From the BDN story:
Guides and safety experts recommend that kayakers always check weather forecasts before any voyage, get safety training and have:
• Open-water sea kayaks, generally 15 to 16 feet or longer, which have watertight flotation chambers. The boats are more stable in wind and waves.
• Spray skirts that can keep water from washing into a boat and reducing stability.
• Wet suits or dry suits, until water temperatures rise above 60 degrees, or until the combined air and water temperature exceeds 120 degrees.
• A waterproof VHF radio, or a cell phone in a watertight case.
• Signaling devices.
• Life jackets.
• Name and phone numbers written on the boat.