Boat Safety Gear Stowage Tips

Tips for keeping your safety gear ready for use.

It's imperative to make sure boating safety gear is in good working order and readily accessible. Few are more committed to this than Steven Shimp, a Boating Magazine reader who fabbed-up this neat rack to stow his Weems and Plath C-1001 SOS Distress Light so that it was protected and ready for use. Here are Shimp's own words regarding this simple, but effective, boating DIY project.

Weems and Plath SOS Light Rack
Steven Shimp fabricated this rack for his Weems and Plath SOS C-1001 Distress Light out of PVC in order to keep this piece of safety kit protected and readily accessible.Steven Shimp

I purchased the W&P unit recently and found it hard to store as it must be either boxed away or it rolls around. Attached is a photo of the solution inside a door on my fly bridge. The main body holder is 4-inch diameter PVC and the protector for the lens is 2-inch diameter PVC. The unit simply rides there in the 4-inch section, with the daytime flag attached inside, and the 2-inch protector slides off easily for use. I've promised W&P I'll give them $25 for a manufactured one that looks better, but in the meantime this does the job well

Good work, Steve.

Here are some other tips for keeping your safety gear ready for use.

  1. Annually inspect your fire extinguisher(s) and keep it mounted where you can get at it/them immediately.
  1. If you don't wear your lifejacket, make sure to keep lifejackets stowed where they can be reached immediately. Remove the packaging. Pre-fit every member of your crew so that a properly fitting jacket can be handed out to all aboard. Label the lifejackets of your regular crew with their names using indelible marker.
  1. Steve Shimp showed us how close to hand he keeps his electronic flare. Whether you use pyrotechnic flares, electronic flares, or both**, follow his example and stow these critical safety items where you can get at them instantly.

TAKEAWAY Safety signals and flares are often referred to as Visual Distress Signals, or "VDS," by the Coast Guard and Law Enforcement.