Do you have a boathook on board and do you use it?

A boat hook is part of boating equipment that many of us own as it’s seen as a ‘must have’ item, but in all honesty how often do you actually use it?

They come in all shapes and sizes and in more recent years manufacturers have re-designed the boat hook making it easier to handle and store. They can be used in a variety of situations including mooring alongside, picking up a mooring buoy,retrieving items from the water or fending off. The amount of times a boat hook gets used will vary depending on personal preference. For some people it will make an appearance each time they go out boating, however I expect for the majority of us, it gets dusted off when we inadvertently drop that fender over the side (we’ve all been there!) Prices vary but generally they are not expensive to buy and you can find one that suits you and your boat.

Choosing the right boat hook is key to ensuring safe and successful usage. I always remember the ‘scary boathook’ we had on my parent’s boat. It was about 7ft long with a wooden handle and had the most vicious looking rusty hook that looked more at home on a battlefield than on a boat! Difficult to use and store without gouging holes out of the deck or other people on board – not a good example!

They have been developed since then and you can now buy ones with an extendable handle which means they are easier to store (especially on smaller boats) and use. They are generally made of materials that float so if it does go for a swim it can be retrieved – if you have another boat hook to retrieve it with!

Most chandlery’s will sell boat hooks, you just need to think about where you’re going to store it and what it’s going to be used for. As with all new items educate yourself on the different ways of using a boat hook before you hit the waters. If you have the space, purchase 2 so if one goes for a swim you have another to retrieve it.

Boat hooks provide us with endless fun – maybe not intentional but every one of us has a boat hook story to tell. We’ll continue to buy them even if we hardly use them because where would the fun be if we went to sea without one??