronics failure, a leak, if someone is injured or if you just need to complete a quick fix. Boating Equipment Checklist cover image

Most of the time, everything goes off without a hitch and you and your guests have an amazing boating trip. Just in case, take the time to review this list. It’s also a good idea to keep a printed copy of it in your fireproof box with other documents like your boat registration.


To keep your paper documents completely secure, we recommend stowing them in a dry box in an easy-to-reach area on board.

  • Registration on board
  • Validation decal on display
  • Registration numbers
  • Boating safety certificate
  • Fishing licenses
  • Manual charts
  • Float plan for your route and intended destination (make sure a relative or friend has a copy)

First Aid and Safety Equipment

Be prepared for anything with plenty of PFDs and a fully stocked first aid kit large enough for the number of people on board.

  • Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) – one per person
  • Throwable PFD
  • Lifebuoy
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Flame arrestor
  • Horn, whistle, bell or other noise making device
  • First aid kit
  • Flares or other visual distress signal

Anchor and Mooring Equipment

Always be ready to anchor and keep plenty of extra line on hand.

  • Extra anchor
  • Extra line
  • Extra heaving line
  • Oars
  • Ladder for boarding and disembarking
  • Tender- Check to make sure it’s in good shape


Newer boats are fully loaded with top-of-the line nav equipment, but it’s always a good idea to have manual equipment on hand. 

  • Navigation lights
  • VHF radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Wind up flashlights
  • Compass
  • EPIRB- Emergency Positioning Radio Beacon

Sun and Weather Protection

Out on the water, you’re even more exposed to the elements. Be ready for any weather by ensuring you have sun, wind and rain protection.

  • Sunscreen
  • Close-toed shoes
  • Hat
  • Rain jacket
  • Change of clothing / towels
  • Fresh water

Extras to Keep on Board

Don’t be left stranded and frustrated. Make sure you have extra fuel and oil on board, in case the fueling station is temporarily closed.

  • Manual bailer for the bilge
  • Extra fuel. Remember the one-third rule (one-third fuel for trip out, one-third fuel for trip back and one-third fuel for reserve.)
  • Extra oil
  • Toolbox and tools for quick fixes
  • Spare parts

Click here to download our Boating Equipment checklist as a PDF

Is this the year you’re making the leap to boating? Looking for that perfect used boat? Come and talk to us at Van Isle Marina. We have a wide selection of gorgeous new and pre-loved yachts and cruisers to choose from, including the world-class Pursuit line of boatsBrowse our new and used yachts for sale, then contact our expert yacht broker to find the boat you’ve always dreamed of.