Warm weather means time to bring out the boat. Spending all day or a half-day boating is a major part of living in Annapolis and in Maryland. While it is pretty common, it is still important to plan and prepare for all of your boating endeavors on the Chesapeake Bay. Cape St. Claire residents love the water and we know how ready you are to spend sunny weekends on your boat. To make it easier for your next trip, here is a boating checklist you can use before your next adventure. We hope you have fun and are safe. If you have any suggestions, let us know!


This might have been the first thing on your list, but we didn’t mean beer (not ONLY beer). It gets hot out there, so don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout the day. It is important to make sure you have enough water for everyone to stay hydrated throughout your boat trip. To keep the water cool, use reusable water bottles, fill with water (but don’t fill completely) and put them in the freezer. This will help keep other things cold in your cooler and slowly melt into drinkable water.


Boating Checklist snacks

You might want to consider putting bento boxes together for the kids. Easy simple way for them to snack during your trip.

Food. If you have kids, you understand that snacks are a must-have boat essential. You and yours are going to get hungry, there is no getting around it. So, avoid a monstrous hangry situation by packing some food for your family and friends. Here are some boat friendly snacks:

  • frozen grapes
  • peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
  • pretzels / crackers
  • chips or trail mix
  • carrots or raw veggies
  • popcorn
  • granola bars

Fun Fact: Eating also helps to reduce the dreaded motion sickness while on the water.


Nothing puts a damper on a relaxing day on the water quite like a red, hot sunburn. Prevent this miserable experience altogether by slathering on some high SPF lotion before boarding the boat. SPF or Sun Protection Factor helps prevent UVB from hurting your skin. So what is SPF 15? That means if it takes your 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to burn or start turning red, SPF 15 will theoretically prevent your skin from burning 15 times longer. That means 5 hours. Although, it is recommended you reapply every two hours.

Also, be sure to bring an extra bottle for those friends that forgot to apply. Friends don’t let friends get sunburnt.

Waterproof Camera

What once was a novelty, is actually pretty common now. You can buy a waterproof camera at the drug store today rather cheap. Grab a couple cameras for the kids and see what happens! It could make for great pictures and a memorable way to capture your boating trip. The best part? You won’t have to worry about damaging your camera with water and spills. Splash all you want, kids.


It’s not just about looking good but also protecting your eyes from the harmful sun rays and the glares from the water with UV-blocking sunglasses. Your day will be much more pleasant without all of the squinting and watery eyes. For an even better boating experience, opt for polarized sunglasses that not only shade your eyes from the sun but also reduce glare. But, try not to take your favorite expensive pair as there is a strong chance that they may go overboard.


From bottled water to beer, the cooler is simply a boat necessity. There is nothing worse than a warm beer, as many can attest to. For a cooler that is guaranteed to last longer than one season, try Yeti. They are the leaders in superior cooler technology and insulation. They are actually made using the same technology used to create whitewater kayaks so boating trips are exactly what they are meant for.

Life Jacket

Life vests are one of the most important things you can have on a boat. For any little ones or those not-particularly-good swimmers aboard, it is always a good idea to pack a few life jackets. Maryland law actually requires children under the age of 13 to wear a life jacket while on a boat under 21 feet. Make sure to stay safe out on the water.

To some, this might seem obvious but we hope this helps you next time you plan on making it a day or weekend out on the water. Our boating checklist is essentials, so please let us know what you like to bring. Have a great time boating Cape St. Claire!