As part of basic boat safety, the legal requirements for small pleasure craft in Canada you need to have certain items aboard your boat at all times.
I’ve got one of these boat safety Classic Accessories Marine Safety Kits that is easy to throw into the boat and has the necessary items included inside at all times, keeping me legal on the water.
One thing about this boat safety kit, the small container is easy to throw into the boat and forget about it. The only thing I would say about that idea is that you need to ensure that the flashlight has batteries and the batteries are fresh.
I suppose it’s something, probably more than many boaters would have if they weren’t required by law to carry them. Somehow I can’t see me using the heaving line, but I guess you never know, strange things can happen and emergencies can happen when you least expect it. Along with this boat safety kit, I usually carry my own boat safety supplies, including some tools, a flashlight or two, a knife, all kinds of rope…most boaters are pretty well stocked up. However, that’s the weird thing about legislation, even if what you have is better than what is required, it needs to match the requirements to keep you legal. So I have one of these kits in both of my boats along with the boat safety gear I normally carry.
This boat safety kit contains:
*15m buoyant heaving line with float
*Whistle signaling device with lanyard
*Watertight flashlight (batteries not included)
*Waterproof screw-top lid with easy-open grip
*Rugged safety orange plastic case with attachment lanyard, doubles as a bailing bucket
I find the toughest part is remembering to keep fresh batteries in the flashlight, although I typically have another working flashlight with me at all times anyway because I carry a Maglite 3D / 2AA LED Flashlight on my belt most of the time, but in the event of an emergency after dark, having an extra flashlight is a good idea.
Besides the boat safety emergency kit, it’s also a good idea to have paddles or oars, an extra bailer made from a Javex bottle and a small tool kit on boat, screwdrivers, needlenose pliers, sparkplug wrench and spare sparkplugs. We have whistles attached to all our lifejackets as well, something that would be very nice to have in the unhappy event we ended up in the water in the fog or after dark. Three blasts on a whistle, repeated regularly is a distress signal.
Another thing I never venture out on our lake without is a small handheld compass. We often get some pretty foggy conditions and it’s a big lake making it very easy to get turned around in the fog. Knowing how our lake is situated in terms of the compass points, is very helpful in the event we cannot see shore. I carry a Silva Starter Compass It’s an easy compass to use.
Don’t forget, if you are operating a boat in Canada, you need a boater competency card.
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