Family Boat Day Checklist

Fall in the Lowcountry is one of the best times of year to enjoy life on the water. The tourists tend to stay away and it’s still warm enough to comfortably spend the majority of your days outside. For boating enthusiasts, now is a great time to take your family out for a spin along the Charleston waterways.

But before you simply head out on the water, make sure you’re packing everything you need to ensure everyone enjoys a successful day on the water.

Safety first

At the very least, before you hit the water, you should have the safety basics:

  • Life jackets for everyone on board
  • First aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flares
  • Boat registration and license

It also doesn’t hurt to make sure you have a working cell phone or marine radio in case of extreme emergency. Even though you may not need it, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Protect yourself from the sun

No matter what time of year you go boating, the sun is always something you want to be aware of. Even if it’s cloudy outside, you can still get sunburned if you’re not careful. That’s why we recommend packing the following essentials:

  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen (or higher SPF if needed)
  • Wide-brimmed hats
  • Long-sleeved T-shirts or jackets

If possible, try to seek out a shaded spot to spend some time under. Curl up underneath the boat’s center console or cover yourself with a beach towel. The more you can limit your skin’s direct exposure to the sun, the better.

Stock up on snacks and water

If you’re traveling with kids, you’re definitely going to want to pack plenty of snacks so you can stay out on the water longer. Here are some of the best boat snacks we recommend:

  • Nonperishable packaged food
  • Fresh or dried fruit
  • Nuts or granola
  • Pre-made sandwiches

Always, always bring plenty of water. Being outside in the sun all day can easily cause dehydration, so a lot of water is essential.

Waterproof camera is a must

If you aren’t documenting a day on the water by taking plenty of pictures, did it even happen? We’re all for living in the moment, but there are some moments — like your kid getting up on a wakeboard for the first time — that deserve to be documented. Having a waterproof camera handy to capture those special moments is an absolute must.

Always have a plan

Before you head out on the boat, make sure you have a plan. Have a general idea of what time you want to get back, how much gas you have and what activities you want to do while you’re cruising around. If watersports are on the agenda, make sure you have all of the right supplies needed for that particular activity.

Think your boat may need one last check up before you head out on the water? Be sure to schedule an appointment with the team at Hanckel Marine today and we’ll have you enjoying life on the water in no time!