Most of the time, enjoying the fun and sun on your luxury motor yacht is a completly safe and trouble free experience. However, as the Boy Scouts of America say, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t “Be Prepared.”
Here is a list of the safety gear and equipment you should have on your yacht. Some of these items are required, others are just very good ideas!
US Coast Guard Requirements
The US Coast requires that there be a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) for each person aboard your vessel. There are Types I, II, III, or V PFDs. Which type you need and how many are determined by the size of your boat. You can see which you need, and a complete breakdown of other mandated gear here on the list of US Coast Guard Minimum Requirements for Recreational Boats.
As the name of the list implies, this is only the minimum gear you need to have by federal law. Here is a list of other gear you definitely should have on board any motor yacht. Going beyond the minimum makes sure that you, your crew and your passengers will be prepared, and help ensure a better chance of survival, and a quicker rescue, in the event of an emergency.
EPIRB – An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is an essential marine safety device. An EPIRB can send a distress signal with your exact coordinates to the Coast Guard or other searchers for increased likelihood of rescue. An EPIRB can be self-activating when immersed in water, or activated by hand and worn on a person or attached to a boat. Your tender, and/or any auxiliary vessel serving as a lifeboat should absolutely be equipped with an EPIRB.
VHF-FM Marine Radio – In case of an emergency at sea, you should never rely on a cell phone. Any luxury yacht will certainly have a fixed VHF-FM Radio built into the electronics console, but, in the event that you have to abandon ship, you should also have one or two hand-held marine VHF-FM radios on board. The US Coast Guard constantly monitors Channel 16, which never has spotty reception, and they or any nearby boaters can always hear a “mayday.”
A Chartplotter – Electronic chartplotters are increasingly found as original equipment on upscale motor yachts, however if yours does not have one, you should consider adding one during your next electronics upgrade. A chartplotter tells you exactly where you are, and also includes GPS and RADAR built in, both of which could prove invaluable if you wind up off course.
Emergency Flares – While EPIRBs increase the likelihood of a rescue, they should not be considered a substitute, or replacement for the “old standby” – rescue flares. There are different types of signal flares, for day and night visibility, smokers, parachute flares, etc. A good flare gun kit will be equipped with a variety of each.
Tethered Life Ring – Speaking of “old standbys” every boat should be equipped with a throwable life ring, these can be a literal “lifesaver.”
Fire Extinguishers – The USCG requires at least One B-I type approved hand portable fire extinguisher on any motor boat over 26ft in length. But again, you should go beyond the minimum and have portable extinguishers in every cabin and crew quarters. Some motor yacht owners choose to equip the engine room with an installed automatic fire suppression system.
First Aid Medical Kits – There should always be a well-stocked first aid and medical kit on board. There are several very good, pre-packed professional kits available wherever marine supplies are sold. Some yacht owners also choose to equip their vessels with an Automatic External Defibrillator, or AED.
On Demand Yachting Provides Peace of Mind
When it comes to making sure you and all of your guests are as safe as possible, having the right safety gear on board is only part of the equation. In the unlikely event it is ever needed, you must also ensure that the gear is ready and operational. That means batteries need to be checked and replaced, fire extinguishers maintained and recharged as necessary, first aid kits restocked, etc.
Maintaining your yachts safety gear at operational readiness is just one of the services you can count on from our On Demand Yachting Solution.
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.