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Boating Accessories and Boating Safety Equipment

Boating Accessories and Boating Safety Equipment

Choose from marine safety products and accessories, like safety jackets, waterproof cases and bags, life rafts, safety whistles, safety rings, first aid kits, and more.

Boat Safety Resources & Information

PartsVu is thrilled to offer a wide selection of boat safety products and accessories because safe boating is fun boating. We stock boating safety products from some of the most trusted boating product manufacturers, like Seachoice, Taylor Made, and many others.

Looking for boat safety products? Check out our complete selection of critical items, including:

Marine Safety Equipment FAQs

What are the US Coastguard guidelines concerning life jackets?

While you must refer to the boating regulations within your state, minimum U.S. federal law requires a life jacket to be carried for each person on board. In states where no children’s life jacket law is in place, a U.S. Coast Guard interim rule requires children under 13 on moving boats to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket that fits. Personal flotation device (PDF) guidelines are provided by the U.S. Coast Guard:

  • Type I PFDs/Offshore Life Jackets – Best for all waters including open ocean, rough seas, or remote water, where rescue may be slow.
  • Type II PDFs/Near-Shore Buoyant Vests – For general boating activities and good for calm, inland waters, or where there is a good chance for fast rescue.
  • Type III PFDs/Flotation Aids – For general boating or the specialized activity that is marked on the device, such as water skiing, hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and others. Good for calm, inland waters, or where there is a good chance for fast rescue. These PDFs are designed to complement the given watersport.

Along with many other boat safety products, PartsVu offers a wide range of life jackets. See the links below for our most recommended or click here to view our complete selection.

Why should I get a marine first aid kit? 

Smart boating involves being prepared to address injuries or even medical emergencies out on the water. The type of marine first aid kit or medical kit needed depends on the type of boating being pursued. For example, near-shore boating in frequently traveled areas likely requires only a fairly basic first aid kit to treat minor cuts, insect stings, sunburns, and other similar injuries. However, offshore boating requires being prepared for true medical emergencies where help could be a few hours away, and lives could be at stake.

PartsVu recommends the following medical kits:

  • Orion Safety Products Daytripper First Aid Kit – Great for day trips
  • Orion Safety Products Coastal First Aid Kit – Perfect for inshore and near-shore fisherman
  • Orion Safety Products Bluewater First Aid Kit – Ideal for coastal cruisers & offshore fisherman

What are some of the most popular boating safety equipment

Type I, offshore life jackets provide the most buoyancy and are specifically designed for rough, open waters, where rescue might be delayed. They are also designed to turn an unconscious person face-up in the water.

Given that man-overboard situations can be sudden and deadly when boating offshore, automatically inflating PFDs are a must. Automatic inflation relies mostly on a dissolvable bobbin with a spring/pin arrangement. The water dissolves the bobbin, and the spring-powered pin punches the CO2 canister for inflation. Because the spring/pin arrangement can fail, every automatically inflating PFD has a manual cord and oral inflation tube. Many PFDs designed for offshore boating include pockets for PLBs and strobe lights.

Another commonly needed boat safety product is a ditch bag to contain the items needed to call for help and to survive in a life raft while waiting for rescue. A ditch bag must be kept in an accessible location on board, ready for immediate removal should the need arise.

We recommend against trying to adapt a duffel bag or using a dry bag. Rather, we advise using bags specifically designed for abandon-ship/survival situations. What features should your ditch bag have? Floatation, water resistance, bright colors for visibility, carrying straps, and tethers for sure. Additionally, we suggest looking for a bag with well-designed dividers so you can organize your gear. Finally, the bag must be large enough to contain survival gear plus food and water for you and all others on board.

A life raft is designed to keep the passengers of a sunk, capsized, or burned boat alive until they can be rescued. Although every offshore boater hopes to never need their life raft, it is the most important piece of equipment aboard. Life rafts leave the passengers aboard little protection from the elements but are designed for visibility to aid with rescue efforts. Although much-needed safety devices, they should only be used as a last resort. Whenever possible, it is safer to stay aboard your main vessel even if it is damaged.

How do audio distress devices contribute to boat safety? 

Sound signals used on the water are like turn signal indicators used to signal intentions on the road. Sound signals are also like an automobile’s horn used to let other drivers know you are near or to alert them of danger.

Sound signals are composed of short and prolonged blasts and must be audible for at least one-half mile:

Short blast—about one second in duration

Prolonged blast—4-6 seconds in duration

Common sound signals include:

-One short blast tells other boaters “I intend to pass you on my left (port) side.”

-Two short blasts tell other boaters “I intend to pass you on my right (starboard) side.”

-Three short blasts tell other boaters “I am backing up (operating astern propulsion).”

Restricted visibility includes:

-One prolonged blast at intervals of not more than two minutes is the signal used by power-driven vessels when making way.

-One prolonged blast plus two short blasts at intervals of not more than two minutes is the signal used by sailboats.

Common warning signals include:

-One prolonged blast is a warning signal (for example, used when coming around a blind bend or leaving a dock)

-Five (or more) short, rapid blasts signal danger or signal that you do not understand or that you believe the other boater is operating incorrectly.

How do I select the right life jacket for my child?

A properly fitted life jacket is one that fits snugly on your child’s body while remaining comfortable. If at its tightest the life jacket is loose or gaps anywhere on your child, it is too big. On the opposite end, if the jacket is difficult to get into, the jacket is too small. It’s important that you find the right fit for your child for two key reasons. First, a snug fit means that the life jacket won’t be able to slip off in an emergency. Second, a comfortable fit means that your child will quickly grow accustomed to wearing it, and will be more likely to keep it on and stay safe (even when you’re not looking!). 

Each company’s sizing will run differently but are generally based on chest and waist measurements. Be sure to take your child’s measurements into account, and take new measurements each year to ensure the best fit. 

After selecting the size of the life jacket, do a test fit well before heading out on the water. This will allow you to exchange the jacket if it is ill-fitting or uncomfortable. If possible, do this at a swimming pool so that your child can get used to wearing it in the water, get a feel for how it works, and make any necessary adjustments to the straps. 

Each life jacket will be a little bit different, but the following steps apply to most:

  1. Slip the jacket over your child’s head and zip the front zipper all the way up to their neck
  2. Fasten the bottom buckle, securing the jacket to their waist
  3. Tighten or loosen the jacket using the adjustment straps on either side. 
  4. At this point, the jacket should be snug. However, if the jacket has leg straps, adjust these as an added precaution to prevent the life jacket from riding up. 
  5. To double-check the fit, attempt to lift your child by the jacket’s shoulder straps. If the vest comes up past their chin, the jacket needs to be tighter or a smaller size needs to be purchased.
  6. If a pool or calm body of water is available, have your child practice floating face up while wearing their life vest. Ensure that the straps stay in place and that the jacket effectively keeps your child’s head above water. 

Why should I consider using anti-slip tape in my boat?

Anti-slip tape is a beneficial addition to boats for several reasons:

  • Safety: One of the primary reasons to use anti-slip tape in a boat is to enhance safety. The marine environment can be slippery due to water, condensation, or wet surfaces. Anti-slip tape provides added traction, reducing the risk of slips, falls, and injuries while moving around the boat, especially in areas prone to wetness or high foot traffic, such as decks, steps, or swim platforms.
  • Stability: Anti-slip tape improves stability, especially in rough waters or during sudden movements of the boat. It helps you maintain your footing and provides a firm grip on surfaces, reducing the chance of losing balance or being thrown off balance.
  • Compliance with Regulations: In many jurisdictions, boat safety regulations require the use of anti-slip measures on certain areas of the vessel, particularly on walkways, stairs, and other high-risk areas. Installing anti-slip tape helps ensure compliance with these regulations, avoiding potential penalties or restrictions.
  • Protection of Interior: Anti-slip tape can safeguard the interior surfaces of your boat. It acts as a protective barrier, preventing excessive wear and tear caused by regular foot traffic. By reducing slippage, it also minimizes the likelihood of accidents that could potentially damage the boat's interior.
  • Easy Application and Removal: Anti-slip tape is relatively easy to apply and remove, providing a flexible solution for maintaining safety on your boat. Most tapes come with an adhesive backing, allowing for quick installation without the need for extensive tools or expertise. Removal is typically straightforward and doesn't cause damage to the underlying surfaces.
  • Cost-Effective Solution: Anti-slip tape offers a cost-effective safety measure for boats compared to other alternatives, such as installing specialized non-slip flooring or coatings. It provides a practical and affordable way to improve traction and reduce the risk of accidents.

When selecting anti-slip tape for your boat, ensure it is designed specifically for marine environments, as it should be resistant to water, UV rays, and other elements typically encountered on the water. Consider the tape's durability, adhesive strength, and suitability for the surfaces on which it will be applied.

By using anti-slip tape in your boat, you create a safer environment for yourself, your passengers, and any crew members, reducing the chances of accidents and enhancing overall boating enjoyment.

What are some other boating safety products boaters should consider?

The type of boating you are doing dictates the needed or highly recommended boat safety equipment. Generally speaking, the father offshore you will be—the more time it will take to get help in an emergency situation—the more thoughtful and prepared you needed to be from a boat safety perspective.

Boating safety items offshore boaters in particular need to consider, include:

  • Overboard alarms
  • Emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB)
  • Personal locator beacons (PLBs)
  • Automatic identification systems (AIS)
  • Sea anchors
  • Life raft
  • Emergency food and water