*Only required under certain conditions*
A reboarding device is required If the vertical height that must be climbed to re-board the boat from the water (freeboard) is over 0.5metres (1’8”).
Being able to re-board your vessel is very important and even more so if you are the only one in the boat and have fallen overboard. That is why a vessel that has a freeboard of greater than 0.5 metres is required by law to have one. If you have a transom ladder or swim platform ladder, you meet the requirements. The key, of course, is in having the ladder going deep enough into the water to allow you to easily climb onto it and back aboard your vessel. If you do not have a fixed ladder and rely on something portable make sure it is located in a place in your boat that you can reach it from the water, retrieve and secure it to be operational. Unfortunately, if your freeboard is such that you legally need a reboarding device, you might not be able to reach up and over your gunwales for it. Decide how to solve this problem before you find yourself needing it. Although not satisfying the legal requirements (therefore it is necessary to have a reboarding device onboard as well), a good idea is to leave a length of rope, with a few knots tied in it to act as grab handles, permanently attached to the stern of your vessel or stored just inside. That way if you do end up in the water unexpectedly, you can grab the rope and have something to help yourself re-board. Opt for a line that floats to make sure that it will not be caught by the propeller.