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Yacht Charters Top Places To Have A Boating Holiday In The U S A

(category: Boating, Word count: 571)
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As an alternative to your usual way of spending your holidays, why not consider boating, if you haven't already? These type of vacations are different from anything you have done before. They are intimate and relaxing. Besides, if you are aboard a big comfortable yacht, you can find a dozen of things to do. Even if you have just a small boat, the kids will definitely enjoy the ride, and you will feel so much more relaxed, basking in the sun from your fold-up chair.

Top destinations in the U.S.A.

Monterey Bay

This wonderful location for boating is situated between the city of Santa Cruz and the Monterey Peninsula. Boaters from around the world come here for a relaxing experience never to be forgotten. Sandy beaches, rocky shores and amazing seascapes are the main points of interest here. Stillwater, located south of Monterey Bay, is the starting point for many a boaters. Here you can hike on the coastline and golf at Pebble Beach. However, the weather is unreliable and, as many will tell you, while setting sail the weather can change out of nowhere.

Morro Bay, CA

Have you ever been to Hearst Castle? Maybe it's time to go. This great building was built between 1919 and 1947, by William Hearst, one of the richest publish owners. The Hearst Castle represents one of the most important historical monuments in Central California, and while boating along the Central Coast, is a wonderful place to visit. Rocky cliffs end the rough shoreline abruptly, beaches so with sand so black you could mistake it for dirt and the Pacific Coast Mountain's peaks that rise from the water like skyscrapers from a city is something worth seeing at least once in a life time.

Austin, TX

The capital city of Texas was named after Stephen F. Austin, also called the "Father of Texas." It dates back to 1839. This is a perfect place for boaters, because of its lakes that cross along the city from the northern part to the very center of it. A series of damns on the Colorado River allowed these wonderful lakes to be formed. Even though boating is limited to canoes and electrically powered vessels, boating here is very unique, just because of the scenery. It is not everyday that you get the chance to cross a town by boat, especially in the US.

Chesapeake, Maryland

What would be the meaning of writing about boating in US, if I were not to mention Chesapeake? In the late 17th century, John Smith, an English explorer, said this would be the perfect location that God crated for man. As centuries passed his words came to be true, as, if you are a passionate boater, this location should be a must. Here you can find cruising occasions to last you more than a life time. The variety of things that can be done in Chesapeake couldn't be charted even by an encyclopedic guide, so you should see it for yourself. But, it must be said that the weather is a major downside, as storms develop out of the blue. Nevertheless, you could visit this place for months and still find something new to see.

Regardless of whether you are a passionate boater, or you're just looking for some relaxation, the above places are tailor made for having fun.

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Sail The Florida Keys

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At the south point of Florida, there is a chain of islands 170 miles long that is embedded in turquoise water. This is the Keys, bordered by the unique living coral reef in the United States. The subtropical climate and the extraordinary beauty of the Atlantic have made this ecological wonder one of the most prized destinations for sailors.

Sailboat Chartering With or Without a Captain

You can choose from four types of sailboat vacation:

Leasing the sailboat without a captain or "Bareboat Chartering" - The sea has no secrets for you or your crew and you are capable of bringing the sailboat back to port even if a hitch happens during your trip.

Chartering a sailboat with a captain - You prefer to have a captain on board to help you with the bowline knot.

Sailboat training - You want to learn to navigate or you wish to enhance your knowledge. Charter companies offer courses at every level, for groups, couples, for a weekend or for the whole week.

Cruising with a captain and cook - You watch them raise the sails and manipulate the sauce pans, while you take it easy.

Choosing a Sailboat

The marinas cannot always accommodate boats that are too big. Also the draft of your boat should not exceed 4.5 to 5 feet and the beam 13.5 feet to 14 feet. We prefer mono hulls from 40 to 43 feet long. They combine space and comfort and generally find a spot in the small marinas of the Keys. These boats are also better equipped than the smaller sailboats. Catamarans rarely find a dock large enough and must anchor outside.

The boats are rented for a day, a weekend or for a week.

Best Time for Sailing the Keys

The Keys benefit from a subtropical climate. You can sail all year long but, like everywhere else, there is this fantastic time of the year and less favorable periods.

The best periods are: March, April, May, end of November and beginning of December.

The periods of tourism affluence are Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year

Possible cold front periods: End of December, January and February.

Hurricane, humidity and mosquitoes' months are June to November, with a peak in August September, and October.

Books

Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys, by Captain Frank Papy.

Good basic information about places to visit, marinas, underwater activity, etc. Excellent maps describing the entrances to ports and marinas, usually difficult in access because of shallow waters.

Diving and Snorkeling guide to The Florida Keys, by Halas and Kincaid.

Excellent guide for skin diving and snorkeling. Description of coral reefs, exotic fish and sunken Spanish Galleons. Indication of depth and the level of difficulty of the different sites.

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Booking Crewed Sailing Charters What You Need To Know

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Crewed sailing charters are available to take you to sights you only dreamed about. These charters include staying on a yacht for a week at a time and dropping anchor in exotic ports of call. While at sea, you don't need to lift a finger nor do you need to know how to handle as sailing yacht. This is what you hire the crew for - so you can sit back and relax. When you make the decision to book one of the many crewed sailing charters available, you have to decide where you want to go and what you want to see and do.

The fee you pay for crewed sailing charters may be different depending on the part of the world where you want to charter a sailing yacht. In North America, the cost includes the rent of the yacht, the fee for the captain and the crew, as well as insurance that you pay just in case of an accident. In addition to this cost, if you charter a crewed sailing yacht the cost of the provisions, berthing fees and fuel are extras and you do need to pay them when you arrive back at the starting port. In the Mediterranean, the cost of a crewed sailing charter also includes fuel, berthing charges and water that you need to have on board the yacht.

When you start looking at the types of charter yachts, you can choose either motor or sail crewed charters. If you choose crewed sailing charters, you will experience the thrill of sailing slowly along the ocean. This is often the choice of couples that want to experience the romance of the sea. The number of people that will be going with you on the crewed sailing yacht will also determine the type of boat you need to charter. A crewed yacht is generally available for charter for a week, but you can also book these charters on a daily basis. The length of time you choose for the charter will determine the number of places that you get to visit.

When you make up your budget for crewed yacht charters, you have to include the cost of return airfare to the destination where you will board the sailing yacht. Look at what the charter company includes in its costs and then make allowances for food, fuel, anchorage and of course shopping and entertainment in the various places you dock. Then when you total this list you can determine whether or not a crewed sailing yacht is within your budget. Usually people plan for this type of vacation several years in advance and save up the money they will need to book the charter.

Once you make the booking for crewed yacht charters, the company will send you a contract to sign. When you return the signed contract, you will also have to make a 25% - 50% deposit on the reservation or you may have to make this deposit even before you receive the contract. There will also be a detailed questionnaire for you to complete so that the crew will be able to provide you with the vacation you are looking for. You will have to pay the balance of the cost of crewed yacht charters one month prior to your departure date. This way the only extra money you have to take with you is what you plan to spend while on vacation.

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Finding The Right Vessel At Boat Shows

(category: Boating, Word count: 522)
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Boat shows are the best way to check out the new seasonal offerings before you hit the water this year. As you shop the boat shows in your area, though, what, primarily, should you shop for in a new boat? This guide should help.

First, look around the boat shows near you for a good selection of boat styles that fit your needs. Some want the right pontoon boat to carry more party gear. Others need a speed boat for boat racing that reflects their fast, sleek personalities. Whatever your chosen boat style, though, understanding what you need before you walk into any boat shows is essential.

Once you've narrowed things down by style, it's time to start looking at the general size of the vessel. While vessel styles may actually help you determine the size, with boat styles like speed boats, you'll have lots of choices. Keep in mind that you need to choose a boat size that fits both the trailer you currently own and your level of experience. Bigger boats take a lot more maneuvering than smaller ones do, and if your last lake boating experience was a dinghy with oars, you may need to start small or at least invest in some boating courses to get the job done right.

Accessories

Now that you've looked at styles and size, your next step is to start choosing the preferences that best fit your needs. Most people look at engine capacity first. The larger the engine, the faster your boat is going to go, and boat shows are a great way to look at the engine technology that is currently available. Talk with dealers about what is new in the world of boat engines, look at demonstrations, and if you're interested, talk about alternative fuel technologies. After all, gas is getting expensive for every engine, including those you'll be seeing at the boat shows you attend.

In addition to engine size, you need to consider other boating accessories. While you can do lots of accessorizing after the fact, choosing a model at the boat shows you visit that comes close to meeting your needs may help things out quite a bit. Look at the lights, seat covers, and furniture included to be sure that you're getting the right boat. If you're shopping for higher end accessories or boating apparel or you have special boating needs (fishing and so forth) be sure to ask boat show dealers what could be added to their current model to make your boating experience a bit smoother.

Not sure where to find boat shows in your area? Go online. With thousands of boat shows from coast to coast, you're sure to find one within driving distance. It's unquestionably the way to get a look at all of the hottest models of the season and help narrow down your boat purchase choices. Moreover, though, you can check out some of the awesome boating products boat makers have created for the market this year. It may just give you the fix you need to make it to the next season.

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Enjoy Freshwater All The Time With Watermakers

(category: Boating, Word count: 548)
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Advanced technology has truly helped make people's lives easier, more convenient and even healthier. Just take the case of the water we use every day whether for personal, commercial or industrial use. Thanks to the technology of watermakers, we are now able to savor pure, fresh water without having to worry about its effects on our health and on the things we use them for.

An important use of watermakers is for sea vessels like sail or power boats and yachts. The marine water maker makes use of the desalination system to remove salt and other substances from water and make it suitable for use on board from washing down the boat, cooking, drinking, washing the dishes, making ice, bathing and doing the laundry. Marine desalinators can produce around 170 to 6,800 gallons per day while commercial watermakers can produce a maximum of 50,000 gallons per day.

A marine watermaker also known as sea water desalinator is very inexpensive but the benefits you can get is enormous. Besides being economical, it can also save time and effort and most of its running costs is actually just for the cost of electricity. And if used properly with the right routine maintenance, this device can last up to 20 years.

A desalinator on board can save the boat owner money as he no longer needs to buy purified water elsewhere for use while on his vessel. Also, he does not need to store several gallons of water on board which would otherwise just add on weight to the boat, take up much space and increase its fuel consumption. This, of course, allows the vessel to take longer voyages and at a faster speed to boot.

In addition, a desalinator on board is very convenient as it allows you to do many things similar to what you do at home like cooking, bathing, washing dishes and clothes without having to worry about contamination or conserving water. And with fresh water always available, washing your boat is easy and requires little effort in drying it. Fresh water also helps protect the boat's rigging and hull.

A desalinator utilizes the reverse osmosis system in purifying seawater. Fifty years ago, this system was originally developed to make clean water for industrial use. It is considered the most rigid method of water purification in a large scale. But through the years, its usage has expanded to marine watermakers and home water purifiers. Reverse osmosis takes place when pressurized seawater passes through a semi-permeable membrane where up to 99 percent of salts, contaminants and pollutants are removed. The semi-permeable membrane allows only water to pass through but not ions or larger molecules such as bacteria, glucose or urea. So at the other end of the membrane, fresh, potable water is produced from either seawater, salty bore water or recycled water.

A reverse osmosis desalinator is normally operated for only part of the day from four to six hours depending on the amount of fresh water needed. To determine the gallon per hour rating, first find out where pure water will be used and the daily amount needed then divide the total gallon usage by the number of hours the watermaker will be used.

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Top Five Reasons Yacht Charters In Bahamas Are Better

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The Bahamas is a chain of Islands found in the Caribbean sea. It is one set of over 700 islands that are just waiting to be explored and discovered in this deep green sea. There is no better way to experience them all than aboard one of the top yacht charters in Bahamas history.

There are dozens of reasons to charter a yacht the next time you want to explore the Bahamas and the surrounding Caribbean sea. The top ones listed here will give you a taste of the type of true luxury that only be experienced with a private charter.

1. Privacy. If you really want to get away from it all on vacation, then crowds just don't cut it. You can be as secluded or social as you want and change your mood with the winds when you sail a privately chartered ship with just your closest friends and family.

2. Luxury. Accommodations on luxury cruises to the Bahamas are similar to the world's finest hotels. Staterooms have all the amenities of Ritz or Four Season with parlours and decks perfect for entertaining.

3. Flexibility. If you find that the weather just isn't right for shopping in downtown Nassau, then you have the choice of moving on right away. You call the shots on where you go and how long you stay within the amount of time you have booked your charter cruise.

4. Pricing Options. A luxury yacht cruise is an expensive way to travel, but if you know you are worth it and can afford it, it is worth every penny. Week-long trips range in the mid-hundred thousand dollars price. This is all inclusive, except maybe gratuities. It includes a full crew and capable captain to make your trip comfortable. Smaller sailing vessels are more in line with a normal family vacation as far as price, but not in terms of the new and exciting experience of being at sea on your private cruise.

5. New Experiences. There are some things you just can't experience on shore. The sea is a whole new world of wildlife and outdoor activities. You can fish, watch the schools of exotic fish and swim right along with them. Sun bathing on deck is a mixture of gentle breezes and salted misty air that will turn you a golden toasted colour as it melts away the stresses left on shore. Without the distractions of traffic and itineraries, your sailing trip will make you feel new again.

Getting There

You can begin your yacht charters in the Bahamas by booking a flight to Miami. Many charters set sail from this popular port. It may be a good idea to book a hotel for the first night in the city, so that you can start your cruise at a convenient morning hour, fresh and ready to face the sea.

Whether you plan to spend $100,000 or $5,000 for the week you will find adventure and luxury aboard a yacht, sailboat, or bareboat that will provide your vacation home away from home. Each has a crew ready and waiting to make this the vacation of a lifetime.

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Yacht Charter In Southern Crete

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In the summer the prevailing wind is the infamous Meltemi from the NW - WNW. July and August sees the winds at their strongest, force 5 - 6 on the northern coast but more often a more gentle force 3 - 4. The spring and autumn sees winds form the south, force 2 - 4. The southern coast is notorious for strong squalls the blow down from the mountains. There is little in the way of warning and they can be violent close inshore. It gets very hot on the island during the summer months with the average daily temperature reaching 35 deg C in July and August and temperatures as high as 40 deg C are not uncommon.

Nisis Gramvousa lies off Crete's S coast. There is a sheltered bay on the SE side of the island. Yachts can anchor in the bay or go bows to the quay. There are no facilities but water is available fro a well by the chapel

Palaiokhora is near the SW tip of Crete. Go alongside or bow or stern to in the new harbour on the E side of the rocky headland. Or anchor in either of the two bays to the E and W of the headland depending on the winds direction. There is water and fuel in the village and all provisions can be obtained. The tavernas here are good.

There are anchorages on either side of Ak Mouros. Ormos Loutra to the E where a yacht can anchor of the village and Ormos Foinikias to the W. There are a few tavernas and limited provisions can be obtained in the village.

Further to the W is Skafion. Yachts can anchor of the village in calm weather. There are tavernas ashore and all provisions can be found. The once tiny village is now a booming tourist resort

At Ay Galini yachts can go bow or stern to or alongside the quay. There is good holding on the sandy bottom and shelter from the Meltemi. There is water on the quay and fuel in the town. All provisions can be obtained and there are good tavernas. Another recently developed tourist resort.

Matala is a horseshoe shaped bay on the W side of Ak Latinos. Yachts should only use it in calm weather. Most provisions can be obtained and there are good tavernas ashore. Matala is mentioned in Homer's Odyssey. Here Menelau's ships were wrecked returning from the Trojan wars. It was an important port in Roman times.

Kali Limenes is a small bay on the E side of Ak Litinos. Yachts can anchor in the bay in depth of 3 - 6m. There is good shelter from the N and W but it is open to the E and S. Limited provisions can be found in the village and there are a few tavernas.

Lerapetrais a medium sized harbour. Yachts can go bow or stern to on the N or W sides. There is water on the quay and fuel from the town. All provisions may be obtained and there are good waterfront tavernas. The town and harbour date back to Minoan times but sadly little of the ancient architecture remains.

Yachts can anchor in the large sandy bay of Kato Zakros. There are a couple of tavernas ashore but the main attraction is the ruins of a Minoan palace at the foot of the dramatic gorge.

Ormos Grandes is a large bay on the N side of Ak Plaka. Yachts can seek shelter from the Meltemi at Kouremenos in the N of the bay. 2 miles to the N of Kouremenos is Vai. Here yachts can anchor of the sandy beach and there are tavernas ashore.

Crete's cuisine is similar to that found throughout the Aegean. Fish plays a large part in the form of tuna, swordfish, sea bass, urchins, octopus, squid and cuttlefish. You will find beef, pork, lamb and goat. A rabbit stew is a speciality. As is cheese pie and fried cheese (staka). For those with a sweet tooth try yogurt and honey tarts (kaltzounia). Cretan wine is fairly good.

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Yacht Charter In The Southern Cyclades

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The areas prevailing wind during the summer months is the infamous Meltemi blowing from the N-NW. It is first felt in June and becomes stronger through July, August and September when it can reach force 8. It dies down in October. In the spring and autumn gales are common from the N and the SE. The summer months are hot, average temperatures are 25 deg C and temperatures often reach 35 deg C.

Milos is the southwesternmost of the Cyclades. A large bay, Ormos Milou, was scooped out when an ancient volcano erupted and hot sulphur springs still exist today. Adhamas is the island's port Go bow or stern to the E side of the ferry pier or bow to the smaller pier to the E. It is also possible to anchor off to the SE of the short pier. The bottom is mud rocks and weed and poor holding in places. There is good shelter from the Meltemi but winds from the south can produce dangerous conditions. There is water on the ferry pier and fuel can be delivered. Most provisions can be obtained in the village and there are some tavernas. Climb the hill to the Chora at Milos for breathtaking views across the bay. There are several other anchorages in the bay that are exposed to the north. There are no facilities at any of them. Apollonia is in the NE of Milos. Go bow or stern to the pier or anchor of the beach. Holding is good on a sandy bottom. There are tavernas and a mini market ashore. Ormos Voudhia lies one mile to the south of Apollonia. There is good shelter from the Meltemi but the surroundings are unattractive with open cast mines and a wharf and ore carrier all in view.

Kimilos lies to the NE of Milos. There are two anchorages in Ormos Sikia in the SW of the island. They are exposed to the N - NW and unsuitable when the Meltemi is blowing. Pirgonisi is a long sandy beach on the south coast and yachts can anchor almost anywhere along it in attractive surroundings. Good holding on sand and weed. Psathi lies further along the coast to the east. Go bows to the quay or anchor off. There is little shelter from the Meltemi and yachts are advised to use this anchorage only in calm weather. There are a couple of tavernas ashore and limited provisions can be obtained in the village. Just to the north is Semina Creek and yachts can anchor in the bay. Like Psathi, there is little shelter from the Meltemi and Psathi should be used only in calm weather.

The in the NW of island of Poliagos there is a lovely secluded anchorage just to the south of the tiny island of Moanolsi. There is shelter from the Meltemi and good holding on the sandy bottom. On the south side of the island there are several coves that yachts can anchor in when conditions are calm.

Folegandros is another barren, rocky island with exception of the small Chora in the NE that lies among green trees and shrubs. The island's ferry port is Karavostasi. Go bow or stern to the mole on the south side of the arm extending westward. There is poor holding in places on sand and rock. There is reasonable shelter from the Meltemi. There are several tavernas but provisions can be difficult to obtain and the island is totally reliant on deliveries by ferry. On the W side of Folegandros is the large bay, Ormos Vathi. It can only be used in calm weather and there is poor holding in places on sand and weed.

Sikinos lies to the E of Folegandros. Ormos Skala is the only harbour on the island. Yachts can go alongside the quay or anchor off. There are tavernas ashore and some provisions can be obtained. The setting is attractive and popular with Greek tourists.

3.5 miles to the east of Sikinos lies Ios. It is claimed Homer is buried here. He died aboard a ship on passage from Samos to Athens and his body was thrown overboard and later washed up on Ios. Go bow or stern to in the harbour of Port Ios. There is excellent holding in mud. A mini tanker can deliver fuel and water is available from a public fountain in the square. There are tavernas all around the harbour and most provisions can be obtained. The resort is popular with the young and most of the bars play loud music in the evenings/night. Ormos Milopotamou lies to the S of Port Ios. In the north of the bay there are 4 coves where yachts can anchor, the easterly two provide the best shelter. Holding is good on sand. There are tavernas and hotels on the beach. Ormos Manganari is a large bay on the south coast of Ios, it is possible to anchor throughout the bay with good holding on sand. There are tavernas ashore.

Thira is similar to Milos in as much as it is a volcano and when it erupted in 1440 - 1450 BC it created the bay as it is today. The close lying islands of Thirasia, Nea Kammeni and Palaia Kammeni are also part of this huge volcanic structure. Around the basin, on cliffs 300m high you will see white Cycladic houses with blue painted windows hanging from black volcanic rocks which rise sheer from the sea all group together to make Thira is one of the most popular destinations in Greece.

Finikia lies in the N of Thira. Anchor to the W of the mole in 10 -20m with a trip line because the bottom is rocky. Limited shelter from the Meltemi and completely open to the S. Skala Thira is the harbour of the island's capital on the steep slopes above. Go bow or stern to the quay with a line to the large mooring buoy. Departing is difficult with the confusion of the many lines attached to the buoy and it is recommended that yachts are not left unattended. There is water on the quay and several tavernas in the harbour.

On the coast south of Ak Akrotiri there are a number of anchorages that provide good shelter from the Meltemi. The bottom is good holding in sand but there is often some ground swell that causes yachts to roll badly. Monolithos is a small harbour on the E coast. Go bows to the breakwater near its extremity with a long line. There is a taverna and showers ashore.

Thirasia is the westernmost island and the only anchorage is Ayios Nikolaos. Yachts can anchor off but the small pier is reserved for local boats. There are tavernas ashore and some provisions are available in the village atop the cliffs.

Nea Kammeni has a number of small inlets where a yacht can anchor. A trip line should be used as the bottom is strewn with rocks that are likely to snag an anchor. Nea Kammeni is known for it's problem with large rats and there are many reports of the getting aboard yachts.

Anafi is the southernmost of the Cyclades. It has one anchorage on the S coast that is exposed. The island is barren and parched and you will not miss a lot if you choose not to visit.

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Sea Kayak Accessories Essential And Fun Accessories For Kayakers

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Sea Eagle.com is well known for their inflatable whitewater and ocean kayaks. The manufacturer offers a complete line of sea kayak accessories. Some of these accessory items are essential for your safety on the ocean or whitewater trips, others fit into the 'fun' category.

Some of the most common inflatable ocean kayak accessory items include:

Life jackets and paddling vests - Coast Guard approved PFDs are a must for owners of inflatable boats and kayaks.

Inflator pump - You can inflate your sea kayak with a hand operated pump. A 110 V high volume inflator/deflator makes the job easier and faster.

Repair kit for kayaks - This is an essential accessory item in case the kayak develops a leak. The kit contains two patches of the hull material, glue and a valve replacement tool.

Bilge pump - A high volume hand operated bilge pump is essential for getting the water out of the inflatable when on the water.

Storage bags for bow and stern - Great boating accessories for storing your supplies and gear.

Kayak carry bag - Deflate and roll up the inflatable sea kayak, then place it on the bag and wrap the bag around it for easy storage.

Seats - It's nice to have a seat with a back rest in your ocean kayak for long paddling or rowing. These Deluxe seats are very comfortable

Although there are many more types of accessories you can get for your inflatable ocean kayak, this will give you an idea of what is available.

The most important accessory on the above list is the life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD). A PFD is not considered an accessory for any boat, whether it is an ocean kayak or a dinghy. It is an essential part of any sea kayaking equipment and you should never go out in any inflatable without wearing a Coast Guard approved life vest.

The second most important inflatable boat accessory is your hull repair kit. Although Sea Eagle has a small patch kit for minor repairs there is a better inflatable ocean kayak repair kit available for bigger jobs from Tuff Coat. Most if not all of these boating accessories can be bought from the manufacturer or retailer where you bought the kayak.

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