Many times the safety equipment is tucked away in cabinets and under cushions making it difficult to find even simple equipment like a small Band-Aid and disinfectant. This is a Safety Equipment Sheet that I use on my boat. A blank fill in your own safety equipment location form is below for a sailboat.
Many of the boats I crew on have at least a short safety lecture that includes where equipment is located. However remembering where a few items are let alone where all the equipment is located a few hours later can be confusing.
Happily recreational boating is normally a safe sport and most of the safety equipment is not needed very often. However even simple tasks like finding minor first aid supplies or a dock line can be daunting at times. Making it easy for the crew to find equipment makes it easier on the skipper because the skipper is not interrupted to explain where something is located.
Reducing the distractions for the skipper lets them do things like make sure the boat does not run aground, hit another boat, be surprised by large wake or any one of the many things a good skipper checks on a continuing basis to help keep the boat and crew safe.
This is the Boating Safety Equipment List card that I have been using on my boat. It is letter sized, printed on heavy card stock with a contrasting color to stand out and laminated for protection. I scanned an image of the interior of my boat from a sales brochure then cleaned up the scan with Gimp (Photo-Shop like program). The scan was then imported into a Drawing program (I used Open Office Draw) and listed the equipment with the circles and boxes to show where the equipment is located.
Yes it took a while to make the Safety Equipment Card but having it electronically means I can update it easily when needed. The original Boating Safety Equipment List was not laminated and had marks and corrections on it over a period of time. The list is alphabetical, yes I have two First-Aid kits, one Small Boat First-Aid Kit that I put together myself for small injuries and scrapes and a larger commercial First-Aid kit for more major problems. Flashlights are also listed twice as I used “FL” for Flares so I used “L” for the Flashlight and put it in the list twice both as “L” and “Flashlight.”
Portrait or Landscape page layout? When I ask friends for feedback on this I opened up a real can of worms and strong opinions, so I have posted links to both versions in PDF files below so you can print them and see what version you like. in your hand and maybe take them down to your boat and try them out. The portrait layout feels more intuitive to me, if I had the sheet mounted somewhere then I would want the bow to match to the bow and the page layout to match the direction a person is viewing the sheet.
Blank sailboat outline (PDF) – Fill in and list your own boats safety equipment on this sailboat outline. Thanks Bonnie for the suggestion. (added 9/27/2011)
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