Gear for Boaters

Gear to help improve your experience for on the water.

January 1, 2019

A one list fits all  for boating  and fishing ­accessories and equipment is manifestly impossible because the size and type of boats and boaters’ uses and preferences vary so greatly. But, that said, it is feasible to compile a list of some products that are likely to come in handy ­and/or improve the experience for many on the water. That’s what we’ve tried to do here. While a few are higher-ticket items, many require minimal ­investment and are likely to pay big returns.

pelagic pursuit deck books

Deck Boots

A good pair of deck boots can be an angler’s best friend over the course of a long day’s fishing. Pelagic (­ has designed its new Pursuit 6-inch deck boots for comfort, with its Neotech cooling liner inside the completely water-proof rubber construction that keeps feet dry. The $90 boots offer a reinforced toe and a custom nonslip, nonmarking sole. The Pursuit boot is available in Ambush Camo Print, in sizes 8 through 13. Courtesy Pelagic
SiOnyx Aurora day and night camera

Water-Resistant Day and Night Camera

With SiOnyx’s Aurora (about $800), boaters can view and record their surroundings in 720 HD anytime, with true day and night ­imaging. SiOnyx ( says its ultra-low-light technology enables color images and video during the day and twilight, and in near-total darkness. A 1⁄4-by-20-inch threaded mount can attach it to the boat and review video or real-time feeds on the water. You can control the water-resistant Aurora directly with iOS or Android phones. Courtesy SiOnyx
bunswick nautic-on boat monitoring system

Connected Boat and Marine Monitoring System

Boats represent large investments and thanks to technology such as Brunswick’s Nautic-On boat-­monitoring system ($600 to $1,470, plus $150 annual subscription), you can check in with your boat remotely, anytime, to see its location and the status of vital systems such as battery levels, bilge-pump activation, oil life and engine hours. (Such information can be shared with service providers as well.) For more information, go to Courtesy Nautic-On
yo-zuri bull pop lure

Popper at the Ready

Don’t venture out without a stout spinning stick armed with a loud, heavy popper — something any angler can grab and throw a long way into birds or a school of foaming tuna. A great choice is Yo-Zuri’s Bull Pop ($30). The large cupped face creates commotion aplenty. Once hooked, even giant tuna won’t crush the lure, with a patented power body and through-wired stainless steel, plus 3x trebles. It comes in nine patterns with Yo-Zuri’s color-change technology ( Courtesy Yo-Zuri
maxforce xh1 aftco fighting harness

Stand-Up Fighting Harness

The best battle with a fish is a stand-up battle — if you have a harness like the Maxforce XH1 ($136) from AFTCO ( It gives an angler the edge against even the biggest fish, with extra-thick closed-cell foam padding, ­removable lumbar-support ­moisture-wicking synthetic terry-cloth liner. The belt adjusts for waist sizes 30 to 50. Courtesy AFTCO
ssnautical dock mats

Boat Mat

Tired of footprints all over your clean, white deck? A deck mat can reduce the mess by allowing guests or your fishing buddies to wipe the soles of their shoes, boots or flip-flopss before stepping aboard. Visit and check out the 24-by-17-inch dock mats ($45) of marine-grade carpet with vinyl backing to keep them from slipping, even on a wet deck. You can order mats with custom embroidery such as your boat’s name. Courtesy SSNautical
columbia terminal outdry hybrid jacket

Foul-Weather Jacket

A hot bite in the middle of a downpour happens with some regularity. Stowing reliable rain gear aboard for such times pays off. ­Columbia’s new Terminal Outdry hybrid jacket ($150) is an option that keeps anglers dry in style. It’s fully seam-sealed but breathable, offering an adjustable hood and watertight comfort cuffs. For more information, visit Courtesy Columbia
glomex vhf mount

Better VHF Mount

VHF mounts can rattle loose, but a Glomex cam-action mounting base won’t ( Glomex uses a spring-loaded cam-action arm, which is then snapped down to lock the antenna into position. The four-way stainless-steel mount also lets you adjust the side-to-side angle with an adjustment bolt. The Glomex’s four bolts should fit into the same holes as most popular antenna mounts, making retrofitting easy. Courtesy Glomex
seaguar leader

Leader as You Need It

Every fishing boat needs to have a range of spools of high-quality­ ­leader at the ready. Seaguar ( specializes in many types of leader, including its Fluoro Premier, which boast 42 percent better knot strength. The virtually invisible 100 percent ­fluorocarbon leader is available from 12- to 80-pound-test, in 25- and 50-yard spools ($15 for 25 yards of 12-pound to $84 for 50 yards of 80-pound). Courtesy Seaguar
west marine bilge pump

Hand Pump

As reliable as bilge pumps are, they can fail. They might wear out or suffer from an electrical problem, but in any case, manual redundancy in the form of a spare hand pump can — literally — be a lifesaver. For $55, you can pick up a 36-inch manual bilge pump from West Marine ( Its narrow tube fits in tight spots, and the lightweight pump can move 13 ­gallons per minute. Courtesy West Marine
williamson rapala kit

Trolling-Lure Kit

Having several big-game ­high-speed trolling lures rigged and ready makes sense aboard any offshore boat. Williamson (rapala​.com/williamson) makes putting them out quick and easy with its Big Game Catcher Kit ($50) — four 8-inch trolling lures with concave pusher heads for an erratic swimming action. Pre-rigged VMC 9/0 hook, these can be trolled at up to 8 knots. Courtesy Williamson
shockwave s5 marine suspension seating

Suspension Seating

Those in passenger cars enjoy the benefits of suspension seating, so why not boaters? Shockwave’s S5 marine suspension seating (about $1,000) can be installed on most boats. Each unit weighs 20 pounds and is made from high-pressure die-cast-aluminum components with 316 stainless-steel hardware. Suspension travel is 4 inches ­vertical and 11⁄2 inches forward. ( Courtesy Shockwave
l2k rack manta rack

Kayak/SUP Racks

As kayak-fishing continues to grow in popularity, more use their boats as motherships to carry their kayaks to the edge of more-remote shallow waters. Consider adding to your boat convenient racks designed to hold kayaks securely and conveniently while underway, such as the L2K Rack ($600) from Manta Racks ( The two cradle arms are designed to fit into gunwale rod holders. Courtesy Manta Racks
globalstar spot x handheld satellite

Handheld Satellite Messaging

Far beyond cellphone range, anglers can keep in touch with ­Globalstar’s Spot X ( The two-way satellite-­messaging device offers GPS ­location tracking, social-media ­linking, and direct ­communication with emergency services. The rechargeable lithium battery lasts up to 10 days when tracking ($250, with annual service plans starting at $20 per month). Courtesy Globalstar
penn fishing pliers

Extra Fishing Pliers

An angler’s pliers are so important, every boat should have a backup pair for a buddy or in case of loss overboard. Penn’s bull nose pliers are a great choice; moderately priced ($35 to $40), they offer stainless-steel construction and replaceable cutters to keep them perpetually sharp. Available in 8- or 61⁄2-inch models, the pliers feature nonslip grips ( Courtesy Penn
seadek dual density helm station pad

Helm-Station Pads

A long canyon run in a choppy sea can take its toll on a helmsman’s feet, knees and back. SeaDek’s Dual-­Density Helm Station Pad ($120) uses an 18-millimeter low-density foam bottom to absorb shock, while a 3-millimeter medium-density top layer with brushed texture provides traction, wet or dry. It fastens down with hook-and-loop fasteners for quick removal to access any ­belowdecks hatches ( Courtesy SeaDek

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