What Safety Equipment should you have aboard your sailboat?
We recently held a hands-on safety equipment seminar at Herrington Harbour Marina along with Atlantic Rigging, USA Services and North Sails. Several attendees asked if we would put our equipment list on-line.


After the flare demonstration, we all agreed that SOLAS flares are the ones we want to use to signal for help. They are more expensive, but you get what you pay for. SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) is a standard that must be met by commercial vessels and the Offshore Racing Council (ORC).



Federal Requirements:

Make sure items are USCG approved, in date and proper size/quantities for your vessel are aboard.


1.  PFD's

2.  Fire Extinguishers

3.  Sound Signal

4.  Running Lights

5.  Visual Distress Signals

ASA, USCGAUX and TSA Recommendations:


1. Anchor and Anchor rode (at least two of each)

2. Bailer or bilge pump

3. Flashlight and batteries

4. Sharp rigging knife

5. Tool kit and spare parts

6. Navigation charts and equipment

7. Compass

8. Binoculars

9. Bosun's Chair

10. Soft Wood Plugs

11. VHF (SSB or Sat Comm if offshore)

12. EPIRB
13. Safety harnesses and tethers for ea. crew

14. Jack lines

15. Life Buoy/Life sling

16. Buoyant Heaving Line

17. Inflatable Life Raft

18. Dinghy

19. Tow rope

20. Water proof light on each life jacket

21. Fog Horn

22. Boat Hook
23. Detectors and Alarms    (bilge water, fume,           carbon monoxide         detectors)

24. Lead line

25. Radar reflector

26. Heavy Weather sails

27. Drogue

28. Sea Anchor

29. Dive mask and snorkel

30. Dive light

31. First Aid kit

32. Rapid Ditch Bag

33. Dinghy safety kit


Rapid Ditch Bag Recommendations:


1. Waterproof handheld    VHF transceiver

2. Waterproof GPS

3. Portable EPIRB

4. Plastic drinking vessels

5. Chemical light sticks

6. Dive light

7. Signaling mirror

8. Whistle(s)

9. Two red parachute    flares and three red       hand held flares

10. Food rations

11. Fresh water, at

least 1/2 Liter per person

12. Hand op. desalinater

13. Fishing supplies

14. Plastic sheets/bags

15. Space blankets

16. Work gloves

17. Repair kit

18. Knife and multi-tool

19. Sponges

20. Reflective tape

21. Navigation kit

22. Photocopies of crew    passports and ships      papers

23. Waterproof matches

24. Emergency radar       reflector

25 Cash in small             denominations



Dinghy Kit Recommendations:


1. Dinghy anchor and rode

2. Bow and stern dock      lines, small fenders

3. Drogue

4. Battery op running       lights

5. flares sealed vacuum    pack

6. Waterproof VHF

7. Hand bearing compass

8. Waterproof chart for    area cruising

9. First aid kit

10. Drinking water

11. Multi-tool

12. bailer/hand bilge pump

13. Tow line

14. Specific tool kit with   spares for outboard          engine

15. Patch kit and pump    for inflatables or RIBs