The Single Most Important Piece Of Safety Equipment On The Boat

I'm wondering if everyone feels the same way. What is the most important piece of safety gear on your boat? Any size, any type. Just a general question for what you think is most important? I'll comment my answer after I see a few responses.


  • A quality USCG approved life jacket is easily the most important safety equipment on any boat. I also never leave the dock without a marine specific first aid kit. You have no idea how many times people have cut their feet on chains, rigging, anchors or just an exposed screw head. Also if you fish, a first aid kit that is used to treat cuts is very important. I genuinely hope everyone else is on the same page.

  • I agree that the PFD is the most important thing to have while out on the water but an emergency GPS beacon or a Garmin InReach GPS would be a close second on my boat. I pay for the monthly subscription and thankfully I've never had to use it for an emergency but I feel confident knowing I have a lifeline out there at the push of a button.

  • I keep PDFs in view and easy reach for each adult and on, on children while vessel is in operation.

  • @Happie Good call to mention that! I make sure all children keep theirs on at all times when we are moving as well. Adults can make their own decision on that based on their swimming experience but I do like to keep the PFD's within reach as well.

  • @Happie Federal law requires that all children under the age of 13 wear a lifejacket on a moving boat. The only exceptions to this rule are if the child is below deck, in an enclosed cabin, or if the boat is not underway.

  • @AtTheHelm I'd say a lot of this depends on where you are located and where you take your boat. I have some friends who duck hunt in water thats only 6" deep in its most shallow parts but they are miles out in a marsh and would need a radio over a PFD. I know some fishermen who run the risk of being tossed overboard who would say that a PFD with a beacon would be the most important safety device on their vessel. Good discussion on safety that shouldn't be overlooked or taken for granted.

  • Both equally important . Life jackets and Fire extinguishers

  • I agree with @Circe, a Life Jacket with a signal light comes first for safety equipment on a boat where a fire extinguisher comes in a close second. After that, I would say the VHF radio is also a very important safety feature that should be on any offshore boat as well.

  • Automatic inflating PFD's are super important on a sailboat. If you hit your head or trip on some rigging, you want to make sure that you are going to stay upright with your head out of water and floating if you end up overboard and unconscious.

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