Whether you’re using your boat for day cruising, fishing, or watersports, there are several key pieces of boat safety equipment you can’t live without.
The coastguard has a list of things that a vessel must legally have, there is of course plenty of necessary boat equipment that may not make this list.
So, what items need including on your boat safety equipment checklist?
Here is a rundown of the most important boat equipment you should make sure to never leave on the dock.
1. Life Jackets and Wearable Personal Floatation Devices
There must be a life jacket on board for every person on the vessel. If you’re towing someone on waterskis, they too will need their own life jacket too. You need to ensure that these are kept in an easily accessible place.
If you’re using a personal watercraft, you should wear a personal floatation device at all times. It’s good practice to put these on while you’re still on the dock before getting underway.
Although there is no legal requirement, you should also consider getting a life jacket for your pet too.
2. A Throwable Floatation Device
In addition to life jackets, you’ll need to have at least one floating device.
This could be a ring or a cushion. This should be used to throw to someone if they’re in the water and are having trouble swimming.
Some throwable flotation devices have a line attached to them so you can bring the person closer to the boat and pull them out of the water.
3. A Visual Signalling Device
A visual signaling device will help others see your vessel if you’re in trouble. Boats that are over 16ft will need to carry visual signals that are suitable for use during both day and night.
Some flares may be self-launching, while others may need a flare gun. White flags may be used during the daytime, while strobe lights can be used at night.
Personal watercraft are not permitted to be used at nighttime, so don’t need to carry nighttime signaling devices.
4.First Aid Kit
Whether someone cuts themselves on the boat prop or breaks a bone due to a fall in turbulent seas, you’ll need a first aid kit on board your vessel.
Make sure you keep your first aid kit well-stocked. This means carrying out a full and thorough check on a regular basis to ensure you have adequate supplies and nothing is out of date.
5. Fire Extinguisher
You’re required by law to carry a fire extinguisher on board your boat. This will need to be a marine fire extinguisher. Depending on the size of your vessel, you may need to have two or more extinguishers.
Essential Boat Equipment
Whether you’re looking for used boat equipment, or new, there are some essential items you’ll need on your boat. These include fire extinguishers, first aid kits, flares, life jackets, and flotation devices.
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