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Essential Safety Equipment at Sea

Essential Safety Equipment at Sea

Let’s be honest, owning a boat is pretty cool, and it’s easy to feel invincible as you parade in it as a result of that. The truth of the matter, though is that you’re only as invincible as your boat is, and your boat is not always going to be able to protect you. Safety equipment is a must for any seafarer, no matter how often you take your vessel for a ride.

Indeed, we cannot stress how essential it is that you look out for your safety, and safety equipment is just one part of the whole process. You also need to make sure that you make all the necessary preparations and preventative measures before each journey, such as checking the weather forecast, planning the route, testing your equipment and so on. You also need to make sure that you learn how to handle yourself in emergency situations.

If you take all that into consideration as well as make sure you’re equipped with all the right safety gear, you’ll have every right to act like a champion in the sea. What counts as proper safety gear, though?

Costs of purchasing safety gear for your yacht

It’s a predictable statement, but we have to make it: the ultimate cost for not properly investing in safety gear for your yacht is your life.

The truth is that once you start spending money on safety equipment, the investment can run into the hundreds and thousands of whatever currency you’re using, especially considering that you can never be too safe.

Also keep in mind that essentially wherever you go it will be required by law that your boat is equipped with the right gear. Standards and requirements will vary from place to place, but you will be expected to meet a basic demand, and you can get penalties if you don’t.

What that basically means is that you’re definitely going to have to bite the bullet and not make cost too huge of a consideration here, because if the worst comes to the worst and you’re not properly equipped, you might not get all that much sympathy.

Basic safety equipment list.

As we wrote above, you can never be too safe, and that means that the list of safety gear never really ends. Nonetheless, there’s no need to feel lost if you’re trying to start with the basics.

Here’s a comprehensive list of some of the items you’re going to want to have with on your next time out at sea:

  • Life jackets (one for every person on board) and a life raft
  • Handheld flares, buoyant smoke signals, and signal rockets
  • A Marine VHF RadioA compassSound signal
  • Paddles/oars
  • Thermal protective suits and dry suits
  • Lifebuoys
  • Anchor and chain line
  • A waterproof torch
  • Water and food supplies for emergency
  • A grab bag with additional supplies and tools

Medical emergencies on board

A first aid kit is essential on any kind of boating vessel, and when travelling it really should be the norm that at least one person is certified to provide first aid. This relates to what we said before, that safety gear is not the whole part of your safety. Take seminars, and learn how to deal with these situations. A first aid kit is only as good of your knowledge of how to use it.

When catering for the possibility of medical emergencies, there are some things that you need to bring on a boat that you might not immediately think of. Powerful sunscreen is something you definitely need, as is plenty of high energy nourishment.

Of course, if you think that any situation might be remotely serious, head back to shore, or contact your local assistance radio channel.

In case of fire or structural damage

Fire at sea? Yes, it’s definitely possible, and because seawater is not necessarily going to help put out technology or oil induced fires (and even if it would, you’d risk damaging your vessel more), you need fire extinguishers and fire blankets on board.

If your boat has incurred structural damage, take no risks. Anchor the boat (and this is where a second anchor can really come in handy), and make a distress call, ideally to your channel 16, but also with your flares or distress whistle if needed.


Is anything more enjoyable than enjoying the sea breeze in your yacht on a lovely day? Probably not. However, there’s also nothing scarier than not having access to safety gear that you desperately need. When it comes to your life, don’t take shortcuts.

Plus, if you’re fully equipped, you’ll never have to make a journey with a haunting voice at the back of your mind, worrying whether you’re safe or not. If you’re safe, you can sail with confidence!

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