Summer is the prime time to go boating or sailing. Boat owners often extend invitations for friends and family to go boating, sailing, or fishing. Here are some things that landlubbers can bring to avoid embarrassment out on the water.
1) Real Boat Shoes. Boat shoes aren’t a preppie fashion statement; boat shoes are almost a necessity. The soles of boat shoes are specially designed with siped bottoms to grip the potentially wet decks of a boat. Real boat shoes like Sperry Top-Siders also feature rubber outsoles that won’t leave dark marks on the typical white fiberglass decks of most modern boats. If you wear real boat shoes from a reputable company, you’ll feel more secure on deck. If you are going to do any boating, you need some real boat shoes.
2) Sunglasses. In addition to real boat shoes, if you will be spending time out on the water you’ll need decent sunglasses. While sunglasses for boating don’t need to be expensive, they should screen out UV-rays, have a dark tint for maximum comfort on a bright day, and they should be big enough to shield your eyes from sun hitting their eyes from the side and other oblique angles. If you don’t wear good sunglasses, your eyes may get sensitive to bright lights as you age.
3) Sunscreen. A long day of boating is great fun as long as you don’t get burned. The sun’s damaging rays are reflected off of the water, off of sails, and off of the boat’s deck. Anyone going out on the water needs to apply sunscreen liberally and often. If a boating excursion will involve swimming, personal watercraft, water skiing, or other water sports, participants should consider applying waterproof sunscreen. Any sunscreen or sunblock should have a high SPF for maximum effectiveness. If you are smart, you’ll apply sunscreen like your mom always wanted you to as a little kid.
4) A hat. You should supplement your sunglasses and sunscreen with a sensible hat. A baseball cap should suffice. But, you could also get a floppy Gilligan hat. A hat will provide extra protection to your eyes and face.
5) A light rain jacket. You don’t listen. You’ll get burned. Then, you’ll need something with long sleeves for that unbearable journey back to the docks. If you do listen, then a light range jacket may come in handy if it rains or if it turns cool in the evening.
6) Drinking Water. There is nothing worse that being out on the water on a hot sunny day without a beverage you like. If you bring a jug of water or your favorite sports drink, you won’t have to worry about the boat owner only stocking some weird fruit water concoction or a strange diet soda. Since hydration is a matter of safety on hot summer days, you should make it a point to bring at least some water in case of an emergency.
7) A Pocket Knife. If you are actually going sailing, it’s always good to bring a sharp pocket knife in case an emergency requires cutting a line. Multi-tools can also come in handy in case minor repairs are required. You can’t go wrong when a good multi-tool (like the Gerber Suspension Multi-tool) has pliers, screwdrivers, and other useful blades. If you are going to be a sailor, you need a pocket knife.
You’ll have a blast on almost any boating adventure. But, if you have a nice pair of Sperry Top-Siders or other boat shoes, nice dark shades, a hat, a liberal amount of sunscreen slathered on, a jacket, some drinking water, and a pocket knife, you’ll feel prepared, be prepared, and you’ll find that your boating and sailing adventures will be far more pleasant. Have fun and remember to bring the things you need to go boating!