boat and kayak accessories safety gears

11 Must Have Kayak & Boat Accessories

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Who doesn’t love to go kayaking after a hectic week?

Going out of town only for kayaking is one of the simple things that make an average person happy.

Either you prefer kayaking on lakes, rivers or in the open ocean, kayaking requires the proper gear to ensure you are safe and comfortable.

Personalizing and fitting your boat with your unique touches will allow you to get it to function in unfathomable ways. Your kayak is never complete without the right accessories!

There are essential kayak accessories such as life vests and bilge pumps that will keep you safe while taking up little space. This is more important on long weekend trips when you need everything you can to stay safe out there.


The best accessories for kayak or boat have been designed to reduce your struggles and make kayaking enjoyable. When buying a kayak, it is important to consider where you will store your boat and how you will transport it.

Luckily, there are accessories for that. My favorite online store for accessories is Yakgear.

Accessories for Kayak and Boat in General

Marine Safety Kit (Must)

This is MUST-HAVE item by the law. This can save your life. 

Whistle (Must)


US Coast Guard (USCG) rules mandates kayakers to have a noise making device. You need a whistle that’ll do the trick. Even if you already have one from marine safety kit, it is good to have extra one for spare. Make sure you have this with you all the time. Don’t just put in the bag.

First Aid Kit (Must)


A first aid kit is necessary on the water for all the bruises and cuts and scratches that may come to be. While not required by the USCG, it is good to have item. All of these are kept in a nice case that will keep your stuff dry and dust free.

Life Jacket or PFD (Must)

sea-eagle-life-jacket-vestPersonal-Flotation-Device-PFD-onyxA life jacket or Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is a piece of water gear designed to assist a wearer in keeping afloat in water. It also aids buoyancy on water.

The PFD ensures that if you are thrown into the water at any point, you will remain buoyant and stay afloat. Even if you are an experienced swimmer, a PFD could save your life in the long run. The extra buoyancy it gives will also make re-entry into your kayak from the water easier.

Make sure you wear PFD for the entire time you are on the water, which is why your jacket should be comfortable. Many PFDs come with padded shoulders to give you extra comfort. You should also consider the material inside the jacket, especially if you will be wearing swimwear underneath as the material will most likely rub against your skin.

Paddles and Oars (Must)

Next, to the kayak itself, your paddle determines your performance on the water. Even a short tour involves thousands of strokes, so an appropriate paddle makes all the difference.

To choose a paddle, you should consider FOUR basic things:

  • Length – The kayak width and your height determine your paddle length. 
  • Materials and price – Lightweight paddles improve the kayak’s performance, but they do not come cheap.
  • Blade choice – The overall efficiency of your kayak is affected by the paddle’s blade size and shape.
  • Shaft choice – A bent shaft or feathered blades will also improve a paddle performance.

Paddle Leash (Recommend)



A paddle leash is a rope used for securing a paddle just so; it doesn’t get lost in the middle.

This is necessary in case your kayak gets capsized. During that moment of utter commotion and confusion, the paddle might get drifted away, and you might end up getting stuck in a remote place.

Bilge Pump (Recommend – Sit In Kayak)

Seattle-Sports-Paddler-Bilge-Hand-Pump-KayaksBilge pumps are often a kayak owner’s first and only line of defence against sinking especially for sit-in kayak. To prevent you from being that you’ll sink, it’s best to have your bilge pump fitted to your kayak. You can either it tie down with bungees or in a bag that is attached to the kayak. That way, if your kayak capsizes, the pump will be intact.

Sprayskirt (Recommend – Sit In Kayak)

This is the kayaker’s clothing gear. The sprayskirt connects to the cockpit of the kayak to create a watertight seal. This prevents the cockpit from being filled up with water and at the same time keeps the paddler dry.

A skirt with holes makes the kayaker unstable and inconvenient with the intake of water. A good skirt has a rubber seal around the cockpit rim and provides a snug fit around the paddler’s waist.

Waterproof Bag (Must)

waterproof-dry-bag-colorsThis allows you to keep your valuables and gear safe and dry even when your bag gets into the water. They are also perfect for paddling trips, as well as fishing or a day at the beach.

waterproof-caseFurthermore, if the waterproof bags are sealed correctly, water should not be able to get inside. Many will have roll-top closures with buckles to secure the folds. Other bags may have extra seals for additional protection.

Cooler (Recommend)

Coolers keep its contents safe and fresh no matter the rugged conditions on the water. You should get a compact and versatile cooler, for short adventures taken alone.

With some accessorizing, the cooler will also provide storage for some equipment. Cooler with rod holders can be useful for people enjoying kayak fishing. 

Also, a cooler can help you to re-enter your kayak when it is capsized. Check out this video.

Carts (Recommend)


Kayaks are heavy and bulky and transporting them isn’t easy, and this is where the Kayak Carts come. Along with all your other personal belongings, you can take your kayak on a cart.

When you have the proper kayak cart, you will be able to transport your kayak safely and securely from one place to another without any difficulties. Several factors influence the kayak cart, and you should consider a few things before you purchase a kayak cart.

Cart Types : There are three types of kayak carts available in the market. You should choose one that is convenient for you.

  • Plug-in Cart – This type of cart comes with wheels. Light in weight and is convenient because of the excellent stability.
  • Folding Cart – You can get this type of kayak cart easily and take it anywhere. It is friendly and compact and what most kayakers use.
  • Strap Cart – This cart comes with a strap that protects the vessels during transportation from one location to another.

Wheels: The importance of any cart is to help to transport the kayak easily to different places without any difficulty. However, if you buy a kayak cart with wrong wheels, you will have trouble moving the kayak.

Accessories for Inflatable Kayak and Inflatable Boat

Inflating your kayak depends on how you plan to transport it to the water. If you are going to carry it in the trunk of your vehicle, then you would inflate it once you get to the water. However, with a roof rack, you can inflate it at home beforehand. This means you don’t have to deflate your kayak all the time if you are using it often.

Once inflated, it is no problem to leave it that way if you like. Ensure it is stored out of direct sunlight and check the air pressure before taking it out.

Air Pumps (Must)

  • Electric

If you’re tired of pumping up your inflatable by hand, you should consider the advantages of using an electric pump. They inflate your vessel much faster, and you get the desired pressure more comfortable. It’s also useful if you own several kayaks as it saves a lot of time. Electric pumps ensure you preserve your energy for your kayaking activity later.

Simply set the turn dial to your desired pressure, press the “on” button and this little machine will do the job.

You can store these pumps in your trunk. Most often they run on car batteries, which mean you can use these electric pumps anywhere.

  • Manual

Majority of inflatable kayaks come with a manual pump. A typical manual pump has low and high-pressure modes.


Manual pumps come in either the foot pump or the hand pump. A foot pump, as the name implies, is pumped using the foot. This kind of manual pump is often what comes with your purchased inflatable boat. One can buy foot pumps at any retailer.


Meanwhile, you can use hand pumps with the arms. For a lot of manual pump users, hand pumps are preferred over foot pumps. This is because foot pumps usually take more time to inflate because of the limited air they can produce at one time.

Care and Preservation (Recommend)


Wet the surface of your boat with water before spraying on Inflatable Boat or Kayak Cleaner. Allow the Cleaner set for a minute or so, then wipe with a rag or sponge. You could use a brush too and work on smaller sides at a time.

Clean the floor, working along the edges where sand and dust accumulate. Section by section, move to the tubes. Rinse with water and dry with a rag. This is an excellent product for cleaning dirt, marks and river crud.

After this, flip the boat over and repeat the cleaning process. While doing this, you should check for any damage that has occurred during the season.

Abrasion on the outer coating, or “scrim shots,” can be sorted out and protected with Gear Aid Aquaseal Repair Adhesive.


Lastly, spread on 303 Protectant and wait five minutes, after which you wipe off the excess with a rag. 303 protects against UV damage, which can destroy your kayak or boat’s material.

Accessories for Kayak Fishing

A day out fishing is fantastic, but any good fisherman knows that having the right equipment will make the day out even more enjoyable.

Kayak fishing is an excellent way to have fun on the water. The lightweight kayak is perfect for shallow rivers and deep lakes. Lots of the best kayaks for fishing also come with storage space for gear and fishing equipment. Being able to paddle out to any location, it makes finding the right fishing points a lot easier.

Here is a list of the best kayak fishing accessories.

Rod Holder (Recommend)


The main thing that differentiates an ordinary kayak from a fishing kayak is a rod holder. Rod holders on a fishing kayak trip free up your hands for easy paddling, de-hooking fish or simply grabbing a cold drink.

Comfortable Seats  (Recommend)inflatable-kayak-seatsea-eagle-swivel-seat

If your kayak isn’t equipped with the best kayak seats, you will not be able to focus on the fishing activity around you. Therefore, a soft seat with lumbar support will take your kayaking experience to incredible heights. Don’t save money on the seats. 

Canopies (Recommend)

For such an activity like fishing that requires long hours in the water, a kayak canopy will come in handy. I personally have one of these in camo green color and I really like it. It can bother when you are fishing, but still it works if you do side casting.


Canopies help to protect you from sunlight, giving you a cooler and shaded spot to sit in while you fish. What’s more, they can also be useful if there’s a rain shower while you’re on the water, keeping you dry.

Anchor (Must)


When you are out kayaking, there are two ways to remain stationary while in the water. The first is a sand barge, and the other is to toss an anchor overboard. As sand barges are not the usual thing, an anchor is usually your best option.

Many kayakers new to this sport go for a heavy anchor. They think that because the kayak is light, a massive anchor should do the trick. That, however, is not exactly right.

A heavy anchor will drag across the bottom of the lake or river and cause damage to the sides of the kayak. Kayak fishing anchors should typically, not weigh more than three pounds. Instead, it is the design and functionality that makes all the difference.

Fishing Net (Must)

Having your kayak net handy enables you to lock your rod into your rod holder and quickly and easily pour your catch into the kayak. Kayak fishing nets are made in nylon or nylon coated, rubberized, and knotless.

However, the nylon mesh is, perhaps, the most common of the three types. It is light, hook-resistant, and can control damage caused by salt and UV rays.

Milk Crate (Recommend)

Milk crates work for the interior storage area on the deck of the fishing kayak. It is a simple solution to an ever-persistent problem of an activity plagued by a lack of storage space. 

Accessories for Whitewater Kayaking

Helmet (Must)

Getting the right helmet is as important as finding the right PFD (Personal Flotation Device). While both help to save your life, a helmet will help to prevent serious head injuries.

safety helmet gearIf you’re kayaking in whitewater, a helmet can be essential and a requirement for specific routes or trips.

Strap (Must)

You also need an adjustable thigh strap for more stability in rough whitewater or ocean conditions. You can also use it as adjustable, heavy-duty, cushioned shoulder straps and as a one arm sling shoulder carrying strap.

Kayaking, in all its forms, is an enjoyable sport. However, enough attention should be paid to safety, gears and equipment to ensure no damage gets done.

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