Gadgets and tools for a skipper of a charter yacht
There are two popular and reliable multitool manufacturers. I will not advertise them, but one gives a lifetime guarantee and changes a broken device.
One. You always have a sharp knife with you. Two. There are pliers.
Also, there are screwdrivers, a file, sometimes a hacksaw, and, depending on the type, even such items as a can opener. The price of a multitool starts at 50 euros.
The choice is enormous. How to choose? There are many characteristics of headlamps. You need to understand that a powerful headlamp on a yacht does not make sense; the light is reflected from the water. Therefore, you need a protected flashlight with functions for changing brightness, with a capacity of not more than 400 lumens (and not less than 200). It must use standard batteries because the built-in batteries are extremely unpredictable. A necessary function is the presence of red light.
There are watches to every taste and budget. You need waterproof and, as a rule, the ones that can withstand 50 meters depth. The most important function is a barometer with memory for at least a couple of days. Then we can control the pressure and weather changes. Usually, watches measure the air and water temperature and depth, allow you to set the double time. Now many smartwatches integrate with yacht electronics, a chart plotter, and a smartphone. Whether you need a smartwatch or not is up to you, but do not forget the principle that the most reliable device is not on the yacht.
Individual beacons for MOB — Man Overboard
Personal satellite beacon PLB or personal AIS. For a typical charter cruise in warm water and good weather, they are like parachutes in hand luggage on a passenger ship. But for offshore regattas and crossings, where no one moorings at night in a cozy bar, this is quite reasonable insurance. Moreover, the price starts at 300 euros, and you will buy the gadget for a long time. Their size is quite compact; they fit in the palm of your hand. They have convenient mounts and a simple interface.
How does it work? PLB is an individual analog of EPIRB (rescue buoy for a ship), but smaller and with lower battery capacity. The batteries last for about a day after activation. Their service life is about five years. When the device is activated, if a person falls overboard, there is a signal at a frequency of 403 MHz. COSPAS-SARSAT satellites receive it, relay it to ground centers, and rescue operation begins. PLB requires registration, and it is necessary to clarify exactly where to do it, since, depending on national rules, there may be some peculiarities.
You do not need to register a personal AIS. All settings are done independently and are available to any user. How it works: upon activation, signal transmission is activated, the decoders of which are on all commercial vessels and most small sailing and motor yachts. It is immediately clear from it that there is a man overboard, and you will be picked up, if not from your ship, then from someone else’s. It is possible to configure the AIS system of your boat so that when activated, an alarm will turn on, and even the engine will turn off.
On charter yachts, AIS is quite rare! This means that no AIS signals can be received, including from your crew member who has fallen overboard with this «magic box.»