Safety at Sea

6 Safety Items to Include on Pleasure Craft

A well-prepared selection of safety equipment is certain to help in difficult situations.

Buoyancy Aid

Here are six of the most common items to keep on board the vessel:

Smoke alarm

A high-quality smoke alarm is designed to emit a LOUD noise which should be easily heard over other sounds on the boat, such as the engines. Also, a loud smoke detector is practical for alerting the offices at the boat yard should a fire break when the vessel is left unoccupied.

Fire extinguishers

A vessel should be installed with a sufficient number of fire extinguishers to match the type and size of vessel. Plus, boats with a cabin or cooking facilities can benefit from a fire blanket. An automatic fire extinguisher system is highly recommended in vessels with an enclosed engine space. A small fire extinguisher located by each cabin is a practical option. Plus, a carbon monoxide alarm is helpful for vessels with cookers or similar applications with flames.

Emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB)

An EPIRB is a radio transmitter that emits a signal on a specific channel in the event of emergencies or distress. Signals emitted from the radio beacon are recognized by satellites and these are effective at pinpointing the location of the signal. This information is then passed on to the rescue services.

An emergency position indicating radio beacon can be registered with the local coastguard service to make it easier to identify the boat in distress, while also giving information on contacts that are shore based.

Distress flares

An instantly recognizable signal of distress is the inshore or coastal flares. Distress flares should form part of any well-packed inventory of safety equipment.

First aid kit

A fully stocked first aid kit is likely to be the most common piece of safety equipment that is kept on board a vessel.

Life jackets and buoyancy aids

There are two types of personal floatation devices: Life jackets and buoyancy aids

A regular buoyancy aid is effective at keeping anyone in the water afloat and on the surface. It is a practical choice while involved in a sports activity or similar. However, this type of buoyancy aid isn’t helpful if the person is unconscious and their face is facing down.

The preferred choice for life safety is the life jacket which has built-in buoyancy to help turn a person so that they are facing up, which is a practical benefit for those knocked unconscious. A proper life jacket is critical in situations of abandoning ship or similar emergencies. Plus, an infant or child life jacket is available to ensure the right fit and support is given.

What to wear?

Buoyancy aid: Use the buoyancy aid when engaging in water sport activities like water skiing, canoeing, kayaking; windsurfing, riding a personal watercraft (PWC), or using a sailing dinghy.

Life jacket: A life jacket is the safety option when on a small open or power boat. A boat should have one life jacket for each person on board. Use a life jacket at all times for the non-swimmer when out on rivers, lakes, canals, or other open waters.

Boating & Marine Accessories

6 Security Devices to Protect Your Boat

Marine crime can vary significantly and range from a stolen vessel to acts of vandalism.

Boat Alarm SystemA would-be intruder has the potential to attack hundreds of boats that are left unattended in marinas or boat yards up and down the country. Boats can be left unoccupied for 3-4 weeks in marinas and harbors or estuaries and rivers. Plus, most high-end electronics can easily be sold on.

Here are six of the most-effective security methods to help deter the would-be thief:

Alarm (Equipment)

A vessel is often left moored up with a wide range of vulnerable equipment left on the deck. This gear is mostly too big, dirty, or heavy to store elsewhere. An equipment alarm is possible with one of the high-tech perimeter systems which can be located around the equipment that is appealing to the would-be thief. A cable is easily connected to all relevant items and will emit a loud noise should it be cut or otherwise tampered with.

Boat alarm

Modern boat alarms range from high-end sophisticated models to basic systems. Alarms at the low-end of the scale are designed with a sensor to detect the opening of doors and hatches. A boat owner is alerted to any intrusion by a LOUD audible alarm that is installed within the vessel. A more high-tech system is built with an alarm that transmits a signal to a remote monitoring center to ensure security personnel are alerted as soon as possible. Alternatively, a boat alarm can connect to a CCTV system to enable remote monitoring of the boat from the office or home.

Doors and hatches

Boats with built in hatchways rely on a sliding hatch and drop-in boards to help with securing the vessel – although a padlock system is the most reliable. A more secure system relies on a rim lock or similar that is installed on the inside of the vessel. Plus, a vessel with sliding doors can be made more secure by installing the plunger type locks.

Outboard motor

Most of the small-size outboard motors are secured using screw clamps or similar which makes it possible for the boat owner to lift off and relocate elsewhere if required. This means of attaching to the transom is not theft resistant.

Outboard motor security is easily upgraded with a proprietary lock such as the stainless steel tubes that have a barrel lock at one end and slot to prevent the removal of the motor once mounted to the transom.

Wheel clamp

The most efficient method to secure a road trailer against theft is to attach a wheel clamp when left unattended. A further issue to factor in the purchase is the chosen wheel clamp is approved and accepted by the insurance company. A hitch lock and wheel clamp is the most effective method to protect the trailer against theft.


Even if the motor-driven or sail boat is fitted with reliable door locks the windows might let the security down, especially if installed with clips or similar light security. Upgrade clips that are easily forced with proper lockable systems.