1. Life Jackets
It is imperative that all individuals onboard a boat have a life jacket, and must be worn when the boat is underway. This is the law in most countries, and for good reason: life jackets are designed to keep a person afloat if they fall overboard, as well as limit their head and neck movements so as to reduce the risk of drowning.
2. Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is an essential item for any boat, as it can help put out a fire before it gets out of control. The type and size of the fire extinguisher should correspond to the size and type of boat you have, so be sure to read up on what kind you need before purchasing one.
3. Visual Distress Signals
These are important signals used in emergency situations where a vessel is in trouble and needs help from other boats or aircraft nearby. A variety of distress signals can be deployed including signal flares, signal mirrors, smoke signals, or sound-producing devices like bells and whistles.
4. Ventilation System
Having a good ventilation system is essential in order to keep the interior of your boat free from fumes and other hazardous gases. Proper ventilation also helps reduce condensation and maintain a comfortable temperature inside the cabin.
5. Bilge Pump/Floatsam Clearing Equipment
Bilge pumps remove water that has accumulated within the hull of your boat, while floatsam clearing equipment helps remove debris such as logs, plastic bags, seaweed, or anything else that might have been caught up in the engine or elsewhere on board.
6. Navigation Lights & Aids To Navigation (ATON)
Navigation lights help other boaters or ships see your boat while you are underway. The lights must be visible from all directions, and should correspond to the size and type of vessel so that they can be seen clearly. ATONs help boaters with navigation by providing information about hazards, depths, buoys, etc.
7. Radio Communication
Having a radio on board your boat is essential for communication in emergency situations as well as for general conversation between boats in the area. Marine radios use specific frequencies which are regulated and monitored by the Coast Guard or other maritime authorities.
8. Inflatable PFDs or Throwable Flotation Devices:
Inflatable PFDs provide extra buoyancy when needed, and throwable flotation devices such as life rings and buoys can be used to rescue someone who has gone overboard. It is required by law in most countries that at least one inflatable PFD or throwable flotation device is on board for each person on the boat.
9. Anchor/Line & Moorings
An anchor and line help keep your boat stationary, while moorings tie the boat to a dock or other vessels. Having an adequate anchoring system as well as mooring lines ensures that your boat will remain safe and secure when not in use.
10. First Aid Kit & Emergency Supplies
Every boat should have a first aid kit that contains the basic items needed in case of an injury or illness, such as bandages, antiseptic ointment and gauze. It’s also important to have emergency supplies on board, such as a flashlight, flares, maps and compasses. Other safety items like rope and fenders can also be stored in the kit.