Learn which boating equipment is essential to both safety and enjoyment on the water.
Purchasing the proper boating equipment is vital to ensuring a safe and successful time on the water. Boating accidents and malfunctions are always a possibility, so it's important to have the right boating equipment to keep all passengers safe. A boater should have a number of items on board in case of an emergency.
When considering what boating equipment is essential for safety, boaters should remember the importance of communication devices. A number of useful technological gadgets allow a boater to contact others in case of an emergency.
A boaters clothing and accessory choices aren't simply about making a fashion statement; they are an important part of staying safe. Owning and wearing the proper boating attire is important for any passenger's comfort and protection.
According to Boating Life, sunglasses are as important to a boater as any other piece of boating equipment. When spending long hours on the water, proper eye protection is imperative. Good sunglasses with UV filters protect eyes from retina damage. Eyes that are unprotected or only covered by cheap, ineffective sunglasses are susceptible to a number of vision disorders.
Since rain can pelt a boat at up to 100 miles per hour, it is important for boaters to find protective rain gear that is resilient. Boaters should look for rain jackets made of drier fabrics with tight zippers. Jackets should be flexible and comfortable. Boating Life tests and ranks jackets of all types in its annual Summer Guide.
Some clothing is specifically designed with the safety of boaters in mind.
SolarTex offers trendy swimwear for with built-in sun protection to block the most damaging rays. Wide-rimmed hats, such as those made by Tilley Endurables, help protect boaters from the sun and elements. Tilley hats are waterproof and have a special, hidden pocket to store and protect important items, such as money, licenses or other documents.
A life vest, or personal flotation device (PFD), is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment for boaters. By law, every boat must carry one wearable PFD for each person onboard. Life vests must be U.S. Coast Guard approved, in good condition and the proper size for each passenger. Life vests can be divided into two categories: inherently buoyant devices, which contain materials such as foam panels that allow passengers to float; and inflatable devices, which are inflated manually or automatically as needed. Many improvements have been made to PFDs in recent years, allowing boaters and passengers to choose from a wide array based on personal preference, style and comfort.
Boaters should always have a first aid kid on board in case of injury. First aid kits can be purchased or assembled at home. The American Red Cross recommends that every first aid kit contain adhesive bandages, antibiotic ointment, gauze and tape, a blanket, bandages, a thermometer, scissors, aspirin and a first aid instruction book.
BoatingBasicsOnline.com also recommends that boaters include bug spray, a flashlight, sunscreen, motion sickness tablets and a loud whistle in their first aid kits.