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Necessary Safety Equipment?

800 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Wahoo-26
We have a 23 mako with a 200 hp merc. OB. We mainly fish backbay and inlet but are looking to get out in the ocean this summer. Last summer we were out three miles for croakers and weakfish but that was about as far as we went. Getting to the point, we were looking to push it a little further this summer, maybe 20 miles at an absolute max for inshore trolling and ocean fluking/seabass. As far as safety equipment goes, does the boat really need any hardcore safety equipment? I understand the real offshore guys get epirb and a raft, but for 20 miles at most is epirb still recommended? What additional safety equipment/spare parts would you recommend for inside the 20 mile range? Thanks for all the input, come on spring! :fighting:
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YES, get the EPIRB, 100%. You will truly regret not buying this piece of equipment should you ever be floating around in a bad situation off the beach. You owe it to yourself as well as to your crew. I know it costs money, but any EPIRB is better than no EPIRB! You could get into a pretty good unit for around $500.00, probably cheaper now a days (I have not shopped for them in a few years). Whether your 5 miles off the beach or 20+, odds are that you or atleast some of your crew will not be able to reach land. Get an EPIRB, it's like a (relatively) cheap insurance policy on you and your crew.

Get some good, comfortable Category 1 life vests, and equip them with a signaling mirror, a whistle and/or blinking strobe light.

Outfit a floating ditch bag with all of the essentials too. Food, water, vitamins, flares, first aid, etc, etc, etc.

Be sure to have an assortment of flares (don't skimp on getting a well outfitted flare kit) as well as a nice first aid kit on board.

The list goes on and on, and I know that I am more than likely forgetting some goodies in this two minute write-up. I'm sure others will chime in with helpful information. Good luck this season, and stay safe.
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hopefully you already have offshore vests,flares,portable vhf, etc,etc, but a properly packed ditch bag and a plan of getting to it when all hell breaks loose should be on your list
Great post, FlyFisher. The opinions that you get will be useful to many Barners. Here are a few of my thoughts:

1: A VHF radio with a direct connection to your GPS. The red distress button is useless if not connected to a GPS. It's also important to get an MMSI number and enter it into the VHF. Boat US website to get MMSI. Also, get the BEST VHF antenna you can afford. Then fine tune the antenna to the radio.

2: At least one handheld VHF and a handheld GPS.

3: Flares, smoke signalsdye markers, mirror for signaling. Buy 2X the # required and keep them current. When they expire, get new ones and keep the oldies for backup....they will likely work for many years past their x dates.

4: There is a newer probuct out called the McMurdo "FAST FIND". It's a poor man's EPIRB. Got one at Xmas for my daughter who does the same as you. Cost about $300....well worth it. West Marine

5: Wooden dowel plugs to stuff into holes. Even better is a thing called the "TRUPLUG". You can google it to check it out but it is a spongey triangular thingie that you can stuff into a hole.

6: I wrote an article for SaltWater Sportsman several years ago that mentioned the "INSTANT CAPTAIN". Make up instructions for your guests in case you are ever incapacitated. It will tell them to instantly turn off the engines, how to make a MayDay call, how to relay their GPS position, how to depoly the anchor and so on. Go over it with them before you leave the dock.

I'm sure I've missed something but I'm also sure that our esteemed brother and sister Barners will fill in any blanks.

The good news is that you will rarely be out of sight of other boats during the season but don't let that make you feel comfy. Equip yourself as if your only hope is from the Coasties.

Hope this helps.

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flyfisher.... pickup a copy of The New Jersey Angler from July 2009. I wrote an article titled " SWEAT " . There is lots of info on safety etc in that article....
Before you even look at the extras check out the basics to make sure everything is in perfect working order. Most guys ive heard about needing rescue had a problem with their basic equipment. Motor should be starting and running perfectly or dont go. Batteries should both be top notch or dont go. Wiring should be clean and free from corosion. All through hulls should be quality and checked twice. Hoses and clamps should be checked and replaced if questionable. Fuel and fuel filters should be clean like new. weather window should be suficient to return late if needed. Point is all that extra gear is nice but if you double check the basics you probably wont need to depend on it.
You got a lot of good info from the others. To summarize what they said, take nothing for granted. Make sure your maintenance is impeccable, pay attention to details. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

At a minimum I would want, handheld GPS & VHF a PLB or spot messenger. At least 6 current flaires, flaire gun, minimum 3 handheld flaires. FLashlight, batteries, extra batteries, extra batteries for all handheld devices. A ditch bag with all above items carefully stored in it. Offshore life vests for everyone on board. Make sure you have adequate anchor and rhode, then add a lot more chain to your current graound tackle. For offshote I use 30' of chain, it makes a world of difference in holding bottom. Bring enough ice for your catch and food / drinks, then bring more drinks.

Optional good to have items are a whistles for each vest and strobes, a hydro statically released epirb (not a PLB) & raft.

Good luck.

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