15 essential items to bring with you when you weigh anchor
Anyone who has ever forgotten an item on a boat trip should raise their hand! We all know, it's very important to have everything you need on board to avoid any risk when the trip takes an unexpected turn. But thanks to this list, you can have peace of mind and concentrate on the pleasure of sailing.
- Important documents
It may seem evident, but you must carry your operator card with you at all times. It proves that you have the skills to operate a boat, since you had to take a boating safety course to obtain it. And don't forget to carry a secure paper copy of your boat licence or registration certificate with you.
By law, each passenger in the boat must have his or her own lifejacket, or personal flotation device. Not only is it required that they are on board, they must also be in a good and functional condition. Make sure to keep them maintained, and inspect them regularly. If they are not in proper condition, ensure you replace them.
- A fire extinguisher
It must be operational and easily accessible at all times. To learn more about the number and type of fire extinguishers you should have, click here.
- Bottles of water
Dehydration can sometimes happen unexpectedly, especially on boats. Bring more water with you than you need.
They will allow you to spot other boats, to find your bearings by observing the landscape, but also to explore the surroundings.
- Sun lotion
Even when the sky is overcast, the effects of the sun can still be felt. Always have plenty of water repellent sunscreen on hand, especially when the sun is strong.
- Signaling devices
Visual and auditory signaling devices are essential. If you run aground in the water or need to signal another boat, fog horns and flares will be very useful. Ensure they are kept in good condition.
- A first aid kit
Having a first aid kit on board can save you a lot of headaches. Gather these few items and keep them in a safe place:
- sea-sickness tablets
- antiseptic products
- gauze and other dressings to cover a wound...
- prescriptions for people on board who have a medical condition and require medication, such as diabetics or people suffering from hypertension
You can also buy a first aid kit in many stores or pharmacies.
- Non-perishable foods
In an emergency, having snacks such as nuts or granola on board can help to save your life.
- An emergency navigation device
Sometimes there is no cellular network or your GPS no longer works. What that happens, you would want to know you have reliable nautical maps and a military compass with you.
- Insect repellent
You'll be happy to have some with you, especially during mosquito season.
- A change of clothes, blankets and towels.
If it rains or you get wet, having these extra items will come in handy to avoid a cold or even hypothermia.
- A repair kit
Create your own kit to repair anything on board that might break. You can include:
- White vinegar (to remove engine clogging)
- Tool kit
- Waterproofing items
Items that are not to be wetted on the boat must be protected. No need for sophisticated marine boxes. Waterproof Ziploc style bags work very well.
- A flashlight
It's unthinkable not to bring a flashlight on board. Bring one with a high intensity and don't forget the spare batteries!
The content in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be relied upon as professional or expert advice. Aviva and the Aviva logo are trademarks of Aviva plc. and are used under licence by Aviva Canada Inc. and its subsidiary companies.