You may never find yourself in the middle of an emergency on your boat but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be prepared for them anyway.  You probably already know you need a lifejacket but that is not the only piece of boat safety equipment that should be on your boat.  If you want to be prepared then here is some of the must have boat safety equipment.

Life Jackets

First and foremost you need to have a life jacket on board whether you’re on a yacht or a dory a life jacket is a must.  It all states it is the law and you need one for every person on the boat.  All of the PFDs must be Coast Guard Approved and in good working order.  They need to fit the users although you don’t need to wear them all the time.  Your PDF is the most important piece of safety equipment on the boat and they save lives.  Here is a look at the different types of life jackets.

Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are also a must have on your boat.  If you have a bigger boat then it is a requirement to have at least one of them on the boat.  You would be surprised at how frequently boats catch on fire and fatalities happen because of no extinguishers.

Flare Guns

Again bigger boats should have some type of flare gun or ability to send a visual distress signal.  There are different rules about what is required depending on where you are sailing.  Coastal water has different rules than open seas, there are also different devices for day and night time use so stock both.  Bear in mind that flare guns are also extremely dangerous if used improperly so learn when and where to use them before hitting the water.  A good flashlight and a whistle can also help when you are in distress.

First Aid Kits

You should at the very least have a basic first aid kit onboard, small accidents like bumps and cuts can happen anywhere and being prepared is everything.  If you are out at sea it could be hours before you make it back to shore and get much needed medical attention.

A Bailer

If your boat begins to take on water then having a bailer or some type of dewatering device can help you keep it afloat until you get to shore.  It can be something as simple as a bucket in a small boat or an expensive sophisticated device on bigger craft.

Having safety equipment on your boat can mean the difference between getting home safely or being lost at sea.  None of the equipment listed here is particularly expensive but all of it can save your life.