A watertight flashlight should always be in good working condition. Be sure to check the batteries regularly and ensure that the flashlight does, in fact, work before you set sail. Watertight means that you can turn on the flashlight, hold it under water and it will continue to operate for at least a minute. Here are a few tips to ensure you have the ‘right stuff’. Have spare batteries on board and store them in plastic bags (ie. Ziplock) or waterproof containers so they will stay dry. Although it is required to have other forms of distress signals, a watertight flashlight can come in handy in case of an emergency. For example, an S.O.S. distress signal can be given off if other forms of distress signals, such as flares, fail.
Watertight flashlights come in all sizes and shapes. The new LED types are great since they consume little energy. Having more than one is the way to go. There should be one in the cockpit, one in the galley and one at the chart table at least.
Having a head mounted type of flashlight is worth its weight in gold. Their main advantage is that they free up your hands and the beam of light follows the movements of your head as you look at something in the dark.