8 Essential Supplies You Should Always Carry on Your Boat in South Florida

8 Essential Supplies You Should Always Carry on Your Boat in South Florida

Boats are wonderful inventions, and nothing compares to piloting your dream boat in open water. But with great fun comes great responsibility. Maybe you’re looking for boats for sale in Jupiter, Florida, or you’ve been a boat owner for years. Either way, you need to have a list of the essential supplies before your boat leaves the dock! 

1. Life Jackets for Every Passenger

Some items are recommended, and others are required by law. Life jackets are the latter. Keep in mind that children will need smaller life jackets than adults. 

You may also see the term personal flotation device (PFD), which is the same thing. Depending on what kind of water you’re boating in, such as rough ocean water or calm inland water, you will need different PFDs:

  • Type I: Provides high buoyancy for remote, long-timeframe rescues
  • Type II: Recommended for calm waters where the person will most likely be rescued quickly
  • Type III: Used for paddlers and offers lots of freedom of movement

You may also want to carry Type IV devices, such as life rings, as well as Type V devices designed for specific water activities like waterskiing or windsurfing.

2. Distress Signals

By law, you must have some sort of auditory and visual distress signals on board. Horns or referee whistles will work for auditory signals, while visual signals can be red signal flags, orange smoke signals, or parachute flares.

3. Fire Extinguisher

It might seem strange that watercraft need fire extinguishers. But by the time the water around you takes care of the flames, the fire will have already destroyed your boat. The law requires:

  • Boats 40 to 65 Feet: Three B-I fire extinguishers and one B-II extinguisher
  • Boats 26 to 40 Feet: Two B-I fire extinguishers or one B-II extinguisher
  • Boats Under 26 Feet: One B-I fire extinguisher

B-I extinguishers must contain at least two pounds of dry chemical, while B-II extinguishers must contain at least ten pounds.

4. Other Safety Requirements

There are a few final pieces of the legally required safety puzzle. Your boat must also have backfire flame control, navigation lights, and ventilation for closed engines. You should also have a radio and cell phone to call for help. 

When you’re shopping at a south Florida boat dealer, you can always ask for details about the safety equipment on offer.

5. Medical Kits

Some safety items are not legally required, but they’re a good idea to bring along. You’ll want to be able to take care of scrapes and cuts, as well as small emergencies. It’s also smart to keep some seasickness medicine for more sensitive passengers.

6. Sunscreen

Boating in south Florida means lots of sun exposure. Keep your skin protected! You’ll probably want to bring hats and sunglasses, too.

7. Food and Water

If you plan on being on the water for many hours, bring some snacks and beverages. Go for nutritious, filling foods, not just junk like cookies and chips. As for beverages, stick to water. It’s healthier than soft drinks, and unlike beer or wine, it won’t impair your ability to pilot the boat.

8. Water Shoes and Gloves

Decks can get really slippery, and you’ll need the traction of water shoes. If you’re fishing, gloves will come in handy when you’re holding a line or grabbing a flopping fish.

Shopping for Boats for Sale in Jupiter, Florida? Be Prepared!

Every boat needs to be ready for a day of fun on the water. Get stocked up so you don’t have to think about it before you head out. The more you prepare now, the more fun you can have later!

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