Nothing beats a day on the boat with your friends and family, but you probably already knew that—it’s why you’re reading this in the first place. But there are ways to make your time on the water even more fun, or just easier. We’ve rounded up some gear you need, beyond the boards, vests and ropes to take your boat to the next level.
Every boat needs a good set of fenders, and the truth of the matter is that the Sentry is the best. Don’t worry about what knot to tie or adjusting the rope multiple times: The Sentry, with its angled design, sits perfectly over your boat’s rub-rail—and the cinch system means attaching it to a cleat, piling, tower or something else is a breeze.
You might not have realized you needed this gadget until you have one, but thanks to its clever design, you can now hang your life jackets, wetsuits, towels, ropes or other items on your tower or on your dock.
The strapless system on the Triton rack features independently adjustable telescopic arms, so you can fit narrow wakeboards or ultra-wide wakesurf boards. The vertical-mount orientation reduces board chatter while cruising and the padding adds extra protection all the way around.
MSRP: (starting at) $1,599/each
Add the flare and fun of underwater LED lights to your boat, without the price. Tidal’s drain plug lights not only look great, but they’re easy to install. Feed the wire through the hole and either plug it into a 12‑volt outlet, or hardwire it to your boat’s system. The light detaches for draining and safekeeping when trailering.
MSRP: $90 (plug ‘n play) & $70 (hard wire)
Ballast bags and pumps represent an easy way to add more weight to your boat, whether you have a built-in system or use add-ons. If you don’t have built-in ballast, then these are a must. Eight.3’s bags, with telescoping ports, fill and drain faster than standard ballast bags on the market.
Lead bags take up much less space than ballast bags, and can be great for those of you who keep a boat on the water, or those who just need some extra weight scattered around the boat to sculpt your wave just the way you want.
MSRP: $13.50 – $61
We all need to keep our food and drinks cold when we’re out on the boat, but we shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to do it. Sub‑Z’s rotomolded coolers feature 2.5-inch-thick Arctic insulation, a watertight gasket and storage for everything. Plus, the bottom features non-slip feet. Add a seat top for comfort and versatility.
MSRP: $130-$150 (23-quart) / $190-$230 (48-quart)
The OtterBox Elevation tumblers feature stainless-steel construction to withstand years of abuse and, as we found out, it keeps your liquids cold for hours. We paired ours with the Hydration Lid, which features a locking, leak-proof top over a high-flow spout. The integrated handle is great for clipping it to a bag or just carrying around.
MSRP: $30 + Hydration Lid $15
If you’re looking to upgrade your boat’s audio system, the folks at JL Audio have more than a few options to consider. From head units to speakers of all shapes and sizes to every accessory, you’ll be able to outfit your boat with whatever you need. Here are some items worth considering.
With multiple audio-source options such as digital AM/FM, Bluetooth, USB and analog AUX, the MediaMaster can handle whatever you need. The 2.8-inch LCD is easy to read and navigate, even in bright sunlight, while the configurable volume knob makes on-the-fly adjustments easy.
The M6 line is JL Audio’s latest addition to its premium lineup. The M6 coaxial speakers deliver some of the most robust and well-balanced audio in the market. Available in a variety of grille finishes, there is one that will fit your boat’s looks—and with JL’s new Transflective LED-illumination tech, you can customize the RGB lights any way you’d like.
Control your MediaMaster head unit from up to 150 feet away with the MMR-10W wireless remote from JL Audio. With raised, easy-to-feel buttons, the IP67-rated remote is sealed, water-resistant and floats. Plus, it’s rated for both salt and freshwater usage, so you can take it anywhere and not worry about corrosion.
If you already have JL Audio enclosed speakers on your tower, take them to the next level with these LED light caps. Featuring machined-aluminum construction and down-firing LED strips, the caps not only look cool, but offer functionality by lighting up your boat’s interior and floor.