Equipment Specs

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:

  • 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.

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 has asked us to let you know that you must use the ArriveCan app to make entry into Canada. This also means you’ll need a passport and vax card. Also, you’re going into Canada so no weed or guns.

Be safe, be warm , be visible

In addition to what is required, prudent racers will consider at least the following list:

  • Emergency smoke signals and dye markers
  • Radar reflectors
  • Emergency shelter
  • Sufficient water and food
  • Clothing and shelter systems that will retain heat when wet
  • Adequate first aid supplies
  • Charts and navigation equipment
  • Anchor and line
  • Redundant systems for safety, navigation, and emergencies

While our litigious society prohibits us from saying what we would bring or offering any useful advice* we encourage you to talk with fellow racers, boating education institutions, other adventure races, and life saving organizations as to what you should bring.

* Legal counsel has advised us to remind you that this could be pretty dangerous. You should probably just forget about the whole thing.

Look at what other racers have to say about gear and everything else at the Race to Alaska Forum.