Boating is a joyous activity and sport that can be done in various places and for various reasons. It is a great weekend adventure that promotes relaxation and helps you to unwind after a long week, but a boating trip can go quite wrong if you don’t have the proper equipment. 

The following are some essentials that you should have on hand when out on your boat:

Navigation Systems

Navigation systems are used to help guide the boat from your starting destination point to the desired end point. Since there aren’t any signs on the water that can tell you where you are headed, a navigation system is essential so you don’t get lost. There are many different types of navigation systems and techniques to choose from and one might fit your needs better than another might. It is best to do some research and learn the different functions of each.

Gyro Compass

A gyro compass helps you navigate the sea and is used to find the right direction when traveling. A gyro compass is different from a magnetic compass because it is not hindered by the external magnetic field that takes boats off course. A gyro compass is a bit more accurate as you are able to find the true north (Earth’s rotational axis). Also, having a repeater system in the steering platform is highly recommended in case of an emergency.


A radar is another important tool that will help with your navigational needs. It allows you to tell your position in relation to other boats or vessels on the water as well as the distance between your boat and land. Many newer boats already come with a built-in radar in place, but if you have an older boat, it is worth considering getting one installed.


Like cars, boats also can have a GPS system in place that will tell you the accurate measure of your location and speed which will also come in handy when navigating. GPS systems provide accuracy and safety which is why having one is so important. GPS makes it easier to find out crucial information like placements of buoys, location of navigational hazards, and mapping an area.

Echo Sounder

When out on your boat, there may be times when you are unsure about the depth of the water you’re in. An echo sounder can help ease your mind and potentially save your boat from a great deal of damage. The echo sounder operates by using sound waves to determine depth underneath the boat. This is a crucial tool to have especially if you are exploring a new area. 


Autopilots are not just for airplanes, boats use them too! An autopilot is in place to take over steering when you’re tired. Newer autopilot models function by being connected to the computer and radar system on board which keeps the boat on track when you aren’t steering it manually. 

Have more questions on boat safety and all the necessary equipment? Visit or give us a call at Riviera Dunes Marina.