I get to see a lot of yacht details from brokers, and I have recently noticed that a new ‘cut and paste’ message has been appearing in them more frequently, to the effect that no warranty is given or implied concerning the age or condition of any emergency or safety equipment.
Of course, this makes absolute sense for all AAC readers with our innate sense of responsibility for ourselves and our crew (doesn’t it?), but it also suggests to me that insurers are taking a close interest on this subject, which ought to ring alarm bells for all of us, so doubly important to get this stuff right.
Safety or Emergency
To that end, I base my thoughts here on what I consider constitutes ‘safety’ versus ‘emergency’ equipment and planning.
To me ‘safety’ implies prevention of a risk through planning, and ‘emergency’ implies that the risk concerned is now fact. Both need to be addressed, and it’s not all about money.
One of them takes time, careful thought and experience….
So a gas alarm is a safety feature, as is AIS or a deck harness, whereas flares, a fire extinguisher or a lifejacket are emergency equipment. A searchlight can fulfill both functions, making things slightly more complicated, but you get my drift.
Let's look at both:
Sherpa has had little use for 4 years, so we knew that much of the emergency equipment would likely be degraded through age or simply out of date (e.g. pyrotechnics).
So we initially conducted a review of all the emergency equipment aboard, to inspect for any damage or other age-related issues, and to ensure that all the equipment that we have aboard meets our minimum requirements for an offshore boat.