A Course for Safe Boating
Boating Law, Navigational Rules and Navigational Aids
REQUIRED SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Recreational vessels must carry specified safety equipment, which may vary
according to the type of boat, the boat’s power source, the boat’s length, the
place and time you’re using it and the number of people aboard. Sailboats,
canoes, rowboats, and inflatable rafts equipped with motors are considered
motorboats and must be equipped as motorboats.
Does your boat have any one or more of the following?
Inboard or stern-drive engine
Closed compartments where portable fuel tanks may be stored
Double-walled hulls that are not sealed or not completely filled with
Enclosed living spaces
Closed stowage compartments in which combustible or flammable materials
may be stored
Permanently installed fuel tanks
If you answered “yes” to any of the fire extinguisher questions:
Your boat must carry a Coast Guard-approved fire extinguisher in an easy-
Fire extinguishers are classified by letters and Roman numeral symbols.
The letter indicates the type of fire the device is made to extinguish and
the Roman numeral indicates the size of the extinguisher: The Coast Guard
requires Type B extinguishers that are designed for flammable liquids such
as gasoline, oil and grease fires. An extinguisher is suitable for marine
use when it bears a label that either has: Coast Guard approval numbers,
“Marine Type USCG” or both markings. Information stating that it is listed
with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and suitable for marine use must also
be on the extinguisher. It must be of the type and size described in Table B.
UL-listed extinguishers must bear a UL rating of 5-B:C or higher.
Note: All recently manufactured UL Marine Type 5 extinguishers will bear
both the UL and Coast Guard markings.
The Roman numerals after the letters, I and II, indicate the size of the
extinguisher. A Class B-II extinguisher has four to five times more
extinguishing material than a Class B-I extinguisher.
Boat operators should show all
passengers where safety equipment
is stored. Make sure your passengers
know what to do in case of an