Safety equipment list for a pontoon boat

Check this article to learn about the recommended safety equipment list for a pontoon boat

When you are out in the waters with your pontoon boat, you never know what kind of an experience you might have.

If you’re lucky, you can have a quiet time in the boat rocking on the gentle waves. But if the waters are rough and the weather is bad, you can be in trouble!

To ensure that no one gets hurt, here’s a safety equipment list for a pontoon boat.

the safety equipment list for a pontoon boat

You might also be interested in learning about what safety precautions to take when hunting from a boat?

Checklist for what safety equipment required on a pontoon boat

Whenever you take your pontoon boat out for a ride, the safety equipment will ensure that you and the other riders on the boat are safe during the ride. But what safety equipment should you carry on a pontoon boat?

The following boat safety equipment checklist is a must for your boat.

Boat registration and proof of insurance

Your boat must be registered and insured before you take it out into the water. If you don’t have it, you should not even be taking the vessel out.

Your boat registration and proof of insurance might seem like just papers and documentation, but they are essential. If your boat is registered, it is proof of your vessel’s perfect condition. The insurance, on the other hand, covers all possible damages.

Here is the link to checkout the pontoon boat safety guidelines in various states.

Life jackets or personal flotation device (PFDs)

You may not always be able to prevent a boat accident, but you can ensure that all the passengers on the boat are safe – with the help of PFDs.

This is a must-have on your boat, without any excuse. Make sure that all passengers are wearing their PFD. It is a good idea to have multiple life jackets of different sizes to fit adults and children with different body shapes and sizes so everyone can be comfortable. 

Fire extinguisher

Your boat needs a fire extinguisher – and it has to be one that’s specially designed for marine usage. You cannot just settle for a standard extinguisher.

Also, make sure that it is tested properly and is in working condition. Check its expiration date and store it in a proper condition. It should also be kept in an easily accessible spot so that when there is an emergency, you don’t have to go looking for the item.

Throwable PFDs

You also need to put a few extra PFDs at hand. In case of an emergency, you can throw these PFDs into the water to help a person overboard.

This floatable device can maintain the buoyancy of the victim. Ensure that it’s coast guard-approved, and its color makes it easy to spot in the water. 

Sound Signaling Device

When you are out in the water, far away from the coastline, you are out of the network zone. Hence, if there is some problem, it will not be possible for you to reach out for help.

In such a situation, your only savior is a sound signaling device to get the attention of other boats or coast guards. You can choose a horn or a whistle, as long as it is loud enough to exceed the sounds of a storm or the choppy waves.  

Skier Down Flag

A skier down flag is particularly helpful if you are into different water sports. If someone on your boat decides to go down into the water, the skier down flag must be used.

This will help other boats know that someone is in the water, and they will be able to adjust their speed or steer away from a person. Without this flag, a person in the water can be in danger and end up getting hit by a rotating prop.

Additional Optional Safety Equipment List for a Pontoon Boat

Apart from the equipment that we have already mentioned, here are a few other things that you can include in your boat safety equipment kit, such as:

  • Navigation lights in red and green at the front of the deck and in white on the bimini;
  •  Visual distress signal to help seek attention and assistance in case of an emergency;
  •  Flashlight and batteries;
  • Marine propulsion tools like a trolling motor or an oar in case the engine fails;
  • Anchor and line to keep the boat in one place;
  • Spare parts for the boat, along with tools, to fix issues or malfunctions of the vessel;
  • Battery and phone recharger;
  • Cell phone and VHF radio to get connected and ask for help;
  • Bucket or bailing device to remove water from the boat;
  • First aid kit for cuts, scrapes, and other injuries, with anti-nausea medicines;
  • Sharp knife in case a rope or net gets wrapped around the propeller;
  • Snorkel mask if you have to go underwater for any inspection;
  • Non-perishable food and drinking water;

Though these additional items aren’t mandatory, you should keep them handy on your pontoon boat.

Final thoughts on the safety equipment list for a pontoon boat

If you are new to boating, it is natural for you to worry about safety. But what is required on a pontoon boat? This is also a common question for a new owner of a pontoon boat.

Fortunately, you have a list of the equipment you need. You should stock your boat with these before you even think of taking your pontoon boat out into the water – whether you ride alone or with passengers. 

The safety equipment checklist for a pontoon boat