So, you’ve bought you’re new boat and you can’t wait to get it out on the water but hold on! There are a few essential pieces of boating equipment that you will need to buy before you get near to your first launch.
Regardless of what type of boat you’ve bought, you should wear a life jacket when you’re out on it. You may think that you’re a good swimmer but if you fall or get thrown overboard and the water is cold or rough, you won’t last long without a buoyancy aid. Make sure that you have enough life jackets for the normal number of people who will be out on your boat and don’t forget child sizes.
If you are going to race a yacht, or sale a fairly large boat, you are going to need safety harnesses. For racing, you will need the type that enables you or your crew to hang out over the side to balance the boat. For anything else, a safety line which clips onto railings or elsewhere will be adequate.
Flares: If you’re lost in the mist or the dark then flares are useful for attracting attention of other boaters or emergency services.
For pottering around your local lake in a dinghy, a handheld compass is probably adequate but if you plan on sailing further afield, you will need more sophisticated boating equipment. A GPS is a good idea, if you’ll be navigating shallow water, a depth sounder could be useful and if you’ll be traversing busy shipping lanes, radar is a must.
Most of us have mobile phones but you will need to check coverage. If you plan on going far out to sea then a marine radio is a must so that you can contact other shipping or the coastguard if you need to.
If you plan to sail at night, you will need navigation lights as well as a riding light. Check the regulations in the area in which you are sailing as to what the requirements are.
If you’ll be mooring in crowded ports or marinas, you’ll need plenty of fenders to avoid damage to your own and other boats as well as enough docking lines of sufficient length.
Many people buy a boat so that they can fish, water ski or scuba dive, all of which require specialist equipment. Check what special boating equipment you need and come back here for a browse.
You’ll find most of what you need here at BoatingPoint.com so check out our store and enjoy your boating.