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5 Things to Carry to Make the Most of Summer on the Water

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Summer is in full swing and the best way to make the most of your time on the water is not sitting around glumly thinking of what you could have done to make the day better. These five things will help you take on summer like a pro.

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1. Multitool

Sure you’ve got a full-blown toolkit on the boat, and maybe you even carry some specialized tools that allow you to work on your engine, drive train, specific pumps or components, and more. But sometimes you just need a tool right now, and digging into that locker or paying a visit to that toasty engine room now just won’t cut it. That’s where a good multitool comes in. I’ve carried a Gerber on my belt for years anytime I’m on any boat. Most multitools have a knife blade, a pair of pliers that may offer wirecutters, an assortment of screwdrivers and some additional, specialized implements: I have a Leatherman that has a pickle fork and cheese spreader, and, of course, a corkscrew—no lie. Keep it at the helm in a cubby and everyone can use it (provided they put it back), or in a sheath on your belt (and you can be the hero every time).

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2. More Lifejackets

The only thing more annoying than turning people away for a boat ride is taking them on while knowing you don’t have enough lifejackets on board. Hey it happens, and who wants to be the guy who says no? Protect yourself from that sickening feeling when the marine patrol approaches with blue lights flashing. Think you have enough? A couple of comfortable kid-size PFDs will make those new parents think the world of you. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

3. Sunblock

I know the sun feels a lot hotter now than when I was a kid and it doesn’t take much time at all to fry you red. Why bring sunblock back and forth to the boat. You know you’ll need it, and so will everyone else. Find the kind you like, buy it on sale and keep plenty on board. You will be glad to have it, and to be able to offer it to your guests. And make sure you use it too: It’s going to be the best summer we ever had. And any chance I sounded like the mayor in Jaws just now is purely coincidental.

4. A Sportjacket

Speaking of the mayor in Jaws, remember that sportcoat he had with the anchors embroidered on it? Okay men, I know you probably got on a boat initially to shed the shoes and the pretensions of the workaday world. But there’s something to be said for being ready for any occasion. And if there’s one thing boating has taught us it’s that you never know who you will meet. So if it’s evening cocktails on a yacht in Newport or dinner at the cool, old, local yacht club, there’s something that feels good about being ready. Semper Paratus is the motto of the U.S. Coast Guard, and it goes a long way. Many places have loaners that will cover you, but you’ll probably look better in your own.

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5. Pocket Disc

Over the holiday weekend I played catch with a kid who had one of these—a Pocket Disc ($11.99). There’s no other way to say it: It’s a knitted disc you throw like a Wham-O!-brand Frisbee. But anyone who’s ever taken a traditional, hard-plastic flying disc off the bridge of one’s nose (or was the one to have thrown that disc of death to a youngster) understands the appeal here. One-handed catches are fairly easy, and leaping dives into the surf are not unheard of (one caveat: the Pocket Disc doesn’t float). Great to have for those moments when a game of catch would keep the group distracted, like waiting for the next high tide at the sandbar. Don’t ask how I know.

THE BOAT SHOWN at the top of this blog is a Pursuit S280 Sport listed by Tripper Vincent at Hinckley Yacht Brokerage in Stuart, Florida. Have a look at the full listing here.

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