It’s worth setting up a waterproof box, that can be easily stowed and secured out of the way, with the basic essentials you’ll need on board your boat. That way, once stocked, it can simply be left in place, and everything is ready and accessible. Always remember to immediately replace anything you have used from your kit, before you next head out.
Your boat registration documents are basically your driver’s licence for the boat. The easiest thing to do is to keep them in a waterproof pouch somewhere readily accessible on board. You may be asked for them by marinas, riverside mooring attendants, and, of course, the Coastguard.
These should be Coastguard approved, and there should be one for every person on board, plus a spare, ideally. The best advice is for everyone to put on a lifejacket as soon as they step aboard. As mentioned previously, lifejackets stowed out of the way are no use in an emergency. In most states, it is a legal requirement for all boats to have appropriate lifejackets on board.
A fully stocked, waterproof first aid kit
Include medication for seasickness, and foil blankets, to help combat hypothermia, as well as the usual bandages, plasters, and medical tape.
Anchor, with suitable rope or chain
Your anchor should be fixed to strong rope, cable, or chain, with at least 50feet of length.
You never know when you might need to signal for assistance. A flare or beacon will enable helicopters and other boats to easily spot your location, once they are in the area.
Most ocean-going craft are fitted with these as standard, but, if your boat isn’t, it’s a worthwhile investment – you may not be able to get cellphone coverage when you need it, and you may not know whom to call even if you can.
Snacks and fresh water
The last thing you want when you’re out on the water is to become dehydrated, or experience a blood sugar drop. Trail mix is a good choice: ensure it is securely packed in a waterproof pouch, and ideally have it in a pocket, if you can. This is more of an essential for longer trips, and those on open water.