With all of the lakes and coastline in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, you will find a beach to access by boat. Boating to a beach is much different than driving the car and filling it with sand once you’re ready to pack up and head home for the day. Many of the options by boat are secluded as opposed to public beach access points from roadways. For your next beach boat, what should you bring?


One of the best ways to keep cool except for going into the water is to hang out in the shade. A beach umbrella is easy to pack and setup.

Make sure to anchor the umbrella well. Even minor winds can send it flying into the air and could possibly cause injury.

Tip: When you get back home, it is essential to rinse the umbrella to ensure it is free of salt. Before stowing it away, leave it out in the sun to dry thoroughly. 


Sure, laying on a towel on the sand can undoubtedly be enjoyable but what’s even better is packing fold-out beach chairs

With beach chairs, you can sit upright to gaze out at the beautiful scenery in front of you. The benefit of going to the beach by boat is finding more secluded beaches that you may be able to enjoy without other beachgoers. 

Tip: Be sure to pack chairs that can collapse relatively small. The boat can become crowded with passengers and gear. Make sure you leave enough room to maneuver comfortably around the craft. 


Layering a cooler will keep all of its contents cold. Keep the bottom of the cooler filled with drinks because they won’t become soggy.

Meals such as sandwiches should remain at the top of the cooler in a rack above the ice or wrapped to avoid becoming mushy. The last thing you and your family or friends want is a soaked lunch when they are hungry. 

Tip: Be sure that the cooler is packed with plenty of ice. Hot summer days will quickly deplete the ice leaving your food and drinks warm for the remainder of the day. 

Beach Toys

What’s a beach day without entertainment? Bring along games that can fit into a backpack. Some of these include footballs, frisbees, and sand toys.

If the kids are coming along, pack plenty of shovels and buckets. While they are occupied, the adults can play catch or sit back and have an uninterrupted conversation.

Tip: Pack toys that are easy to transport from a boat to a beach. Remember, everything needs to be lugged from the craft’s stern to the beach while walking in the water. 

Two Anchors

One of the more challenging parts of a boat beach trip is securing the vessel at the beach. A bow and stern anchor will allow the operator to get the craft in the best position for easy beach access.

An anchor off the bow will hold the boat from being swept away in the current and wind while the stern anchor keeps the boat’s stern perpendicular to the beach. 

Tips: Bring along someone capable of dragging the stern anchor from the boat to the beach. A helping hand will make the job much easier. 


Pack plenty of towels. When you come out of the water, a dry, warm towel will quickly soak up the water on the surface of your skin. Have a few towels to lay down in the sand but plenty of others to remain sand-free for use. A sandy towel on your skin isn’t very enjoyable.

You’d be surprised how many towels that you can go through in a single trip by boat to the beach adventure. 

Tip: The washing machine won’t appreciate both the overloading of towels and sand-covered towels. Make sure to shake them out and limit the number of towels per load. 


Nothing is worse than ending the day with a painful sunburn. Be sure to apply sunscreen before you even head out on the water and reapply through the day.

The sun’s rays reflect against the water causing a more intense burn than on land and far quicker. 

Tip: Bring along and apply a sunscreen with a high SPF rating. Using a low SPF rated sunscreen may cause your skin to become burned despite applying it to your skin. 

Sun Protective Clothing

It is essential to take all measures to keep your skin from becoming burned. Sunscreen is beneficial, but other materials of clothing will aid in the process. 

Of course, you don’t want to layer up on sweltering days, but an SPF rated shirt, hat, sunglasses, and sun mask will help keep you cool while protecting your skin. 

Tip: Don’t leave it back home or in the car at the marina or boat ramp. More often than not, hats or sunglasses were packed but left behind before boarding the vessel. 

Water Proof Bag

Take into account the situations that valuable contents that need to remain dry become soaked. Large waves, rain, beverages tipping in rough seas, and wading from the boat to the beach can cause damage or destroy valuable items. 

Waterproof bags or cases are available both online and at marine supply stores. It is well worth the upfront cost. 

Tip: Zip it up. Countless times the top of the bag has been left open to let its contents spill in water, defeating the purpose of having a waterproof bag. 

Conclusion What to bring for a beach boat day

Spending time on a beach that is not accessible by road is a fantastic experience. Boat only access means that you may have the beach to yourself, or at most, a few fellow boaters will be joining you. It can be a difficult balance between being unprepared and overpacking. Remember, lugging things to and from the beach is a bit more daunting because of the risk of gear becoming submerged. Once you’re set up in position and ready to relax, you and your crew will have an enjoyable day in the water and sun.