There are a few lists of things that you should consider bringing onboard. The following list contains the absolute must haves to be in compliance with R2AK and the various requirements of the local, state/province, and national governments:
- NEW in 2020: As per the Canadian Coast Guard, every vessel in the R2AK must carry at least one PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) or EPIRB that has actually been registered
- VHF radio
- Sound signal
- Navigation lights
- An approved method for signaling distress at night
- An approved PFD (life jacket) for everyone onboard
- A throwable flotation device
- And if you are going outside you need to comply with the R2AK Offshore Safety Equipment Requirements (SERs)
Bottom line is we want everyone to adhere to all safety requirements of both the US and Canadian rules for their specific boat and uses. So know the laws. Depending on your boat type you may be required to carry additional items.
Here are links for Canadian boating requirements for your size and type of vessel (yes, they are very specific!).
If you fly a flag other than Canadian.
If you are Canadian:
And here is a link to what they call, “Be Prepared.” I feel like there should be background music every time I say that.
There is also great information that the racers are posting on the R2AK forum. It’s where the cool kids hang out.
SPOT Tracker: You’ll be issued and trained on a SPOT Tracker the day before the race. You’ll also cough up a $200 refundable deposit that day.
Crossing the border: The folks at Canadian Customs have asked us to remind people that everyone onboard will also need a valid passport to cross the borders. Also, you’re going into Canada so no weed or guns.