As a boat owner, safety should always be your priority. Therefore,  if you have recently acquired a boat, it’s important that you equip it with the appropriate safety devices that will save lives should something untoward happen during your boating trip. You and your passengers will have peace of mind knowing that your boat is fully prepared for any emergency and you will also be meeting government requirements. Here are some essential pieces of marine safety equipment you should always have in your boat.


Lifejackets are the most important piece of safety equipment all recreational vessels should have. As such, ensure that every person boarding your boat has a lifejacket. Each lifejacket must be of the correct size and in good condition. If it’s inflatable, it should be properly serviced on a regular basis.

For general boating on open waters, NSW authorities require boat owners to have a Level 100 lifejacket on their vessel. It should be worn when crossing coastal bars and must be stored or placed in a way that it can be accessed quickly and easily. When sailing on enclosed or alpine waters, unless there’s a requirement that a lifejacket must be worn by the passengers, your boat should have a lifejacket 50S or greater.


Your boat should be equipped with an anchor of the correct size and type according to your vessel and nature of the sea bed. For example, an anchor designed for rocky bottoms may not work well in sand or mud.

Fire Bucket

Another piece of boat safety equipment to have is a fire bucket. It should be made of metal, robust canvas or plastic and be carried with a lanyard attached. A fire bucket can be quite handy if you need to remove water from your vessel or put out a fire. It can also be used as a sea anchor.

Compass and Chart

According to the NSW Roads and Maritime Services, any boat that is being operated offshore must have a compass and an appropriate chart or map. This means that even if your boat has already been equipped with advanced satellite navigation devices, you must always carry a compass and chart with you. This will help you find your way back to sure if your electronic navigation equipment fails.

Fire Extinguisher

If your boat has an electric start motor, gas installation, fuel stove or battery, you must have a fire extinguisher onboard. Ensure that the fire extinguisher is appropriate for the type of fuel your boat runs on.


An EPIRBS, also known as an emergency position-indicating radiobeacon station can be the difference between life and death. These beacons send out a distress signal that can be picked up by rescuers looking for survivors in a search and rescue mission. It is well documented that the first 24 hours are the most important following a traumatic event, so never set sail without an EPIRBS

Having the equipment mentioned above and other boat safety supplies can make all the difference when you suddenly find yourself in an emergency situation.  As such, be sure to invest in the safety equipment items that are required or recommended to be carried on board your vessel before going on a boating trip.