Boating Safety Equipment

Boating safety equipment is essential to have aboard your watercraft. Your life may depend upon it!

It's necessary to have boating safety equipment every time you leave shore. Whether you have a yacht, house boat, pontoon, or even a small fishing boat, when you are out on the water you need to be equipped for safety.

Essential Items

First and foremost, every individual aboard your boat (regardless of their swimming abilities) should wear a life jacket or personal floatation device (PFD). Today’s PFD options are much less bulky and obtrusive than life jackets and are no more of a hassle to wear than a light fabric vest. Always wear a life jacket or PFD, and ensure the ones you wear fit properly and are working effectively (no missing parts, etc.)

Your boat should also have a stocked first-aid and emergency kit. Depending on how far you are from home, you'll want to keep items such as:

    • first-aid supplies
    • drinking water
    • non-perishable snacks
    • horns or whistles
    • flares
    • spotlight or searchlight
    • fire extinguisher
    • compass
    • oars or paddles
    • basic tools
    • a map

If you are on a large boat, you should have room for a self-inflating life raft in case of emergency.

Boating should be a fun hobby but is not completely carefree. Safety is a priority, and every boat should be operated by someone who knows safety and has knowledge about general guidelines for boating. Safety courses for boaters are offered everywhere, and your insurance company might even offer a reduced premium if you have taken an accredited safety course.

Boating safety equipment should be aboard your vessel every time the boat leaves shore, regardless of how short a trip you expect to take. Remember that boating and alcohol do not mix. Prior to each departure, a safety check should take place to ensure that everything you need is with you, everyone aboard is protected with a life jacket or PFD, and the boat has been looked over for safety concerns.


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