What is BIBOA?

BIBOA Ltd is the UK RIB club for those who like to cruise and socialise in Rigid Inflatable Boats. Read more.


To take part in any BIBOA sea-going event the skipper of the boat must be a paid up BIBOA member and there must be valid 3rd party insurance for the vessel. Non BIBOA Members are very welcome indeed as crew accompanying a BIBOA skipper. 

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Safe Cruising Guidelines - What equipment to take......

BIBOA has been organising safe cruises and races for many years - but it can be all too easy to forget that when we started boating everything that many of us take for granted as "normal good practice" has often been learnt by making mistakes that could have been avoided.

The following articles are meant to be food for thought, and their relevance will of course depend on where you are boating, the size of your RIb, the weather, etc etc  - but even if you only pick up one tip them they will hopefully have been worth reading and thinking about .............

 Recommended Equipment and Spares to be carried on board whist cruising:

The realistic equipment and spares list varies considerably depending on the anticipated length of a cruise, the cruise area, to some extent the size of your boat, and the company in which you are cruising. The list is not exhaustive, but is intended to give food for thought…
As a minimum, think about what you would do if someone fell out of the boat and/or got wet and suffered even a minor back injury which meant you needed to cruise slowly back to port or wait for help to arrive. How would you recover them, and how would you keep them warm for an hour or so whilst waiting for help to arrive or getting back to port at 6 knots?
For Shorter Cruises:
Lifejackets for all persons on board – TO BE WORN AT ALL TIMES!!!.
Fixed VHF (preferably DSC)
Handheld VHF
GPS (If handheld, extra batteries) – with charts appropriate to the cruise area
Throw-line – if someone falls overboard this makes it much easier to get them back!
Boat hook – much safer for retrieving hats, fenders etc. that may have gone AWOL.
Paper Charts of the Cruising Area – the GPS will usually fail when needed most!
First Aid Kit
Thermal Protective Aid – basically a thermal blanket that has been made into a big suit. If anyone falls in and/or gets wet this is much better on an open boat than a thermal silver blanket to help prevent hypothermia.
Safety Knife (primarily for use in case of rope getting wrapped around the prop)
Anchor with chain and line (approx. 5m chain and 25m rope is usually sufficient)
Inshore Flare Pack (2 red hand flares and 2 orange hand smokes) when all electronics fail good old-fashioned flares still work in attracting attention!
Spare Ignition Key and Battery Isolator Key (where fitted)
Spare Kill-cord
Navigation Lights (working!)
Fixed (and correctly adjusted) Compass
Fire Extinguisher(s)
Manual Bailer (other than for self-draining boats)
Fog horn – even a simple manual one is better than nothing for getting another boat’s attention.
Tube Inflator Pump - with the right fittings for your boat’s tube valves
Toolkit - at least including tools for basic repairs such as screwdrivers, Allen keys, adjustable spanner, and for longer cruises ideally including Spark Plug socket, Prop Nut Socket, Engine Mount spanner.
Spare Fuses for Electronics
Drinking water – maybe not too much but a bottle or two will be better than nothing.
“Comfort” Food – Mars bars or similar are ideal.
For Longer Cruises: as above plus…
Offshore Flare Pack - 4 red hand flares, 2 orange buoyant smokes, 4 red parachute rockets
Sea Anchor (or Drogue)
Spare Propeller (inc. relevant attachments i.e. Star washer, thrust hub, nut, split pins etc).
Spark Plugs 
Water Separator Filter
Spare Fuel Can
Fuel Line
Tube Repair Kit
Spare Engine Oil
Spare Steering Fluid
Spare Life Jacket
Lifejacket re-arming kit.
NB - If cruising solo at any time it’s a good idea to have the handheld VHF, safety knife, PLB and a mini flare pack on your person since if the boat capsizes or you get thrown out it will greatly enhance your chances of recovery.#


Happy and Safe Cruising!

Please Note - the information above should be used only as a guide to help you cruise safely but ultimate responsibility rests with the skipper. BIBOA cannot be held responsible for any ommisions and/or errors in the above guide.