Boat Safety Equipment Checklist

There are a number of things you need to keep on board your boat and inspect regularly to ensure the
safety of your passengers. The U.S. Coast Guard requires the following:
You will need a wearable, personal flotation device for each person on board, including anyone you are
towing while waterskiing or tubing, etc.; and children under 12 are required to wear one at all times. It’s
also a good idea to fit your dog for one if he happens to come along.
At least one throwable flotation device, such as a ring buoy or floating cushion, must be on board as
well. It’s even better if you have more than one and at least one with a line attached so you can pull a
person into your boat.
Fire extinguishers are also a must. Boats up to 26 feet, including personal watercrafts, need at least 1 of
the B-1 variety and those 26 to 40 feet need either 2 of those or 1 of the B-2 type. They are easy to use.
You simply pull the pin, aim and squeeze the handle. However, it’s a good idea to make sure the people
on board know how to use it or it won’t do much good.
Boats up to 16 feet need a nighttime visual distress signaling device. Boats over 16 feet need visual
signals for both day and night. Sound signaling devices, such as a horn or whistle, are also required.
Vessels over 39 feet should also sound a bell at regular intervals when there is limited visibility.
There are also other items that aren’t required, but sure are handy in a pinch…like a first aid kit, an
anchor with line, a bailing device, oars, a flashlight and a VHF radio…just to name a few.
So stock up on your safety gear and be safe out there, my friends!

Gerry's Marina

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