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Safety and boating go hand in hand. No matter what, safety must always prevail and this requires you to do more than the bare minimum because your well-being depends on it.
Whether you are cruising for fun, fishing, wake surfing, or skiing, there are important safety tools and equipment that must accompany the boat all the time. Here are some must-have safety equipment and gear to include in your boating checklist before beginning your activities as regulations demand.
Lifejacket and floating gear
Learn about boating regulations through the BoatSmart exam preparation guide and useful online courses on https://www.boatsmartexam.com/us/california/. You learn about boating equipment which is important because US boating regulations require all boats to carry lifeboats approved by a US Coast Guard. The lifejacket must be in an appropriate condition for use by boaters.
Wearing a US Coast Guard-approved life jacket will reduce the chances of accidental drawing. Statistics show that most people who drowned forgot to get a proper floating device before getting on the boat.
Just like a seatbelt in a car, a lifejacket reduces your chances of drowning from potential danger. A personal floating device and a lifejacket must be properly scrutinized on their condition and approved for use.
Fire extinguisher equipment
A fire extinguisher device is an important prerequisite for any boat that wants to set sail in US waters. The extinguishers must also be approved by a US Coast Guard who ensures it meets the minimum safety equipment regulations. A fire extinguisher will help when there is a potential fire crisis.
There are different types of fire extinguishers for boats. Generally, you can use an approved B-I or a B-II fire extinguisher on your boat. Before setting the boat on a cruise, ensure you and your fellow boaters learn how to use the fire extinguisher so that you are prepared in case of a fire crisis.
Sound signaling equipment
Sound signaling devices are important as they will help you, especially when the waterway is not clear because of fog or invisibility. It also helps you navigate the waterways safely as you can prompt it to warn other boaters in emergency cases. Sound devices on a boat include horns, whistles, or bells for large boats, which help signal during such invisible moments.
The US boating regulations require all boats below 36 feet and 4 inches must carry a sound signaling device or a means of providing sufficient sound. Boats over 39 feet must produce sound for at least six seconds and be heard half a mile.
Visual signal equipment
Visual devices are also a prerequisite for any boat as per US regulations. Visual signaling devices vary depending on the size of the vessel. They come in a variety of packages depending on the size of the boat and state regulation the vessel is operating in.
The visual devices range from handheld boat flare, red meteor, orange visual flags, and electronic devices and floating smoke signals. Vessels below 16 feet must carry flares and nighttime signals when on water. Vessels above 16 feet are required to carry visual signals all the time. Some devices can self-launch, while others need a flare gun to launch.
A ventilation device can come in handy, especially if you have part of your boat enclosed. The regulations and good boatman practice demand a piece of ventilation equipment to accompany a gasoline-powered boat as an initial safety measure.
A proper ventilation device enables the boat to get a free flow of fresh air and prevents bad pongs as well as mildew from getting in the boat.
In cases of carbon monoxide and gasoline getting inside the boat, a ventilator will help calm the situation. A proper ventilator should have an inlet and an outlet with ducts that extend and fit into the boat appropriately.
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