What do you need so you can enjoy your favorite anchoring point or local party cove: A nice warm day? Sun blocker? Cold beverages? Snacks? Music? Those are all great starters, but if you really want to take it to the next level, it’s time to look at how you equip your boat.
How to Equip Your Boat for Party Cove
Get Party-Cove-Ready with this List
From a little bit of ‘cruise and coast’ to parking for all-day outings, here are some must-haves if you want to make it easier, more fun, and trouble-free.
Fenders, Bumpers, and Fender Accessories: As you hang out and have fun, one of the last things you want to worry about is harm to your boat. Make sure you have the fenders, bumpers, and fender accessories you need to provide some needed cushion and prevent that kind of harm.
Rope: Especially if you aren’t going to be right next to your boat at party cove or any other gathering spot, you’ll want good quality rope to tie it up so it doesn’t get away. (And no, most times we can’t trust the old ropes we’ve had lying around past their useful life)
Keel Protection and Skeg Protection: Pulling up in the shallows and getting snug up on a shore is easy and appealing, but it can take a terrible toll on your boat — sometimes even compromising your hull and lower unit and making your ride rougher. To prevent that, get keel protection and skeg protection. Both can be DIY jobs that pay for themselves tenfold. There’s even a solution for protecting your kayak, if that’s your ride of choice. We cover each of these options in more detail here.
Safety Items: See our full safety guide for more details, but start with safety gear like life jackets, throwable PFDs, a first aid kit, a boat hook, and U.S.C.G. approved safety whistle.
UV Protective Apparel: UV Protective apparel can be surprisingly comfortable and cool. You won’t be able to get a tan from wearing it, so it may not be your go-to option when up in the shallows or on a shore, but hats, UVP shirts, and other apparel are great options to have at the ready. For a deeper read about apparel options, scan through our ABC guide to performance apparel.
Ladders: It’s not always easy to get back up on a boat, especially one with a raised deck like a pontoon or one with raised gunnels, so make sure you have a ladder option that works for you.
Anchors: When you get where you know you want to be, your anchor should help you stay there. Make sure you have the right type of anchor and check our guide if yours is not giving you a good hold.
Waterproof Phone Pouches and Dry Bags: No one has ever regretted having some extra waterproof protection for their phone when boating. That’s just a fact. Also, we recommend keeping a dry bag for things like extra clothes, towels, emergency gear, electronics, and whatever else you might need.
Device Charging Options: For more permanent and sustainable device charging options, take a look at our USB charging ports that can be pretty easy to wire in. For something that requires no installation, consider these extra batteries from Scosche.
Paw-Friendly and Barefoot Friendly Boat Accessories: Many of our pros and members of our team love to bring their kids, pets, and guests aboard when they cruise. For best results, this means making sure to follow some top tips for keeping a boat safe for paws and bare feet.
Beverage Gear: If you might not have enough cup holders, the good news is that you can get super compact cup holders that are easy to install. If you need to improve your cooler options, we have great tie-down mounting kits and our cooler backpack is also ready to help. And if you need anything else in the category of beverage gear, maybe even an awesome boat multi-tool with a bottle opener, you can get that, too.
Games and Toys for the Water and Beach: Kan Jam, Spikeball, Crossnet, Frisbee, Football — there are too many to name, but this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning them.
Wave Away: It’s hard to see the water ahead, or the target when playing a game, if you have water spots and dirt on your glasses. Likewise, it’s best to keep your GPS and other devices clean so they’re easier to use. Wave Away is the top choice for all those applications and cleaner screens on the water.
Boat Lights: With the right lights on your boat, you’ll have optimal sight, safety, and style. From proper nav lights to keep things legal and safe to color changing strip lights, party cove is another great place to put awesome lighting options to work. If you need a primer for what to consider, take a look at our lighting guide here.
Where to Get Your Boat Equipped
Hoping for relaxation and fun on the water in your near future? Make a stop by our Boating Essentials Collection to be sure you’re ready for the sandbar, pontoon point, party cove, or wherever you’re pointing your bow.
Related Reads: The 11 Most-Common Fails with Boating Supplies and Equipment (and how to avoid them).