Essential Equipment

Life Jackets


Maritime law requires ALL skippers to carry enough life jackets of the right size and type for everyone on board. Wearing one is mandatory at all times of increased risk.  Click on the image on the right for more info on "Lifejackets for Life".

Navigation Aids

In all but the smallest of boats you will need a chart and a compass if you go less than a mile or two from shore. A GPS and a depth sounder are very useful. Exactly what you carry will depend on the size and type of boat and how far from land you go.


This includes VHF radios, locator beacons, cellphones, and flares . On any trip you need to carry two means of communication and three means if you are over 2 miles from shore. The number of lives lost could be reduced by 60% if a waterproof means of communicating distress was carried on all boats under 6m.

Bailing System

Even if you carry an electric bilge pump, always carry a bucket or bailer. It can also be used to put out fires and has many other uses.


To determine the right size for your boat, the anchor should weigh not less than 1.5 kg per metre of boat length, with chain at least equal the length of the boat. A non-floating rope well secured to the boat should be as long as practicable.

Secondary Propulsion

Spare outboard, oars or paddles to help you manoeuvre the boat in the event of a power failure or if the wind dies away while sailing.

Fire Extinguisher

If you have an engine or cooker on board always carry at least one fire extinguisher that is suitable for your type of boating. Know how to use it and ensure it is serviced regularly.

First Aid Kit

Your first aid kit should contain enough supplies to cover minor accidents or injury. Remember to carry a remedy for sea sickness as well as sun block.