Originally Posted by Wibs
25m spare rope
I also have laminated,in a dry accessible place, the correct Mayday procedure word for word for my rib.(just in case)
In an emergency sticking 100% to the correct mayday procedure isn't vital, providing you are not too far off the shore and there are other boats around, as long as you can get the word "mayday", a good description of your boat and the nature of your emergency / the help you need out then you're very likely to get help quickly.
The items that always stay in my SIB whenever it goes out are:
handheld VHF (at least one)
powerful battery powered torch (at least one, we have no nav lights)
plenty of spare line
folding knife (at least two)
spare buoyancy aid and waterproof jacket (in case we inherit another passenger whilst at sea)
anchor and chain
For the sort of distances we stray from the coast I think that's a perfectly adequate kit. If we were planning to venture further out then I'd certainly invest in some charts, flares etc. But if you're just having fun a few nautical miles from the harbour then you don't need to go out like you're preparing for a channel crossing, there's plenty of boats always around Plymouth sound and even in the middle of the night a quick shout on the VHF would have assistance on hand in a matter of minutes.
Don't forget dry bags for your mobile phones / wallets etc.
Whenever taking out friends on my SIB once we are in the boat and before we get under way I teach them basic procedures if something were to happen to me, for example if I am ejected from the boat how to restart the engine, basic operation of the VHF and how to call for help, how to use the manual inflater on lifejacket etc. Also you should expect none of your non-boating friends to have their own lifejackets, so make sure you have a few spare.