Yachting Essentials l 10 Must Have Equipment this Season

10 Must Have Equipment this Season

Yachting Essentials

Back on the Water at Last!

Finally, it looks as though we can take to our boats again.  But after the long wait caused by lockdowns and bad weather, it’s important to check equipment first, and renew and replace boating accessories where necessary.

Safety on a seagoing boat should take priority when it comes to planning and to the purchase of equipment, and where the top yachtsmen are concerned, it does.  Amateur or professional, the best yachtsmen like to know that the products they buy for their seagoing boats are professionally made to high standards, and are available as and when they are needed.  Brexit has caused some delays and difficulties for the majority of suppliers, but Cavanagh Nets Ltd sources its materials and products in Ireland, and has therefore minimised the problems associated with this major change in international trading practices.

Every type of boat needs ropes, whether for rigging, handling or mooring, and these ropes should be of high quality, and must be replaced when they are frayed or worn.  Cavanagh stocks a range of braided nylon yacht ropes in natural white, either loose (sold by the kilo) or in 200 metre reels.  This rope can be bought in 6, 8, 10 or 12 mm diameter.

Alternatively, there are twisted nylon ropes, simple to splice and therefore ideal for mooring lines, and available loose per kilo or by 220 metre coils.


Lifejackets are certainly essential boating accessories for any seagoing boat, and Cavanagh has an excellent range of premium lifejackets in stock.  There are lightweight jackets at remarkably low prices which are more than adequate for kayaking or paddle-boarding on the inland waterways, but the seagoing yachtsman is more likely to be interested in the Mullion range, which are heavy duty, and are made from high abrasion resistant fabric with additional reinforcing around the sides and lower edges.  The experienced yachtsman may well know, from bitter experience, that lifejackets can chafe the neck, so the padding on the collar will be seen as a distinct advantage, as will the mesh back, which not only improves weight dispersal in the water, but also reduces pressure on the back of the neck.

Mullion lifejackets are made by skilled craftsmen for demanding professionals, and they use marine grade stainless steel for their fittings.  There is added protective cover over the zips to reduce the possibility of water ingress, which could lead to inadvertent inflation, but also protects the zip from damage and abrasion.  The crutch strap is detachable, and the operational readiness indicator window and service date information is clearly visible on the back of the lifejacket, making it simple to check before every voyage.  There is a single chamber bladder with an oral inflation tube and SOLAS approved retro-reflective tape and a red recovery grab strap on the bladder marked “LIFT”.

Spare re-arming kits for lifejackets should always be kept on board, stored safely, and checked on a regular basis.  Should they show any sign of deterioration, such as corrosion, rust, scarring or other damage they must be discarded and replaced.  The highest quality zinc-coated CO2 cylinders are stocked by Cavanagh Nets Ltd.  They have a half inch (12mm) UNF thread, which is the one most commonly found on European lifejackets.  Cylinders show a date of manufacture, but no expiry date.

Each lifejacket is designed for a specific size of cylinder, and only the correct cylinder should be used.  The gross weight of the cylinder is stamped on the bottle; typically, a 33g CO2 cylinder would weigh 139.0, and that is the weight that will appear on the bottle.  Each cylinder will fully inflate the lifejacket, and double chamber lifejackets are fitted with pressure release valves to ensure that should both cylinders fire simultaneously, any excess CO2 is released through the bottom of the manual inflation tube.

Please note that while boating accessories containing CO2 cylinders can be shipped to any destination in Ireland (32 counties), there are some destinations to which shipping of CO2 cylinders is not permitted.

Still on the theme of safety, the 5 Step Emergency Safety Rescue Ladder is an item that an experienced yachtsman will hope never to use, but without which he will not leave port.  An excellent and simple design, the case of the ladder is attached to a rail on the boat, and the person who has fallen overboard simply pulls on the handle for the ladder to deploy for a quick and easy rescue.  Made of strong plastic, the steps are easily packed back into the nylon case.  Specification: overall height, 1400 mm, step length and width, 290 mm x 75 mm, height between steps, 300 mm.


The ”F” Series fender buoys in the traditional long shape are available in white, the F1 measuring 6” x 25” and the F13 for larger boats 32” x 77”.  These are well-made and durable, and therefore popular, but Cavanagh stocks a range of inflatable buoys and fenders, of which the “A” series is probably the best known and most widely used.  The manufacturing process of high pressure injection moulding ensures seamless construction and the highest breaking strength, which is why these buoys are the first choice for professional users all over the world.  Easily recognisable, these blue rib-reinforced buoys are solid, strong, and renowned for durability and value for money.

Cavanagh Nets Ltd also stocks inflatable marker buoys in red, yellow, green, white and black with a circumference of 30” – 40” (A-0 and A-1), and the larger inflatable buoys, with diameters ranging from 40” to 135”, are available in red.

Sacrificial anodes are boating accessories that need to be replaced at regular intervals if the hull or rudder of the boat is not to deteriorate.  For small craft, the 70 mm zinc anode is for mounting on the rudder, and, like the hull anode, can be bolted into place.  Zinc is used in these anodes because it has a higher voltage in the water so the current is more inclined to flow from it than from the propeller.  In order to complete the electrical circuit, the anodes must be connected to the items they are intended to protect.  These bolt-on anodes have a hole size suitable for an up to 13 mm bolt.

Cavanagh Nets Ltd also stocks weld on zinc hull anodes in one of the most commonly used sizes in the range, and these come with metal tabs at each end for welding to the hull or rudder of the craft.  These anodes are designed for small to medium sized vessels.

An accurate and well-designed compass is vital for any journey that takes the boat out of sight of land, and Cavanagh’s come with a convenient bracket mount.  The compass measures 130 mm (height) by 78mm (diameter).  Colours, white or black.

Small Boating Accessories

Almost every boat will boast a box of small essentials, those boating accessories that are always useful and often lost – shackles of various sizes in particular, both bow and D type are lost overboard with infuriating regularity, and have to be replaced.  Swivels and carbine clips, quick links and rope grips, as well as thimbles, round rings and pulley blocks.  Grapnels, too – these can be lost all too easily should nobody notice that the rope has frayed, and spares of all these items will be carried on a well-equipped boat.  Cavanagh Nets Ltd stocks them all, in stainless steel, which is the only material that will withstand the rigours of a saltwater environment.

Cavanagh Nets Ltd., for yachting essentials and boating accessories of high quality delivered by a company with an excellent reputation.

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