Family, friends and your trusty Chaparral are all you need to create an amazing day on the water—but to make your trip even better, there are a few easy ways to pack and prepare. We’re looking at ten key tips below.
Prep the night before…
Prepping for your family trip the night before is always a smart idea—especially if you plan to leave early in the morning! To avoid a sleepy, last-minute scramble, take a few minutes the night before to load up your boat and car (if you plan to tow) with everything you need for the day ahead.
…and make your return home a little easier
In addition to getting ready to leave, make your return home later on a little easier, too. Clear away your front entryway or mud room (and lay out a towel or two) so that everyone can return home without clogging up any one area with dirty shoes, clothes or fishing gear. If you plan to bring home what you catch, it’s also a good idea to clear your sink and counter area so that you can get cleaning right away. You’ll thank yourself for these small preparations at the end of a long day on the water!
Wear cool, comfy gear
Being comfortable on board is always an easy way to make your boat trip even better. Check the weather beforehand and dress accordingly—for many late summer trips, this will include wearing cool, comfy gear like lightweight t-shirts and shorts, leaving room to layer with a sweatshirt if the weather cools down later on. (If you don’t already have the perfect on-board gear, be sure to check out our Chaparral sportswear page to find the shirt, hat or accessory you’re missing!)
Pack tasty, no-fuss foods
If you’re planning a long trip on the water, or you simply want to have something on hand to hold everyone over until lunch, be sure to pack a few tasty, no-fuss food options. These can be delicious deli sandwiches, premade salads, or bagged treats like chips or trail mix. Store perishables in your on-board cooler.
Lather on the sunscreen
Even if the temperature isn’t high, the sun can be just as powerful—so if you plan to spend any amount of time outdoors, cover up with a good sunscreen! It also doesn’t hurt to add a fun, wide-brimmed hat and pair of sunglasses as well.
Add extra towels
You can never have too many towels! Stock up with plenty of warm, fluffy towels—perfect for those on board who choose to jump in for a swim, as well as those who simply get splashed on by their catch of the day. These towels can also help to keep everyone warm if the temperature gets lower at night.
Plan for the incidentals
A smart boater plans ahead. You can do this by preparing for the incidentals—for example, pack a small bottle of seasickness medicine for your passengers, or an extra t-shirt for a spill-prone child. If you plan for these issues preemptively, you’ll be ready if they ever happen.
Bring toys and games for kids
Even while on a boat surrounded by beautiful moving water, young kids can be prone to cries of boredom or general fussiness... but don’t worry! If this is a problem for you, you can always pack a small activity bag filled with small and simple toys or travel games to keep them occupied.
Use your lifejackets
As a last-minute safety reminder, don’t forget to bring (and, of course, wear) your lifejackets! You can even pick up sizes made specifically for young swimmers and pets, so you never have to go without this safety essential.
Laugh it off
If the day just isn’t going your way—whether it be due to weather, scheduling mishaps or other problems on the water—just laugh it off! Flexibility and a sense of humor can go a long way on the water, and it always helps to laugh or shrug it off when things don’t go exactly according to plan. And besides… sometimes the unexpected route makes the trip!