What to Pack for a Boating Day


Spending a day on a boat is a great way to soak up the beautiful summer weather. But it also requires some planning and preparation since you don’t want to get out on the water and realize you’re missing important gear and provisions.

Follow this boating day packing list from Nautical Boat Club to help prepare for a fun, enjoyable day on the water.


Make sure swimwear is ready to go for your day on the boat, but also pack the following.

  • Shirts and coverups in case you want to stop in at a local restaurant or convenience store on the water
  • Hats with a wide brim to protect your face from UV rays
  • Other UV-protecting clothing since you’re planning an all-day sunshine experience
  • Flip flops or slides that will protect your feet on boat docks or when visiting restaurants and stores
  • Dry clothes to change into for the drive home

While they aren’t apparel, per se, you’ll also want to ensure you have plenty of dry towels to go from water sports to relaxing in comfort.


Even if you plan to visit a local restaurant for dinner while out on the water, you’ll want to ensure you have snacks and drinks on board. Some easy snacks include the following.

  • Granola bars
  • Trail mix
  • Sandwiches or sandwich fixings
  • Crackers and cheese
  • Veggies and dip
  • Fresh fruit

Pack a cooler to keep perishables from spoiling and other food from getting wilty or disgusting from the heat. Bread that sits out in the sun even in its packaging can get stale or mushy due to humidity.

Make sure to leave plenty of room in the cooler for water to stay hydrated. You can also pack juice, sparkling water and other hydrating drinks. Avoid drinks that dehydrate you, such as alcohol or soda.

While putting together your food and drinks, also make sure you have plates, utensils, a garbage bag and cleaning supplies to keep your boat in tip-top shape.

A Curated Playlist

No day on the water is complete without some tunes to help set the mood and keep your passengers entertained as they engage in water sports or splash around. While you can certainly take requests from your passengers, it’s good to start with a playlist with some of the greatest hits.

If you own an older boat that isn’t equipped with a sound system, you can always pack a waterproof speaker to still listen to your favorite jams.


Even with the best UV-protecting apparel, you’ll still want to have sunscreen on hand. Apply before you load the boat to ensure you don’t get burnt in the early moments of enjoying your day.

Set a timer to reapply every 80 minutes or as often as your sunscreen indicates. It’s easy to lose track of time on the water so a timer can prevent sunburn to keep the experience fun and memorable for the right reasons.

It’s a good idea to also pack lip balm with SPF to ensure you’re fully protected.

Water Toys and Lifejackets

Make sure you have tubes, skis, boards and more to keep everyone entertained and having a great time. You also might want some pool noodles or floaties to enjoy some time at the swimming hole.

Also, make sure you have one lifejacket per person on board. This is required for safety purposes and you could face fines if you don’t have enough on board.

Put together a first-aid kit with everything you might need in case of minor injuries. This includes ointment to clean cuts, over-the-counter pain meds and bandages.

Members of Nautical Boat Club can pack lighter knowing they’ll have life jackets and water toys on board. Plus, members don’t have to worry about maintaining or transporting their boats and can get access to watercraft on five Nashville-area waterways. Learn more about Nashville’s Nautical Boat Club and how to join.

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