Safety On The Water

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The club flag, hoisting flag, boat pennant / bull rope pennant is the business card of your club and every yacht club, sailing or water sports club has their own club burgee. In the naval and shipping industry flags are used for various purposes: labelling functions, command posts, locations, for transmitting signals or just as a symbol of the club membership. SVB's online shop carries a large selection of German motorboat or sailing club flags. The flag you want not there? We are happy to produce your motif as well. We can do almost any design, please contact us or send your individual request directly to - we are happy to assist!
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SEATEC - choose quality at an affordable price. SVB's own brand, SEATEC, was established in 1998 in order to serve the needs of water sports enthusiasts and offer quality products at unbeatable prices.
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Getting ready for your next adventure at sea and looking for a top-of-the-range life jacket?  Take a look at the product offerings of German family-owned company Bernhardt Apparatebau. Combining sound scientific knowledge and innovative products has made them one of the world's leading suppliers in the field of lifesaving equipment. In our SVB online shop you can buy SECUMAR lifejackets that are extremely comfortable to wear, offer maximum safety and are guaranteed to meet your quality requirements.
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The British company Spinlock is known for its deck hardware and safety equipment for water sports. From the classic halyard stopper to the highly durable carbon clutch with enormous holding forces, their product range leaves nothing to be desired, even for professionals. It's no surpise that participants of the world's most prestigious races, such as the Vendee Globe, America's Cup or Volvo Ocean Race rely on Spinlock hardware and safety equipment.
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PLASTIMO - Happy boating to you! In 1963 PLASTIMO started in Lorient on the French Atlantic coast with a range of 80 water sports products. Founder of the family business was Antoine Zuliani. Toward the end of the seventies, the figures revealed a lot more: PLASTIMO now sold 2,500 products, had 400 employees and founded its first subsidiary in the UK. Research and development focused on safety and compasses. In 1992 the PLASTIMO Offshore Compass received the French Industrial Design Award. In the mid-nineties PLASTIMO strengthened its reputation as a specialist in safety and pioneered the production of automatic lifejackets.
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Did you know that in an emergency situation, the human brain naturally reverts to what it already knows instead of spontaneously becoming creative? For this reason, boat owners should make sure both they and their crew are well prepared for such situations. This includes not only regular safety training, but also making sure safety equipment on board is in good working order. The good news is that even though fear is a strong factor in emergencies, it does not always lead to panic.  Learn more about Safety...


- Making sure you arrive safely at the next harbour

The first step to being safe on the water is to ask yourself what you already know about safety. This includes familiarising yourself with your own boat before setting off and instructing your crew on important safety procedures and equipment. To avoid risks, always check the weather forecast and pay attention to any changes and developments. Even a 2-man crew requires both members to be well briefed. After all, it makes little sense if one member goes overboard and the other does not know how to get him or her back on board. 

What is the minimum safety equipment recommended for boats?

 - Personal safety equipment & man overboard

Every boat should carry a sufficient number of life jackets for every person on board. In order to comply with current safety regulations in Europe, life jackets must carry a CE mark. At sea, personal safety equipment should include one safety harness per person to hook into. Jackets should be equipped with a signal whistle and a light. Note that not all life jackets come with a light as standard. Furthermore, all boats should be equipped with a life belt with a floatable rescue line & light. Before starting your voyage, you should carefully consider what measures to take in case of an MOB emergency and check the rescue options. It is important to familiarise yourself with equipment, especially if you have chartered a boat. It may also be advisable to take your own small set of safety equipment on board. Preventing an accident from occurring is paramount, because let's face it, the chances of getting back on board, especially in strong winds, swells or at night, are slim. A mobile distress beacon can also increase the chances of rescue. When buying, pay attention to the frequencies over which the distress signal is transmitted. There are differences depending on the manufacturer. The most common are AIS transmitters. Any vessel with AIS on board can see the "live" position of the distressed person on their PC or plotter and initiate an immediate rescue operation. AIS transmitters are registered to boats and therefore cannot be taken on charter trips. If you want a transmitter you can take with and not only use on your own boat but also when sailing with others, or even for other sports, please contact us. In this case, we recommend satellite communication devices. Let us advise you which device is the right one for you. 

Fighting fire

One of the biggest dangers on board is fire. Fire can quickly spread in a matter of minutes. Oil, cable, electrical and engine fires are the most common, yet another reason why everyone on board should know what to do in an emergency. Every boat should be equipped with suitable fire fighting equipment. Depending on the size of your boat, we recommend at least two portable class ABC fire extinguishers. Even a simple fire blanket in the galley can prevent serious accidents.

Distress signalling equipment

In the event of a maritime emergency, you must be able to communicate your presence effectively. You should therefore always carry a signalling device together with matches or a lighter.

No matter where you are sailing, we recommend the following signalling equipment:

2 orange smoke flares with a smoke duration of 2 minutes or 1 orange, floating smoke signal with a smoke duration of 4 minutes

 2 red hand-held flares with a burn time of 60 seconds

8 red parachute rockets with a rise height of 300 m and burn time of 30 seconds. Sports boats close to the coast can also use a flare with red light stars and a rise height of at least 80 m instead. This is not subject to specialist knowledge.

Distress beacons should be stored on board in a suitable container which complies with the legal requirements for weapons. Make sure that you are familiar with the correct use of the device so that you can react quickly in case of an emergency and use the signalling equipment safely.

Please note that in order to purchase many distress beacons, a certificate of competence in accordance with the provisions of weapons law or a certificate of expertise in accordance with explosives law is required.

For some sailing areas, important flags & other signalling items, e.g. to indicate manoeuvrability, should also be carried.


The minimum requirement for each boat is an appropriate bailing device.A bilge pump is recommended for larger boats, often an electric bilge pump is installed, which should be serviced and tested regularly. For smaller boats a bucket and/or bailer should also be carried on board. We further recommend that you have a supply of emergency plugs in various sizes as well as sealants on board. Experienced mariners also know other methods of blocking leaks (e.g. with a carrot). But as already mentioned, spontaneous creativity doesn't always come to everyone in an emergency.

First aid equipment

A first aid kit should be carried on board for minor & serious injuries. Different types of equipment are available to purchase, depending on the sailing area. The crew must be given clear instructions here too. It's not without good reason that 80% of the crew is now required to have an ISAF certificate (World Sailing Safety Certificate) for ocean racing.

Life raft

In Germany it is recommended to carry a life raft when sailing in the open sea. A life raft not only protects from drowning but also against hypothermia. In some cases, it can also be used to get people who have gone overboard back on deck safely. It should therefore be part of the safety equipment of every boat, especially in the North and Baltic Sea. In some countries it is also compulsory to carry life rafts, depending on the sailing area. In Germany it is obligatory to carry a life raft on charter yachts at sea and in some sailing regattas. More detailed information about life rafts can be found in our guide.

Maintenance of rescue equipment and liferafts

Check your safety equipment regularly and be sure to keep your rescue gear up to date to ensure it will work in an emergency. The prescribed maintenance intervals for life jackets and life rafts can be found on the attached maintenance sticker or on the manufacturer's website. Remember to inform all crew members and guests about safety equipment on board and how it works.

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