Before you head out on your next waterfront adventure, make sure you have all the necessary boat safety equipment, so you don’t have to worry about lacking essentials if an emergency arises. Ready to get started? Here’s what you need to know about assembling your boat safety kit.

Boat Safety Kit: The Essentials

Get ready for boating season by making sure your watercraft has all the following safety essentials onboard.

Life Jackets

Whether you’re piloting a rowboat or luxurious yacht, you’re required by law to have a life jacket for every person onboard. You and your passengers don’t have to wear life jackets at all times, although it’s best that you do. If you accidentally fall into the cold water, you’ll be glad you have the life jacket keeping you afloat until help arrives. Otherwise, the cold-water shock and any resulting injuries could result in tragedy.

Flotation Device

A throwable flotation device is a must just in case someone goes overboard. Saving a person who’s drowning is extremely dangerous, so you don’t want to get into the water with them if possible. Instead, you can throw out the ring buoy, cushion, or other device to keep them afloat while bringing them back toward the boat.

Distress Signals

Your boat should have a working VHF-FM radio on hand just in case you need to call for help through Channel 16. On top of that, you need visual and audible distress signals on hand. On the audible side, whistles, bells, and fog horns work best. As for visual signals, bring vivid orange flags plus a flare gun, strobe light, and ultra-bright waterproof flashlight.

First Aid Kit

Cuts, sunburns, and even bee stings can all occur while out boating. So, you should have a first aid kit on hand to provide immediate support in the event of an injury, illness, or allergic reaction.

Your kit should have:

  • Bandages
  • Gauze pads
  • Medical tape
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Ice pack
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Thermometer
  • Multitool
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Allergy medication
  • Emergency blanket
  • Sunblock
  • Aloe vera gel

You can either buy a pre-made kit, and then add whatever extra items you think you’ll need. Or just buy all the items separately and put them in a waterproof box.

Fire Extinguishers

If your boat uses fuel for its motor, cooking equipment, and the like, then you must have a fire extinguisher onboard. You’ll need to get at least one Class 5B:C or 10B:C fire extinguisher to stay in compliance with the law. The exact type and total number of fire extinguishers needed depends on the size of your vessel.

Additional Boat Safety Items

Other boat safety equipment to have onboard includes:

  • Extra water
  • Protein-rich snacks
  • Compass
  • Oars
  • Bilge pump (or bucket)
  • Anchor with 15 metres of rope
  • Spare clothes for all passengers

Beyond that, don’t forget to put together a tool kit complete with a few extra small engine parts and other components you could need while out on the water.

How to Store Your Boat Safety Equipment

You must store your boat safety kit in a location that proves wholly accessible in an emergency. If possible, put all the items you can in a waterproof container. Then, put the life jackets, ring buoy, bilge pump, oars, fire extinguishers, and other emergency equipment in easy-to-reach locations.

No matter where you put all the items, go over the location of all the boat safety equipment with your passengers before each trip. Every person onboard should know where to find each item and how to best use them to resolve the matter at hand – even the kids.

Ready to Hit the Water After Building your Boat Safety Kit?

As you make boat safety a top priority, don’t forget the insurance to back it up. With the right level of coverage, you can protect your vessel, navigational equipment, and personal effects. On top of that, the policy ensures you’re covered in case you cause damage to other watercraft in your vicinity. To learn more about all the boat insurance coverage options, call 844-929-4768 to speak to our team at Wayfarer Insurance Group. We look forward to helping you get set up for all your upcoming boating adventures.

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