Whether you’re brand new to boating or you’ve been around the pond a few times, it’s always good to have a few secrets in your pocket to help things run more smoothly. You can find hundreds of life hacks by doing a quick Google search, but to help you out, we’ve compiled and transformed a few well-known hacks—and added some that are original to boating—that will make your time on the water easier, more organized and just plain fun.
1. Wine Cork Sunglasses Floater
Too many pairs of sunglasses have seen their lifespans cut short after taking a sudden plunge into the deep blue water. You’ll never have to worry about losing another pair again with this boat hack. First, get an old wine cork. Drill little holes on each side of it, then slide your croakies or sunglasses strap through the middle, and you’re all set. If those glasses decide to go overboard, the cork will keep them afloat. For an extra hack, feel free to paint the cork a bright color using a oil-based paint—a little nail polish will do the trick—then your sunglasses will not only float, but they’ll be highly visible.
Bonus Tip: Wine corks aren’t just good for keeping your sunglasses afloat. Save additional corks and use them as slip bobbers for fishing. Start with the same concept as before and just drill a little hole through the center of the cork, insert a toothpick or a coffee stirrer into the hole, and then just glue it into place.
2. Duct Tape Cup Holder
Everyone knows that a successful day on the water requires a packed cooler or a stocked fridge. No matter what your beverage of choice, it’s essential to keep those drinks cold and protected—you don’t want anything sticky spilling onto the deck of your beautiful vessel. So what happens when, as is so often the case, you have more cups than cupholders? In this situation, as with so many things in life, the answer is duct tape. Before heading out on the water, always make sure to bring along a few extra rolls. Whether you place the roll of duct tape directly onto the deck or on a table, or tape it up along the side of the boat, your drink will fit perfectly into the center of the roll.
Adapted from Buzzfeed - 31 Redneck DIYs That Are Borderline Genius
3. Speaker Cup
So picture this: You’re out on the water, the sun is shining, the drinks are flowing, the fish are biting, and the tunes are playing. Then, suddenly, the speakers on your boat stop working. Or maybe you forgot to bring speakers along at all. So, what now? Not to worry: get the music going again with this simple boat hack. Grab a cup—glass, plastic, styrofoam, doesn’t matter—and stick your iPhone or smartphone right inside. Make sure the volume is pumped up on your device, and you’ll quickly hear how the cup amplifies the sound and acts as portable speaker.
Adapted from POPSUGAR - 79 Hacks That Will Change Your Life
4. Pizza Box Rope Organizer
So many ropes, so little time. We know you don’t want to waste your day on the water trying to untangle the mess of ropes and lines lying around your boat. Luckily, you don’t have to. Just take the top of an old pizza box or a piece of cardboard and find some scissors. With a few cuts at the top and bottom of the cardboard, you’ll have yourself a brand new rope holder. Wrap your line around the cardboard and tuck in the end so it stays put. For those of you with a lot of lines to untangle, it might be time to order some pizza so you can stock up for the season…
Adapted from Buzzfeed - Easy Post-Apocalypse Life Hacks Any Survivor Can Do
5. Wet Towel Under Cooler
One common hack among boaters is the idea of using a bungee cord to strap a cooler in place, either to the side of the boat or to the back of a seat. But what happens when you don’t have a bungee cord? Just grab a towel. Give it a quick dip in the water to make it damp, then slide it under the bottom of the cooler. Now you’ll no longer have to worry about that cooler slipping and sliding all over the deck of your boat. Next time you go to grab another drink, the cooler will be right where you left it.
6. Life Jacket Water Chair
This last hack was invented by one of our staff last summer. Imagine; you've dropped anchor, cut your engines, and it's time to cool off. Without a water float and without wearing that bulky life jacket, we’ve found a way for you to comfortably float around in the water. Instead of putting your arms through the holes in your life jacket, flip that thing upside down and slip your legs in. You’ve now got yourself a water chair. (And no, this is definitely not approved as a proper way to wear your life jacket).
The next time you’re out on the water, be sure to put some of these tricks to the test, and don’t be afraid to get creative—come up with some of your own boat hacks. And if you’ve got a particularly creative one, share it with us on Facebook.