10 items you must have on your boat

Posted by: Pen Marine

They will help you have fun and stay safe too!

Heading out to sea is always exciting. The call of the ocean, the wind in your hair and the sun on your cheeks; it’s enough to make us want to go right now! However, before you do so, here are some items that will make life on the water easier and safer, and mayhaps make the excursion even better. Some of these items are required by local regulations, but hey, it doesn’t harm to be reminded now and then.

Extra Hats

Anyone who has spend time at sea will attest: it gets hot during the day. If you plan on doing any kind of outdoor activity in the sun, a hat will save you from the worst of it. Conscientious boat owners may even want to bring extras for their guests. Unfortunately, they do get lost at sea easily due to an errant breeze or accident, but thankfully they are cheap to replace and easy to get.


Unlike umbrellas, ponchos don’t get caught in the wind and fly off, breaking the heart of the person holding them and giving them a lesson in abandonment. Ponchos, or rain coats, are well worth the money if you are planning on fishing or other activities above decks while it is raining. They will keep you dry (mostly), but more importantly, they will keep out the worst of the wind.


Extra ropes will always – always! – be put to service on a boat. They have so much utility, like towing other stranded boats, tying down loose items in an emergency, and even to secure your boat to a neighbouring vessel. Get a good length of rope once, and you may never have to get another for the next few years.

A knife

When a propeller is fouled with seaweed or debris like ropes or fishing lines, a good knife will get you underway in no time at all. Sometimes, and this is a drastic one, the anchor can’t be dislodged, and your only option may be to cut the line. That’s why we recommend getting a knife with a normal edge and a sawing edge, as the latter will get through lines quicker. Of course, please remember to keep it at a safe place out of the reach of children.

Sunscreen & insect repellent

The first item may be obvious, but the second is as important. Malaysia is a tropical country, and with the great weather comes little nuisances. You won’t enjoy your time under the starry sky if you have to keep fending off pests, so pack both along to enjoy your day, and your night.


Bring whatever medication you need for the day, and on top of that we also recommend packing some motion sickness pills and analgesics along. Any passenger with motion sickness will repay your kindness with eternal gratitude and undying loyalty.

Plenty of fluids

The general consensus is to bring as much fresh water as you can carry on a day trip, but the minimum for our hot weather is 4 to 5 litres of fresh water for one adult. For longer voyages, larger yachts usually have a watermaker that desalinises and purifies sea water. When deciding whether to stay out or head back to port when fresh water supplies are running low, always choose the latter.

Trash bags

Be environmentally conscious even while having fun. The convenience of having places to put rubbish away means none of it goes overboard.

Emergency kit

For this little kit, we recommend putting in duct tape for securing items or mending broken things quickly, a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, electrical tape for mending wires, a flashlight and flares. For bonus points, you can even get jumper cables, or better yet, a jump pack for a dead battery.

A paddle

Let’s be honest, it is a little embarassing if you need a tow when you run out of juice close to land. A paddle and a determined sailor can bring the craft back to shore. Not only that, it can be used to push away from obstacles, and as most of these paddles comes with a ‘T’ grip, it can also be used to snag items out of the water easily.

We say this often, but as always this list is not exhaustive, so do let us know if we missed some of the items you think every boat needs. The items above can be found in our chandlery as well, so get in touch with our team if you need more advice.