A Course for Safe Boating
Boating Law, Navigational Rules and Navigational Aids
All boats must carry some means of producing a sound signal, loud enough to
be heard for at least half a mile.
You must use your sound signaling device:
When meeting, crossing or overtaking another boat.
During periods of reduced visibility, such as fog or a blind bend in the river
or narrow channel.
During an emergency, to attract attention.
Sound signaling devices come in many shapes and sizes.
You can use:
An air horn (hand held or mounted).
An electric horn.
In an emergency you can even use:
A megaphone made from a rolled up chart.
A metal pot to bang on.
Vessels 40 feet or longer are required to carry a whistle and a bell to meet the
sound signaling device requirements.
Radios such as VHF are commonly used to communicate between boats.
They can be valuable tools for signaling other boats when you cross or over-
For more information on regulations
for sound signals, visitwww.dbw.ca.gov/SoundSignal
When you come upon more than
one vessel, you may not be able
to signal your intention with horn
You must take any action
necessary to avoid a collision.