Required & Recommended Security Measures for Sailing at Sea

Sailors Club

Whatever type of navigator you are, be it advanced or novice, solo or in a group, impromptu, unprepared trips out to sea are not advisable which is why being prepared is elementary. You should be able to tick off the required & recommended security measures. With the summer months comes a rise in boats out at sea, meaning the risk factor only grows, for this reason the surveillance and inspection of recreational boaters by the local authorities is intensified.

We can split these requirements into two separate forms:

Required Documents & Required Equipment on-board

This article presents you with a complete list of mandatory material for recreational boats demanded by the French administration DGITM (Direction Générale des Infrastructures, des Transport et de la Mer française). Please note that depending on your country of residence the requirements may change. We added in some complimentary equipment that while not required, are a great addition. You will find some sound advice that you can yourselves apply to make sure that you and your equipment are in safe hands.

The goal of providing these checks is to inform and ensure that users are aware of the various navigation requirements so that everyone can be safe as possible, as things at sea have a habit of turning from bad to worse quick.

Required Material Checklist:

(* pass your mouse over the text to display a more information)

Navigation basic* Navigation coastal* Navigation semi-offshore* Navigation offshore*
Flotation Device* x x x x
Light Signal* x x x x
Fire Extinguisher x x x x
Manual Draining Device x x x x
Towing Device x x x x
Mooring rope (if Lightweight ≥ 250 kgs) x x x x
Tide and Currents Table x x x x
National Flag (when outside national territory) x x x x
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon x x x
3 hand held flares x x x
Magnetic Compass x x x
Official Marine Charts x x x
International Rules to prevent collisions at sea x x x
System Description of Signs, Markings & Beacons x x x
Description du système de balisage x x x
3 parachute flares, 2 smoke bombs or a fixed-mount VHF marine radio x x
Life Raft x x
Note taking supplies x x
Up to date list of lights, buoys & fog signals x x
Logbook x x
Marine Weather Forecast Reception Device x x
Harness and Safety Line: Powerboats x x
Harness and Safety Line Per Person: Sailboats x x
Safety Kit in accord with article 240-2,16 x x
Lighting Device for Search and Rescue at Night x x
Floating Radio Beacon Location Device x
Fixed Mount VHF * (beginning from
Portable VHF * x

Recommended Equipment:

  • Knife
  • Watch
  • Hook
  • Gloves (to avoid burns when lighting flares)
  • Space blanket
  • Tools for reparations
  • Batteries for all equipment: Portable Radio, Torch, etc.
  • Replacement Parts: Fuel Filter, Electric Bulbs, etc.
  • Circuit Breaker (for powerboats)


  • Always verify the weather conditions (weather, wind, currents, etc.) and tides chart
  • Equip all passengers with life jackets before getting on board. They aren’t so useful if you don’t have them on.
  • Ensure that all the security equipment is valid and hasn’t passed its use date: Jackets, Flares, etc.
  • Have a VHF or a satellite phone charged in a closed waterproof pocket.
  • Let at least one person on land know the hour of departure and estimated arrival time
  • Hand held beacon in the case of needing to be rescued

For even more security, equip yourself with our latest version of recreational software, TZ Navigator v3. Adapted for all types of navigation, be it sailboats, powerboats or regattas, it has features that are designed to ensure your safety and comfort on board.

The new intuitive touchscreen User Interface was designed to simplify accessing the tools and features that have made TIMEZERO the success it is 30 years on.

Discover the new features: Security Cone, Safety Route Planning and Route Wizard that together leave you feeling safer and more prepared.

Product Page TIMEZERO