Don’t Get Stranded! 5 Things You Must Bring on the Boat

Man using binoculars on a sailboat

Although a cell phone call can eventually get you help if your boat loses power and you become stranded, you may need assistance sooner than you think.

That cell phone may run out of battery too. Here are five things you should always have in your boat in case the worst happens.


Black paddle with blue handle on body of water
Photo by Daria Tumanova on Unsplash

A power failure that leaves you unable to steer can be very dangerous. High winds can push you and your boat into unsafe areas such as rock outcroppings or submerged timber.

Having a couple of paddles in the boat is a great way to make sure you stay in control and allows you to get to safer water, if necessary. A lightweight canoe paddle like this one will help keep you from getting tired too quickly when keeping your boat on the right course.


Man with hand near anchor on boat
Photo by Lucas Favre on Unsplash

Once you get yourself to safe waters, a proper anchor can keep you there until help arrives. Make sure you purchase an anchor heavy enough for your specific boat (a comprehensive guide can be found here).

Always remember to look down and make sure your feet (or anyone else’s) are not wrapped around the anchor line before you send it to the bottom.

Air horn

If you get stranded, your best option to quickly and safely get to shore is to seek the help of fellow boaters. Although many boats have horns or alarms, these typically are tied into the electrical system and in the event of a power failure, they’re useless.

Portable air horns are a great option to alert other boaters that you need assistance. Even small ones are loud enough to be heard in high boating traffic and around larger lakes.


Man standing on shore holding a flashlight during a starry night
Photo by Helmuts Rudzitis on Unsplash

Should you have a breakdown at night, it will be a lot more difficult to hail help to your location. A powerful spotlight can help draw attention to your situation.

There are many options available including waterproof and high power models that have beams that can reach almost 700 meters!

Tow Rope

Blue and white rope on sailboat
Photo by Angela Franklin on Unsplash

Once your help has arrived, you need to guarantee that there is a way to pull your boat to shore. Make sure to have a tow rope aboard in case your assistance does not have one.

Some versions (like this one) already come with carabiner-style clips on either end so you don’t have to worry about tying knots.

Stay safe on the water! Check out all of our boating accessories here.



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