RADAR REFLECTOR. It's comforting to know that when you're adrift, dead in the water, your boat is lighting up the screen of any passing container ship or tug like a Christmas tree. Plus, it helps rescuers and towboats find you quicker. A serviceable one costs about $50.
"DITCH BAG." Sometimes also referred to as an "escape kit" or "fast getaway kit," it's simply a watertight fanny pack containing a submersible handheld VHF radio, a signal mirror, several chemical light sticks, a whistle, and some foil packets of water purchased at a mountaineering shop. Strap it on when the going gets tough. But, we hope, if you bring aboard the other seven, you won't need it.