Boating is a lot of fun, but when you're out on the water and your boat breaks down, it can be scary. Being prepared for anything can help you if something like this happens, so keep reading to learn about the most important boating accessories you should carry with you at all times.
Remember, should your boat stop running while you're on the water, don't panic. As long as your boat stays afloat, you're in good shape and can get back to shore.
Having an extra charged battery on board can be a life-saver. Sometimes batteries fail to charge or quit taking a charge and may cause trouble when starting the boat. To prevent this from becoming an issue when you're in the middle of the lake, have an extra fully-charged battery tucked away, just in case.
This should be a no-brainer, but you should have at least one good anchor on board your boat. Whether you ever use it or not to hold your boat for fishing or swimming, it can come in handy should your boat break down. If it's a windy day and you don't have control of your boat because the motor has quit, an anchor can hold you in place until help arrives.
In some states, it is the law that you carry flares on board your boat. Whether it is the law in your state or not, you should carry them anyway. Flares come in hand-held stick form as well as ones that can be shot from a flare gun. Flares can come in pretty handy, especially if you're on a large body of water where other boaters may not see you easily.
If your boat motor stops working, it may become necessary to row your boat into shore. Be sure to carry a set of oars on board your boat so you don't get stranded. It may take some time to get back into shore, but it sure beats floating around in the middle of the lake waiting (and hoping) for help to arrive.
While you may not be able to change a damaged prop while in the water, having one in case your prop is damaged is still a good idea. It can mean the difference in getting back on the water right away and having to wait several days (or weeks!) to have your old prop repaired or special ordered. If you know you've banged your boat's prop on the bottom of the lake (rocks are not kind to props!), replace it with your spare until you can get the other one fixed so you can get back out on the water quickly.
Photo courtesy of Photomage via flickr