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GJW Direct 2024 Dinghy

RIB accessories and safety equipment to have on board

by GJW Direct 19 Apr 11:00 BST
RIB accessories and safety equipment to have on board © GJW Direct

When embarking on a boating adventure, you want to ensure that your RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) is equipped with essential accessories and safety equipment.

Prioritising safety is crucial to guarantee a fun and secure experience on the water. This article will discuss some key RIB accessories and safety items to have on board, helping you navigate potential hazards and respond effectively to unforeseen circumstances.

Essential RIB Accessories

Navigation Equipment

Having the right navigation equipment on board your RIB is crucial for safe and accurate voyage planning. Some essential devices to consider include:

  • GPS/chartplotter: A reliable GPS/chartplotter helps you determine your position, plan routes, and navigate with ease. Many modern units also integrate with other marine electronics for a seamless experience.

  • Depth sounder: A depth sounder is an essential tool for monitoring water depth and avoiding shallow spots or potential hazards. Some models can also provide information about water temperature and fish activity.

  • Compass: A traditional magnetic compass is an essential backup for electronic navigation systems. They are also crucial to have in case of power failure or other issues with your primary navigation device.

Communication Devices

Staying connected while on the water is necessary for both safety and convenience. Some communication devices you should have on board include:

  • VHF Radio: A fixed-mount VHF radio is essential for communicating with other vessels, marine rescue organisations, and coastguards. It is also useful for receiving vital weather information and emergency broadcasts.

  • Handheld VHF Radio: A handheld VHF offers an additional line of communication, particularly if your main radio fails or you need to communicate away from the main console.

  • Mobile Phone and Charger: A fully charged mobile phone (in a waterproof case) serves as a backup communication tool. Keeping a charger on board helps ensure you always have a working phone when you need one.

Anchoring and Mooring Gear

Secure anchoring and mooring are crucial for maintaining your RIB's position and preventing damage. Some essential gear to have on board includes:

  • Anchor: Choose an anchor suited for your RIB's size and the expected bottom conditions (sand, rock, mud, etc.). Make sure it is strong enough to hold your boat in various weather conditions securely.

  • Chain and Rope: A combination of chain and rope creates an effective rode for your anchor. The chain adds weight and helps the anchor set properly, while the rope provides stretch to reduce shock loads during changes in wind or tide.

  • Mooring Lines: High-quality, UV-resistant mooring lines are essential for securing your RIB to docks, piers, and other vessels. Having lines of different lengths and diameters ensures you have the right options for various situations.

  • Fenders: Fenders protect your RIB from damage while docked or rafting up with other boats. Ensure you have enough fenders and that they are properly sized for your vessel.

Top Tip: Take care when anchoring a RIB, you don't want any sharp edges damaging your boat. The best way to anchor is to point the bow into the wind or current (whichever is the strongest at the time) and bring the boat to a stop. Once you've done this, lower the anchor towards the bottom before the RIB moves back. Carry on easing the scope as your RIB starts to drift back. As soon as the anchor has been laid and you have secured the cable, let the boat tick-over astern as this will make sure you have a good holding.

Safety Equipment On Board

When it comes to safety on your RIB, having the right equipment on board is essential. In this section, we'll explore various safety items that you should always carry with you while out on the water.

Life Jackets and Buoyancy Aids

First and foremost, life jackets and buoyancy aids are a crucial part of your on-board safety equipment. It's good practice to have enough personal flotation devices (PFDs) for each person on board, and make sure they are appropriately-sized and well-maintained. Additionally, be sure to carry throwable flotation devices for emergency situations.

Flares and Signalling Devices

In the event of an emergency, it's essential to have the means to signal for help. Flares and other signalling devices, have long been must-have RIB accessories. However, there are also potential risks and downsides, such as the danger of accidental ignition and the need for regular replacement. Additionally, with the prevalence of mobile phones, many people may opt to use these devices for emergency communication instead. Ultimately, the decision to carry flares on board a RIB will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the boat owner, as well as local regulations and safety considerations.

Fire Extinguishers

Having a fire extinguisher on board is vital for addressing small fires that may arise from mechanical issues or other hazards. Choose a marine-approved fire extinguisher for your RIB and familiarise yourself with its proper operation. Install it in an easily accessible location, and remember to check its pressure gauge regularly to ensure it's in good working order.

First Aid Kits

Finally, a well-stocked first aid kit is essential to have with you so you can treat minor injuries that may occur whilst on the water. Your kit should include items such as gauze pads, adhesive bandages and tape, tweezers, scissors, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary personal medications. Periodically review the contents of your first aid kit and replace any items that have expired or been used up.

By carrying the right safety equipment on your RIB and keeping it well-maintained, you'll be better prepared to respond to emergencies and enjoy a safer boating experience.

Additional Accessories and Equipment

Protective Clothing and Footwear

When you're out at sea on your RIB, it's important to wear the right protective clothing and footwear to stay safe and comfortable. Make sure you have a good-quality life jacket for each person on board, which should be worn at all times.

In addition to life jackets, invest in waterproof clothing, such as jackets and trousers to keep you dry in any weather condition. It's also a good idea to have sun protection, such as wide-brimmed hats and UV-protective sunglasses, ideally with anti-glare, so you're protected from reflections off the water's surface. Wearing non-slip footwear can help you maintain balance while navigating your RIB, so consider investing in specialist marine shoes or boots.

Tool Kits and Spare Parts

Regular maintenance and on-the-spot repairs are essential to keeping your RIB in good working order. Prepare a tool kit that includes essential tools like wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, and a multi-tool. It's also wise to carry a VHF radio and a handheld backup radio to communicate with other vessels or the coastguard during emergencies.

Spare parts can be a lifesaver in case of breakdowns and for conducting routine maintenance. Consider including the following items in your inventory:

  • Spare fuel line and fuel filters
  • Replacement fuses and bulbs
  • Extra spark plugs and engine oil
  • A spare propeller and propeller shear pins
  • Extra batteries for your electronics and flashlights
Being prepared with these additional accessories, safety equipment, and spare parts will help ensure a safe and enjoyable time on the water with your RIB.

For more useful information visit MyBoat powered by GJW Direct - a FREE digital boat management system and safety equipment reminder service. With over 30,000 members you will be in good company and if you're already insured with GJW Direct you will have instant access to exclusive offers and discounts from a range of recognised brands.