4 Useful Tips for New Boaters


drinklip_cup_clip_holder-810-500x505Cup holders are virtual necessities on today’s fishing boats, but there’s not always room on a boat’s horizontal surfaces to add recessed holders. An alternative is a folding cup holder that installs on a vertical surface. The West Marine folding cup holder (about $11) is made from corrosion-resistant plastic, occupies a 414-inch square, and is only % inch thick when closed. It holds cans, bottles or ther­mal mugs. I added a couple to the exterior of the transom bulkhead on my boat, where they handily unfold and hold a beverage while I fish off the stern. When the drink’s done, the holder easily folds away. – Jim Hendricks


Life jackets are items you want to access quickly in an emergency. Life-jacket storage bags that mount under a T-top or hardtop serve this purpose nicely. With just a pull of a zipper, the jackets become imme­diately accessible. Both the C.E. Smith Overhead Storage Bag (about $85) and the Kwik Tek PFD-T4 T-Bag (about $63) hold four Type II life jackets. The Kwik Tek PFD-T6 T-Bag (about $78) stows six Type II jackets. These easy-to-install bags feature breathable mesh panels to vent moisture and prevent mildew. Plus, there are pockets for stowing light items such as sunglasses and flashlights. – JH Continue reading