Boating - Required Equipment Overview

The California Department of Boating and Waterways publishes an annual guide to boating legal requirements called the ABCs of California Boating. This guide is the best source for boaters to ensure that their vessel meets the legal requirements in California waterways. I frequently refer customers to this guide and feel this information would be good to share on the blog. Although I cannot review the entire guide, I will be focusing on required equipment according to vessel size. I will provide information on sailboat and manually propelled vessels, motorboats less than 16 feet, motorboats 16 to less than 26, and motorboat 26 to 40 feet.

Sailboats and Manually Propelled Vessels

Life Jackets:

                        - Must carry Type I, II, III, or V life jacket for each person on board

                        - Boats over 16 feet must also carry one type IV throwable device

Navigation Lights:

                          - All vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise

Sound Signaling Devices:

                         - Vessels less than 39 feet 4 inches are not require to have a whistle or bell

                         - Must provide some means of making efficient sound signal

Visual Distress Signals:

                          - Required in coastal waters

                          - Some exceptions may apply

Less Than 16 Feet                 

Life Jackets:

                        - Must carry Type I, II, III, or V life jacket for each person on board

                        - Boats over 16 feet must also carry one type IV throwable device

Navigation Lights:

                          - All vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise

Sound Signaling Devices:

                         - Vessels less than 39 feet 4 inches are not require to have a whistle or bell

                         - Must provide some means of making efficient sound signal

Visual Distress Signals:

                          - Required in coastal waters

                          - Some exceptions may apply

Fire Extinguisher:

                           -Type B-1 Coat Guard Approved extinguisher required

                          - Not required for open boats lees than 26' with outboard       

16 Feet to Less Than 16 Feet

Life Jackets:

                        - Must carry Type I, II, III, or V life jacket for each person on board

                        - Boats over 16 feet must also carry one type IV throwable device

Navigation Lights:

                          - All vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise

Sound Signaling Devices:

                         - Vessels less than 39 feet 4 inches are not require to have a whistle or bell

                         - Must provide some means of making efficient sound signal

Visual Distress Signals:

                          - Required in coastal waters

                          - Some exceptions may apply

Fire Extinguisher:

                           -Type B-1 Coat Guard Approved extinguisher required

                          - Not required for open boats lees than 26' with outboard       

 

26 Feet to 40 Feet

Life Jackets:

                        - Must carry Type I, II, III, or V life jacket for each person on board

                        - Boats over 16 feet must also carry one type IV throwable device

Navigation Lights:

                          - All vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise

Sound Signaling Devices:

                         - Vessels less than 39 feet 4 inches are not require to have a whistle or bell

                         - Must provide some means of making efficient sound signal

Visual Distress Signals:

                          - Required in coastal waters

                          - Some exceptions may apply

Fire Extinguisher:

                           -Type B-1 Coat Guard Approved extinguisher required

                          - Not required for open boats lees than 26' with outboard     

  The above information is a summary of equipment that is legally required, but not intended  as a complete guide to all that is required. For specifications and complete list of requirements please see the ABCs of California Boating guide. After reviewing what is required and if you still have unresolved questions please contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary. 

Ryan Wynn

Marine

Store 49 Manteca

 

                                                                                                                                                           

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