Safety Review & Improvements
There a number of little changes which you can introduce to increase safety
measures onboard your own offshore cruiser.
MOB Location & Recovery Items
- Carry two horse life buoys - it is not unknown for one to be lost after a
wave sweeps the boat
- Add drogues to the life buoys - otherwise they will drift away from
someone in the water all too quickly
- Add marine grade reflective tape to lifebuoys and dan buoys
- Paint the boat's name onto life buoys and dan buoys - it's also helpful to
paint on a contact number (easy for someone finding an errant item to check on
whether there is an incident, or for finding out who the gear is to be
- Periodically check the condition of lifebuoys - foam may eventually absorb
water, start to break up or the outer plastic covering degrade in UV sunlight.
- Replace life buoy light batteries regularly, and check operation by
turning upright before each night trip.
- Many life buoy lights have screw tops which do not have a watertight seal.
Vaseline smeared round thread and gasket, finished with tape on the outset
will help resist the likelihood of water damage.
- Boxed lifebuoy/light/drogue systems can be purchased and will go some way
to prevent the kinds of damage and loss described above.
- Add a life sling system. These often come in protective covers preventing
- To aid location and recovery of a victim in the water - add a powerful
search light to the boat's inventory - either run from a cigarette lighter
socket or battery pack.
- Keep waterproof torches in the cockpit pockets ready for use.
- Add a drogue to the dan-buoy.
- Carry a minimum of two extinguishers. At least one should be reachable
from outside the boat (a useful mounting place is on the underside of a
cockpit locker lid), and one from inside the boat.
- Equip the engine compartment with an automatic extinguisher.
- Add a first aid/medical guider to the ships inventory
- Attach in a prominent place a list of where all safety items onboard the
boat are stored
- Attach in a prominent place a list of safety procedures - pre-printed
SOLAS checklists and posters can be ordered, or you may find one in an almanac
which can be cut out and stuck onto a cabin bulkhead
- At the start of the season check your flares, and order replacements for
any near their expiry date.
- Check extinguishers to see whether still in service (typically denoted by
a gauge where a needle in the green sector indicates a satisfactory
condition). Note that the life of extinguishers if they are periodically
rotated to move around the contents inside.
With the above gear onboard don't forget to ensure the crew no where it is
located, and how the items are operated. See
Safety Briefing and Safety Drills for more information.