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Off-Shore sailing on pleasure yachts is often conducted with relative small crews, considering that one of the things to bring on board is a huge amount of spare time. This requires some special considerations for both the navigation equipment and safety equipment, which must be optimized for being operated by a single person in the worst of all cases.

These days, navigation on such voyages relies on modern technology such as satellite-based global positioning system (GPS) combined with electronic chart plotters. Sometimes also pleasure yachts are equipped with radar and an Automatic Identification System (AIS), which are costly, but add to the safety of navigation during night time or in unfavourable weather conditions.

Safety Equipment on board is an issue with ambiguity: on one side there is a strong hope it will never have to be used, and on the other hand, it is an issue that nevertheless requires careful attention and financial investment.

Some general considerations ...
  • Effective, if possible multi-usage (e.g. ...)
  • Practicable to stow away, but easy to mount in case of emergency
  • Robust in function: will be used in rough conditions with limited manpower resources
  • High-Tech should be avoided (except e.g. for communication equipment)
  • Equipment should be examined, tried and trained with regularly
  • ...


A good starting point of information for safety related issues is the "World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations" (OSR). This is a collection of documents that determines the gear that must be carry for official offshore racings. These regulations govern offshore racing requirements for monohulls and multihulls, structural features, yacht equipment, personal equipment and training.

The OSR is republished every two years and the latest edition is for 2020-2021 with updates of January 2020. A good compact summary of the required equipment can be extracted from the Inspection Cards available from the same site.

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