Essential Equipment for Boating
All boats are required to carry a minimum amount of safety equipment approved by the Coast Guard. and should obviously be in good condition. The type and number kinds of safety equipment required depends on the boat’s length and classification and may vary from state to state,
Life vests; or personal flotation devices (PFDs) are the basic and required equipment for all boats, and there must be enough for every person onboard and for those are being towed by the boat: waterskiing/tube riders, etc.
Boats less than 16 feet in length must have one type of life vest for every person on board. Boats 16 feet or larger are also required to have a throwable life ring, boat cushion or that meet legal requirements.
Signaling equipment. Despite the perception that “bells and whistles” means something useless and unnecessary, in boating, they are required and necessary. Basically, boats 16 feet and less meet the requirement with a whistle (the louder, the better). Boats longer than 65 feet are required to carry both a whistle and a bell audible for over one nautical mile.
Visual distress signaling devices are required for vessels sailing on open sea and coastal waters. Even if not required, they should still be part of any size boats equipment.
Onboard safety. Portable Fire extinguishers are required. Type and number depends on the size of the boat. Check with the Coast Guard to find the required number for your size of boat.
Don’t forget that protecting your boat, even when docked is also a safety issue. Quality canvas coverings from CMC Canvas LLC protects and preserves your boat, extending the useful life of your boat, saving you the extra expense of extra maintenance and the need to invest in another boat sooner.