Boat Accessories

15 Must-Have Boat Accessories 2020

With summer at its peak, now is a perfect time for boaters to pick up our 15 must-have boat accessories. Investing in some new gear is a great way to make your stay on the water safer, easier, and even more fun than it already is.

While it feels good being onboard a boat, enjoying the water all day, a boat itself doesn’t supply enough amenities to entertain you & your guests. And if you’re an entertainer, you should stock up with these 15 must-have boating accessories to create the perfect party on the water for you & your guests.
As specialists in boat parts and pontoon boat & sailboat accessories, we have compiled a list of our top-15 must-have boat accessories.

Below is a list of must-have boating accessories for every boat out there. It doesn’t matter if you’re searching for a sailboat, pontoon boat, or bass boat accessories; this list has something for everyone.

No matter what your pastime or hobby is, it can be turned into something a bit more enjoyable by taking advantage of the cutting-edge boating accessories out there. There are so many pontoon boat accessories on the market; it can be tricky deciding which ones to use. That’s why we’ve created a list of 15 must-have boat gadgets and accessories. Which of these will you be taking on board with you?

If you’re new to boating, you might know nothing about the must-have boating accessories to get. We have gathered the best boating accessories, and it doesn’t matter if you have a Pontoon boat, Bowrider, fishing boat, Jon boat, bass boat, Lund boat, ranger boat, sailboat, duck boat, ski boat, or even a cruiser – anyone can benefit from the gear below.

We’ve tried to organize the gear in the level of importance. The gear we think is the most important is first, and the gear you can probably do without is at the bottom.

Make sure you follow state regulations for what you should have on your boat and safety! If you like any of these items, be sure to share it with some friends & family!

1. First Aid & Safety Kit

It is important to have a first aid & safety kit on board while you are out on the water. It will help you deal with any emergency that might arise while out on the water or the beach.

In your safety kit, you’ll also need emergency equipment, which includes:

  • Flares in case you need to highlight your location. (It’s required by law, and coast guards regularly check for these!)
  • Bandages
  • A handy multi-tool with cutting edges, a screwdriver, different wrench sizes, etc
  • A loud whistle
  • A waterproof case etc

Place these items in a dry box and keep it on the boat. Some of these items have multi uses.

The trash bags work great for trash, and of course, they can also store wet clothing.

The knife is for, well, you might need a knife when on a boat.

The flares & VHF radio are more for people who go into the ocean. If you’re on the lake, all you need is a regular tow service. If you do get a VHF radio, keep it close and easy to access. Also, make sure the battery is charged or just buy the radios that mount it.

An adequately packed safety kit can help you in any emergency. Also, in case of an emergency, you should keep spare towels or spare clothes.

Now, I recommend trying the Windrider USCG Boating Safety Kit. It costs $162.50 and has the following features:

First Aid & Safety Kit

First Aid & Safety Kit
  • ELECTRONIC FLARE – The Weems & Plath electronic flare is the perfect flare for your boat.
  • OPEN YOUR BEER – A safety kit is incomplete without a bottle opener, right? This multi-tool doesn’t just open bottles, it has a screwdriver, cutting edge, different wrench sizes, pretty much anything else you could need on your boat.
  • WHISTLE FOR HELP – As per US Coast Guard rules, you must have a noise-making device. This little whistle does the trick, and it even has a little lanyard – who doesn’t like lanyards?
  • SAFETY FIRST – For all those nicks, cuts & scratches, we include a first aid kit. While not required by the USCG, it is a nice-to-have item.
  • ALL STORED IN A WATERPROOF CASE – They cut out the foam to fit everything nicely in a bright orange IP67 case (this means it’ll keep your stuff dry and dust-free). Oh, and it will float too.


WindRider was founded on a passion for water; they started safe & easy while using sailboats and grew to offer parts for all sorts of water-related fun. They aim to help people enjoy more time outdoors and on the water by providing easy to use high quality and reasonably priced products.

2. Fender Hangers

In boating, fenders are used to absorb the kinetic energy of a boat. Fenders are used on all types of vessels, from ferries & personal yachts to cargo ships or cruise ships, to prevent damage to vessels and their berthing structures. They are also used when you tie your boat to a dock or even another boat. And you should know that boat fenders are especially useful when you are tied off to a large metal wall that is often found on rivers.

Fender hangers are easy to use & dependable, and they have become the choice for many pro anglers, sailors, and, yes, everyday boating families. Because life is about enjoying what you love and having a fender or bumper hanger fail when you’re trying to dock, well, that should never be part of anyone’s day.

Also, it’s good to have at least two for the front & back of the mooring side, but it can’t hurt to have a spare or two. Sometimes, it’s better to be over-prepared, and it can’t hurt to overprotect your boat.

Boat Fender Hangers

Boat Fenders

Boat Fenders

Boat Fenders

Fender Hangers at Python Fender Hangers & Rope Cinches are superior quality marine fenders that offer excellent protection and are trusted among both commercial fishing & recreational boating.  The Pontoon Boat Fender Hanger by Python starts at $ 49.99 and goes up to $200 for 4 pack Fender hanger kit. Some of its features are:

  • This fender hanger attaches to Pontoon Square Rail to secure Fender Lines
  • It is made from High-Quality Aircraft Grade Aluminum & Stainless Steel Hardware
  • The mounting bracket of this brilliant boat fender fits standard 1-1/4” square Pontoon Railings
  • And, it holds rope sizes from 3/8” to 5/8”

Today PYTHON fender hangers & rope cinches are the choice for many outdoor enthusiasts, sailors, and pro anglers, everyday boat enthusiasts. And that’s what gets us fired up. Ultimately, we believe that life is all about having a good time doing what you love. And for us, that’s spending time outdoors boating, fishing, sailing and most importantly spending time with our friends & family.


3. Boat Towing Membership

If you’re on a lake or even saltwater, you should get a local tow boating membership. This is the type of service that’ll get you out of a pickle. I can bet that it’s better to be a member of these companies because if you need a tow and you’re not a member, it can cost you an arm and a leg.

Sea-Tow & Towboat US are the two I’m more familiar with. It’s best to see if they cover your area, or you can call up a local boat towing company.  You may never use their service, but if you do, it will be worth every penny. Trust me, getting stuck in the middle of the lake because something happens to your boat is not a joke.

Besides, no boater wants to be stranded on water or land. And this is why it provides 24/7 towing service; the GEICO Marine Insurance Company has teamed with Towboat US, America’s largest towing fleet.

Boat Towing Services Can Include:

  • 24/7 boat towing assistance
  • On water towing services provided by Towboat US
  • Fuel delivery services
  • Jump starts
  • No out-of-pocket expenses
  • No waiting for reimbursement

4. Life Jacket

Life jackets and other safety gear is a priority in any water activity. Whether you own a small sailboat or an offshore crusader, there is nothing better than knowing you’re protected if anything goes wrong in the water.

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced boating professional, always be equipped with enough life jackets to accommodate your guests on board in case you encounter any unforeseen circumstances.

You must make sure that each passenger’s life jacket fits them and is proper for their particular weight.

Children’s life jackets are important, too, especially when it comes to fit. Also, children under a certain age are required to wear life jackets at all times while on the boat.

Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced boating professional, always be equipped with enough life jackets to accommodate your guests on board in case you encounter any unforeseen circumstances. 

You must make sure that each passenger’s life jacket fits them and is proper for their particular weight.

Children’s life jackets are important, too, especially when it comes to fit. Also, children under a certain age are required to wear life jackets at all times while on the boat. 

We recommend going for Stohlquist Men’s Trekker Life Jacket/Personal Floatation Device. Prices start from $25 nd varies according to fitting.

Life Jackets

Life Jackets

Some of its features are:

  • Ergonomic WRAPTURE™ shaped torso
  • Cross-chest cinch harness for zero ride-up
  • 4-way accessory lash tab on the back
  • 3M™ reflective material on front & back
  • Ventilated shoulder and back pad
  • Large zippered pockets
  • Mesh back rides high above the backrest
  • Open sides for ventilation
  • Entry grip tab at zipper base
  • USCG and Transport Canada approved

As a company, Stohlquist is brilliant. All their products are the result of a lifetime of hands-on paddling, craftsmanship, and world-class design experience of Jim Stohlquist – the company founder & president. Each model they offer follows the lineage of more than 40 years of product refinement & innovation, incorporating the latest in raw material development & manufacturing know-how to provide our customers with the best marine safety equipment available today.


5. Rope Cinches

The Rope Cinch is a revolutionary new way to tie your boat with a rope and without tying or untying a knot. With a simple twist, Rope Cinches can secure the ropes. A Rope Cinch can also hold a great amount of vertical and horizontal pressure, yet it can be tied & untied in less than 1 second with a simple twist.

Have a look at this Multi-Purpose Rope- Cinch from Python. You can get it for only $39.99, and you can get the 2-pack and 4-pack kits at $79.98 and $159.96, respectively.

Rope Cinches

Fender Hangers & Rope Cinches

Its main features are as follows:

  • The multi-purpose rope cinch by Python Rope Cinches is constructed from high-grade corrosion-resistant aluminum & stainless steel.
  • It can be mounted to nearly anything. Securely install the device using standard ¼” flat-head screws and nuts or with #14 flat-head screws for use in wood.
  • Easy to install and adjust, the high-quality design allows you to hold rope sizes from 3/8” to 5/8”.
  • Also, this multi-purpose rope cinch is perfect for securing your rope without using knots and has many other uses.


In 2016 Northern Lights Engineering was founded with a vision of designing, engineering, and manufacturing high-quality products for recreational boating & beyond. One of our main achievements is the PYTHON family of Rope Cinches and fender hangers.

Our mission is simple: design, engineer & manufacture what we would use every day if it existed. Our products are designed for the serious boating enthusiast who wants both quality & simplicity.

6. Solar Panel for Charging the Boats Battery

Not too long ago, solar power was pretty expensive, and it wasn’t very efficient. But now you can get a solar charger that works great for charging all of your devices, and all you need to do is leave it out in the sun. Leave your solar charger out on the deck of your boat and make sure you always have a little extra power when you need it.

Solar chargers come in tons of shapes & sizes, so it comes down to what you’re looking for. Some are powerful enough to charge phones, while others can charge a car battery.

Here’s a favorite model we recommend, 55 Watt Semi-flexible – Monocrystalline Solar Panel by First Mate Marine. It costs around $260.

Solar Panel

Solar Panel

The key to a strong and high quality marine solar panel is the quality of the solar cells used in the panel.  We use only the highest efficiency grade of A+ solar cells.  Our panels are built with SunPower monocrystalline back contact solar cells, Qcell polycrystalline high-efficiency solar cells, or Bosch monocrystalline cells.

First mate Marines provides complete marine solar systems, which include solar panels, mounting hardware, and electronic controllers.  A highly acclaimed manufacturer builds its solar panels specifications for the marine environment.

To keep the battery from overcharging the stick with solar panels, that is 2 to 5 watts if you can find a way to mount the solar panel to your boat. But keep in mind that a solar panel is no replacement for other battery chargers, especially since boat batteries are so big, it keeps the battery from dying when you’re not using them.


7. Jump Pack for Boats

Talking about keeping a battery from going flat, it is always a good idea to carry a good jump pack with you. There is nothing worse than going out for a boat launch, and you back your boat in, or you go to start it, and the battery is dead.

Or imagine being out on the water all day listening to music, and just when you’re ready to leave, you find out that the battery is dead. Plus, a solar panel might not be strong enough to power a radio all day, so now you’re stuck. But if you had a jump pack, you could jump the battery off.

The great thing about modern-day jump starters like Battery Tender 1200A Jump Starter is that they’re small and have many different features. You might have seen many of these jump starters with flashlights and ways to charge USB devices. And they cost at least $100. Their features are:

Jump Pack

Jump Pack
  • Battery capacity indicators
  • Internal battery charging port
  • USB 2100Ma port
  • 12V DC socket
  • Includes boosting cables


Deltran believes performance isn’t just a business; it’s a way of life. Their commitment to service lives on, and they continually strive to improve every element of their business, from the products themselves to marketing and distribution.

8. Bungee Dock Line

A bungee dock line is a basic pontoon boat or sailboat accessory, but it’s still important nonetheless.

Although there are many cheap options out there, it’s always worth it to pay a little more for a good quality dock line. After all, you don’t want your boat running away because of some cheap dock line.

If you haven’t quite figured out your marine knots for docking the boat securely, or if you want a much quicker way to connect at the dock, get a bungee dock line for a 20 something dollars and be done with it.  Dock lines are highly convenient and allow for a little play as the waves continue to move the boat without rigidly strapping it to the cleats.

Bungee Dock Line

Bungee Dock Line

This Premium Double Braided Dock Line by Direct 2 Boater only costs $15.99. It is comfortable & easy to handle, and it is made from the highest quality Marine Grade Nylon and has superior strength & flexibility, it is susceptible to Coil, and is kink-free. It also has Excellent Resistance to Sunlight (UV Protection).


Plus, Direct 2 Boater are boaters themselves, so they test the products before offering them to you. This ensures they are of top quality and will fit their intended purpose. Their mission is to ensure a pleasant and repeatable experience with us each time you order, so you know what to expect.

9. Solar Phone Charger for Boats

Our phones are a big part of our lives, and it’s no surprise that we’ll carry them on the boat with us. It’s important to have at least a 12-volt charger onboard your boat that can charge any phone.

Your phone can be your GPS or a way to call for help, so it must stay charged. Many phones can even be used as a flashlight, too, so you must have a way to charge your phone for emergencies.

Plus, having a reliable way to charge your phone without worrying about your boat’s battery or potential water shock will benefit you when you’re miles away from the nearest wall outlet.

We recommend going for BC-6W Solar Battery Trickle Charger/Maintainer by SUNER POWER at $45.95 only.

Solar Phone Charger

Solar Phone Charger

Some of its features are:

  • [Charge them anywhere] This particular solar charger by ‘Suner Power’ converts light energy from the sun into 12 volt DC electricity and transports it to rechargeable batteries.
  • [Reverse Protection] The solar charger will never damage or overcharge your battery.
  • [Charger & Maintainer] It is also a solar-powered battery charger & maintainer, safely charges and maintains Wet, AGM, Gel, SLA and Deep Cycle batteries, etc.
  •  [Strong & Durable] It’s covered with premium strong solar glass, which could easily stand high loads, along with a durable upgraded ABS frame.
  • [Low Maintenance] It is easy to install even for those who have no professional knowledge; all you have to do is plug & play.


The company ‘SUNER POWER’ was founded by a team of technicians who worked together for almost ten years in the solar industry before starting the company. They brought together decades of collective experience to the table and built this company into one of the top residential solution providers in a short time.

10. Boat Paddle & Fire Extinguisher

You never know when you might need a paddle; it is the best thing if your engine stops and you need to get to shore.

Also, it’s best to get two folding paddles so that you’ll be covered, and they don’t take up too much space.

Plus, of all the potential dangers one might face on the water, nothing is more destructive potential than a fire. Always make sure your boat has a working fire extinguisher and make sure you know how to use it quickly and efficiently.

If your boat does not have a Fire Extinguisher, then you need to pick one up. And not just any Fire Extinguisher will do, you’ll need a marine fire extinguisher like this one Marine Fire Extinguisher (21008634MTL) by KIDDE at around $20.

Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher

Some of its features include:

  • It has a detailed instruction label using graphics to show steps required to operate the extinguisher
  • Easy-to-pull safety pin
  • Rust and impact resistant steel handle
  • 2.9lb. of fire extinguishing agent (Average)
  • Six years limited warranty
  • UL approved strap retention bracket
  • It is Coast Guard (U.S.C.G.) approved when fitted with a supplied mounting bracket
  • Powder-coated cylinder for corrosion protection


The company ‘Kidde,’ empowered by its founder ‘Walter Kidde,’ a pioneer in early smoke detection & fire suppression, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of fire safety products. They have worked towards expanding their legacy of innovation, providing advanced solutions to protect people and property from fire and related hazards.

A fire extinguisher is always on everyone’s must-have boating accessories list. However, you never know when you’ll need a paddle. It’s best to get at least two folding paddles like this one from Attwood at so that you’ll be covered, and they don’t take up too much space. It costs around $25.

Boat Paddle

Boat Paddle

This Emergency Telescoping Paddle by Attwood is perfect for your next marine adventure. It combines the power & leverage, and its durable plastic & corrosion-resistant aluminum construction make it reliable when you need it most.

Moving on, Attwood Corporation is now an award-winning leader in engineering & manufacturing of quality marine products for more than a century. They offer genuine OEM replacement parts delivering reliable & safe lighting, water systems, fuel systems, seating & pedestals, and general marine accessories that are easy to install and meet regulatory compliance.


11. Under-Deck Lighting

With Marine-grade lighting or under the deck lighting, the water under the boat lights up with vibrant colors from the lights as you cruise around the lake, and they also add to the atmosphere.

Under-deck lighting is great, and it does not mess with the lighting you already have on the boat (such as accent lights, rope lights, etc.)  Having vibrant colored lights on the boat may be fun for a party, but usually, just the slight accent of colored light under the deck gives a delightful feeling and still allows you to see normally.

The best time for under-deck lighting is, of course, the 4th of July or other times when you’re watching fireworks on the boat at night.

Underwater lighting makes your boat stand out when docked & cruising in the water. Illuminating it in a full array of colors won’t fail to get your guests in the party mood. And while hosting a party on your boat might not be your thing, still under deck lighting can be great for fishing at night, it not only makes it easier to see but also attracts fish to your boat.

Under-Deck Lighting

Under-Deck Lighting

Here is a great option, Green Blob Outdoors Pimp My Boat LED Boat Deck Lighting Kit with Navigation Lights DIY at $38.

  1. ‘Green Blob Outdoors Pimp My Boat LED Boat Lighting Kit’ includes all the materials you’ll need to make your boat stand out from the crowd.
  2. Versatility: Install your led strips under the console or on your deck!
  3. Easy installation with written instructions provided
  4. DIY: Our kit includes all the materials you need to pimp that boat!


12. Corner Bumpers

The most probable place for your pontoon to get damaged is at the dock as people move around the waves pushing the boat to push it up against the pier.  It is also common for pontoon boats to get dented in the corners of the deck. Don’t forget to get your angle right as you approach the dock.

A great preventative measure you should take is purchasing rubber bumpers for the four corners of your boat.  It is one of the most important pontoon boat accessories. It’s almost perfect protection, but there’s a caveat: they look rather ugly.  Have a look at this one from Taylor Made, which costs only $28.

Corner Bumpers

Corner Bumpers

Some of its features include:

  • The color is molded permanently into the vinyl and will not transfer to your boat’s hull
  • These Corner Bumpers are heavy-duty, marine-grade vinyl bumpers that provide years of superior shock absorption
  • Solid flaps that attach easily to any dock
  • One-year warranty


Although I’d love to see ‘Taylor Made’ make a thinner version of these bumpers and in black or silver.

However, while going for corner bumpers, make sure that there are two versions of these bumpers: one for more rounded cornered boats and one for more square cornered boats.

13. Dry Box & Dry Bag

You are aware that keeping electronics and other valuables dry is pretty important, but that can be hard to do when you’re surrounded by water. Luckily there are some neat, dry boxes and dry bags out there.

Dry boxes are great if you only intend to use it on your boat, but if you plan on carrying your stuff around, you’re better off going with a dry bag instead.

This Dry Storage Emergency Marine Box from Plano is worth looking at. It costs around $11.

Dry Box

Dry Box

Some of its features are:

  • Tested for durability
  • Made in the USA
  • Made using the highest quality components
  • Water-resistant O ring seal not intended to be submerged underwater
  • Comfortable oversized handle
  • Top access storage


Dry Bag

Dry Bag

It even comes with a fully waterproof phone case, so you never miss those important messages or picture opportunities.

For protecting your clothes and other important items from the occasional splash, a dry sack is a must on your boat. They are lightweight and can easily be tucked away in the cabin, so rest assured your valuables are in good hands, even if somehow water finds its way into your compartments. This Sea to Summit dry bag from West Marine is worth looking at; it costs around $55.


14. Fencing-Mount Barbecue Grill

There is a wide variety of options for adding a barbecue to your pontoon or triton out there. However, most choices you’ll get will be mounted on an accessory pole that fits in the same hole where you put a drink table.

This works fine, but it means more stuff to carry around, and sometimes space on a pontoon can be tight when you have so many people on board.

The coolest grill around is a simple bracket made by Kuuma, like this one right here, and it only costs $179.

Fencing-Mount Barbecue Grill

Fencing-Mount Barbecue Grill


  • Stainless steel with stay-cool handle
  • Fold-away legs
  • 9000 BTUs
  • 145 cooking surface
  • One-year Kuuma warranty


It’s a simple bracket that attaches to the fencing, and it is cheap and gets great reviews from customers.

15. Navigation Lights

Well, you should accept the fact that if you boat in the evenings, you’ll eventually stay out a little too late and find yourself making your way back to the dock in the darkness.  If your boat doesn’t have navigation lights, or if your lights aren’t very bright, it can be pretty scary.

Your vessel is required to have proper navigation lights.

Navigation lights are required to be used in cases of low visibility due to conditions like fog or heavy rain. They also come in handy when the vessel is away from the dock between sunrise & sunset.

In the dark, navigation lights will help you to see and can also help others to see you.

Different Navigation lights are required per vessel. Never have FLASHING red or blue lights on your boat. These are only used by law enforcement vessels.

Most vessels require a red & green light visible from to at least two miles away. These are used to indicate the sides of your boat and help other boaters know the actual width of your vessel.

You’ll want to make sure you know what is required of your particular vessel. You must be able to see while boating in the dark. A lack of vision for motor accessories can be dangerous for any motorist, and a boat operator is no exception.

We recommend checking out Five Oceans Marine Deck Mount LED, which costs only around $30. These marine deck mount navigation lights have visibility up to two nautical miles, as well as a low cooling and LED bulbs. Their dome shape design makes them classic. And not to mention they come fitted in an AISI316 Stainless Steel housing.

Navigation Lights

Navigation Lights

Besides, this light is certified USCG 2 Nautical Miles and meets the requirements of International Marine Organization USCG, COLREG 72, and ABYC A-16 NMMA Type Accepted.

The ocean has always been the passion at Five oceans. They grew up with an appreciation towards sailboats, and eventually, their passion leads them towards the moving parts, which made up these vessels.


What Else Do You Need On Your Boat?

Listed above are some of the basic equipment you’ll need while you are boating. This is, by no reason, an all-encompassing list, (for instance, Bluetooth Speakers and swim platforms are not included). You’ll need to make sure that if you plan on doing anything else, you bring all that is necessary.

Remember, you’re not just buying boat accessories – you’re buying the experience. So, there you have our recommended pontoon boat accessories to ensure you and your guests have a fantastic time on the water.

As specialists in boat fenders and rope cinches, among other boating accessories, get in touch with us for any of your boating needs.

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