Safety Equipment: Before heading offshore, a good skipper makes sure all the appropriate safety gear is on board and in good working order.
Have your safety gear serviced regularly and be familiar with how to use each item by practising regular safety drills. Safety and sea survival courses are a great way to prepare yourself for going offshore, and in some blue-water yacht races they are a requirement.
Also make sure you provide a full safety briefing each time a new person steps aboard, no matter how experienced they are.
406 EPIRBs: If you are heading more than two nautical miles offshore, you must carry a 406 EPIRB.
Having an EPIRB on board provides peace of mind and means you signal your exact position in the event of an emergency.
The global satellite system for detecting a 406 EPIRB signal is fast, accurate and greatly increases the chances of survival.
Satellites now only process alerts from the 406 MHz EPIRBs, not the old 121 models, so make sure you upgrade your EPIRB if you haven't already done so.