Safety Equipment You Should Have On Your Boat When You Go Sailing

 In case you own a boat, you may be already familiar with all the safety requirements in place for your type of marine transportation device. However, even the most informed people might not be aware of all the details, so here they are, shortlisted for your convenience.

General safety equipment requirements

We will go a little bit more in detail later, but, for now, let’s get familiar with the kind of safety equipment that should be on a boat, regardless of its length or what type of water bodies you intend to sail on.

At a minimum, any boat should have on board the following:

- Life jackets or PDFs (personal floatation devices) for all the people who travel by boat
- Visual distress signals
- A whistle (or a bell)
- A fire extinguisher

Even if you are on the water, fires can still break out, for various reasons, so it is a good idea to have a fire extinguisher made for boats.
Another thing you should know is that the fuel compartment (or the engine compartment) should have two ventilation ducts so that, in case one fails, the other still ensures that there is plenty of air that can get inside and cool the engine.

How much does this equipment cost?

One thing you may be interested in learning is how much you are going to spend to make sure that your boat is adequately equipped to comply with all the safety standards in place. The total should amount to 250 dollars unless you opt for some really fancy items and you don’t mind splurging a little.

Additional requirements

All boats for personal use are split into categories, and the Coast Guard has a few extra recommendations for each of them. Especially if you own a longer boat, you should be interested in learning about all the requirements.

For boats under 16 feet

The first category we’re going to talk about covers a large number of private boats, so the chances are yours is part of it, too. The life jackets for the boat passengers should be approved by the Coast Guard, and they should be a good fit for the people who are going to wear them.
A fire extinguisher is needed only if your boat has a motor. A backfire flame arrestor is another requirement on the list. You should have a type of lighting on your boat so that you are easy to spot in the dark.

For boats between 16 and 26 feet

Besides the requirements listed above, you will notice that such boats will need a larger variety of visual distress signals. So, on these boats, you should have readily available, three handheld red flares, or one handheld red flare and two parachute flares, or one handheld orange flare and two floating orange flares, plus an electric light.

For boats between 26 feet and 40 feet

If you read the requirements made public by the Coast Guard, you will see that they remain more or less the same. However, you should know that the weight of the extinguisher, for instance, varies, since you will need a more powerful device if you have to put out a fire that breaks out on a bigger boat.

In brief

While there are other recommendations for larger boats in place, they are not much different from the ones listed earlier. Another thing you should bear in mind is that you should have all the life jackets stored somewhere that makes them easy to access.

Don’t forget to bring a fire extinguisher if you are on a motorized boat, and have a first aid kit ready. While the latter is not a requirement, it is good to have one at the ready in case someone gets hurt.
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