Basic Essential Equipment

The following equipment should be considered essential or safe boating, please check that you or your boat has this equipment;

Navigation Aids
In all but the smallest of boats you will need a chart. If you go more than a mile or two from shore you will need a compass. A GPS and a depth sounder are worth considering. Exactly what you carry will depend on the size and type of boat and how far from land you go. Talk to Coastguard or the Maritime NZ for advice.

Communication Equipment
This includes VHF radio, flares, locator beacons and cellphones. On any trip you need to carry at least two means of communication and three means if you are over 2 miles from shore. Don’t drown because you cannot tell someone you need help. The number of lives lost could be reduced by 50% if a waterproof means of communicating distress was carried on all boats under 6 metres.

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

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

Boat Hook
As well as being used to pick up lines, buoys and objects in the water, your boat hook can be used for checking the depth of water, pushing off or help in recovering a person overboard.

Life Jackets and Buoyancy Aids
you must always carry one of the correct size for each person on board. Wearing it is mandatory at all times of increased risk.

Always carry a torch with spare batteries and bulb.

Alternative Power
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.

Radar Reflector
Assists other vessels to see small boats at night.

Protective Clothing
Carry adequate warm, protective clothing.

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 to the length of the boat and a non-floating rope well secured to the boat.

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.

Always carry an extra length (or two) of rope, you never know when you might need to use it.

Throwing Line
A floating line at least 12 metres in length with a floating weight at one end.

Has many uses – keep it sharp.

Further information on Safe boating can be sourced from here.