Summer means fun times on the water with your friends and family. Yet to get the most out of any boating experience, safety is key. While proper behavior should always be followed (something we’ll follow in another post), having the right boating safety equipment on board is equally important.
Below we’ve broken down a list of boating safety equipment you should always have on board.
- Anchor and rode (line) – in the event of unfavorable water conditions, an anchor can keep you from drifting farther away from shore
- Basic first aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Personal flotation devices (a.k.a. life jackets)
- Air horn, whistle, or other sounding device
- Basic tools/toolbox or multitool – basic tools to keep on board include an adjustable wrench, pliers, and screwdriver
- Marine sanitation devices – required if your boat has a toilet
- Navigation lights – necessary for after-dark boating or during unfavorable conditions such as fog
- Visual distress signals, including flares, orange distress flags, or electric SOS signal lights
- Communication tools
- VHF radio
- Satellite messenger, emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), or personal locator beacon (PLB), if you are boating out of VHF range
- Extra food and water in case you need to wait for towing or other assistance
- Extra fuel
- Registration information for your vessel (e.g. registration and title)
- Legal documentation for the captain and your boat
- Always be sure to have a checklist of all safety items to review before hitting the water.
- Check with local officials for additional safety tips and information on water conditions.
- Review state and local boating regulations to ensure you’re following all applicable laws – these might vary from area to area.
Boat Items Checklist: What To Have Onboard:
Nebraska: The Legal Requirements of Boating
U.S. Coast Guard Required Equipment for Recreational Vessels
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