Lifejacket and harness
Then there’s your Personal Flotation Aid (PFA), which will usually come down to an inflatable lifejacket of sorts these days. Remember, this device could save your life, so don’t skimp on it. When you suddenly find yourself in the freezing sea you’ll be very glad you opted for the best money could buy. To my mind that’s one with an integral harness, sprayhood, twin crotch straps, bright flashing strobe and a PLB pocket at least. If it’s a proper fit and comfortable you’re also more likely wear it. Whether you choose a manual or auto activation is down to you, but as the most common way to be nudged over the side is by the boom hitting your head, personally I choose to use an automatic mechanism just in case I’m unconscious when I hit the water.
RIGHT: An AIS beacon can raise the alarm on the closest boat: yours