Good list CD. Well thought out.
How do you feel about life rafts?
I'm still not sold on radar as a necessity. I agree they are a nice luxury. However, they draw a lot of power when active. And the shipping lane example you gave about the ships bearing down on you and changing course at the last moment was because they were using radar, not because you were. So a radar REFLECTOR might be more valuable as a safety tool, though I've heard their effectiveness is debateable too.
I'm on the fence with EPIRB's too for circumnavigating and bluewater passagemaking. I believe that if you choose to circumnavigate and/or make a major bluewater passage you need to be fully confident in your sailing and survival skills and not rely one bit on rescue from others. If your EPIRB signal is being emitted, you've encountered a major problem and you're likely too far from help for it to matter in the immediate future. But I could be wrong. I'm a bit jaded about EPIRB's after having read Steve Callahan's book Adrift. His EPIRB didn't help and he was constantly rationing it's battery life.
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