How to Not Put Yourself in Jeopardy Aboard a One Man Boat

You’ve probably heard the saying “there’s safety in numbers.” However, for many of us, getting out on the open water by ourselves is how we truly relax and unwind.

Regardless of which type of one man boat you choose (i.e. kayak, canoe, round boat or small jon boat), one thing they share is the extra consideration you must make for safety. Since you’re out by yourself, there won’t be anyone else to help you should an emergency occur.

This shouldn’t dissuade you from a one man boat though. With a few extra precautions, you can still enjoy fishing or being out on the water.

Continue reading for a few of these precautions you should take and gear you should have on your one man boat in the event you tip over or find yourself in an emergency situation.

  • Tell family or a friend you’ll be going out and when you expect to return – A good precaution no matter how many people are going, this is especially important on a one man boat. If you don’t return around the expected time, this person will be able to notify the Coast Guard or the local authorities to come and look for you.


  • Be aware of weather conditions – Since one man boats are so small, you need to make sure the conditions will be suitable for going out. If it’s too rough, even the Coast Guard or some other rescue organization will not risk themselves to come and find you.


  • Don’t be too daring – Remember, you’re in a one man boat, so you’re not going to want to venture very far offshore. Many unfortunate situations occur because the fisherman decides he can make that spot when in fact his boat isn’t equipped to go that far.
life jacket

USCG-approved life jacket (courtesy of

  • Keep a life jacket onboard – Having an approved flotation device is in fact required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Regardless of any requirements, it’s just plain old common sense to wear one. If you end up in the water, the life jacket will literally be a life-saver, especially if you are injured.



  • Take a water-proof handheld radio – If you have a problem, a hand-held radio will be vital for communicating with any other vessels in the area or the Coast Guard. A cell phone will work too provided you’re not offshore or in a very rural area. However, having something that’s waterproof will ensure it won’t be damaged should your one man boat tip over.


  • Carry an EPIRB or Personal Locator Beacon – These devices work through satellites and provide your exact location to the Coast Guard or local agency. They are better than a radio or cell phone since you won’t have to try and explain where you are, which is especially important if you’ll be anywhere off the coast.


  • Bring a change of clothes – Even if it’s the summer time, getting wet will draw the heat out of your body and eventually cause hypothermia. If you fall out of the boat and get back onboard, dry clothes will be vital for ensuring you can dry off and safely get back to shore. In its advanced stages, hypothermia can lead to heart and respiratory failure and eventually death.


  • Carry an extra paddle – If you’re motor gives out, you’ll need some way to propel your one man boat back to shore. While you may think your motor is in tip-top shape, something as simple as losing a cotter pin on your propeller can make your motor useless.


  • Bring some extra water and some food rations – If you’re stuck out on the water and waiting for rescue, you’ll want to have some water to stay hydrated and some food to maintain your strength. Dehydration and hunger can turn an already bad situation into a worse one. Your food rations can be as simple as a few energy bars – anything that will give you some strength during a difficult time.


  • Carry a small first aid kit – If you cut yourself or have a hook lodged in your skin, a good first aid kit will allow you to temporarily treat your wound so you can get back without bleeding too much or experiencing debilitating pain.


  • Invest in waterproof bags – Many of the items listed here won’t be too helpful if they get wet, so make sure you spend a few extra bucks for some waterproof bags that you can attach to your one man boat.


Like we explained earlier, being out by yourself in nature on the open water is an energizing experience. Although it carries a few extra risks, taking the above precautions and having the right gear can help you prevent or mitigate any issues.

Round About Watercrafts is a premier manufacturer of round one man boats for hunting, fishing or general cruising. Our vessels are incredibly stable, lightweight and have little to no draft. To learn more about safety on our one man boats or to see how they provide an excellent way to get out on the water, visit today.

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