Stay Safe ... And Legal

You won't pass a vessel safety check without these items onboard.

Photo of Mustang survival PFD

Life Jackets For Everyone

A properly fitting and serviceable jacket for all passengers, as well as a throwable device for boats over 16 feet.

Photo of a fire extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher

A single Coast Guard-approved B-1 rated extinguisher satisfies the requirements for motorized boats.

Photo of a flare gun

Visual Distress Signal

If your boat is less than 16 feet, you only need a nighttime signaling device. If your boat is longer than 16 feet, you need both day and night signals. Different rules apply on small bodies of water, but it’s always wise to carry them.

Photo of an air horn

Sound Signal

Horn, whistle or other sound making device to alert other boaters if you need assistance or to signal a warning.

Considerations For Inboards

Boats with inboards must have a ventilation system, plus carburetor motors require a back-fire flame arrestor.End of story marker

Published: Spring 2014


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BoatUS Recommends You Should Also Have:

  • Anchor
  • Bailer
  • Oars/Paddles
  • First-Aid Kit
  • VHF Radio
  • Extra Water/Food
  • Charged Cell Phone
  • Tool Kit
  • Sun Protection
  • Flashlight
  • Float Plan

BoatUS sponsors the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Power Squadrons voluntary Vessel Safety Checks. For more info,


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