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Class 1 Vehicles

Minimum Required Safety Equipment for16 To Less Than 26 Foot Boat
Class 1 Recreational Vessels
(16 to less than 26ft / 4.9 to less than 7.9m)

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) One approved Type I, II, or III for each person on board or being towed on waterskis etc., in addition, one throwable Type IV device Must be USCG approved. Must be in serviceable condition. Must be properly stored.

NOTE: A Type V hybrid may substituted for any Type I, II, or III device, but it must actually be worn whenever the vessel is underway and the person is not in the cabin or other enclosed area. Class I: Every person on board under the age of six (6) must wear an approved Type I, II, or III while the vessel is underway.

Water Skier: Every person skiing or aquaplaning must wear an approved Type I, II, or III PFD. Inflatable PFDs are prohibited.

Fire Extinguisher

Must be USCG approved Must be serviceable condition At least one B-I type approved hand-held portable fire extinguisher (not required on outboard motorboats less than 26 feet in length and not carrying passengers for hire, if the construction of the vessel will not permit entrapment of explosives or flammable gasses or vapors and if the fuel tank is not permanently installed.

NOTE: When an approved fixed fire extinguishing system is installed in the machinery space(s), it may be counted in the place of one B-I type hand-held portable fire extinguisher. Some fire extinguishers require specific mounting brackets for approval. Read the label on your fire extinguisher for this information.

Visual Distress Signal

Required on the high sea and coastal waters only Must carry visual distress signal for both day and nighttime use.

NOTE: Coastal waters means the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and all bays, sounds, harbors, rivers, inlets, etc. where any entrance is over two (2) miles wide to the first point where the distance between shorelines narrows to 2 miles.

Sound Producing Device

(bell, horn, whistle etc.) Every vessel less than 12 meters (39.4 ft) in length must carry an efficient sound producing device. The sound producing device need not meet any particular specifications, as long as the vessel can produce signals required by the navigational rules.

Backfire Flame Control An effective means of controlling backfire flame of all gasoline engines installed after April 25, 1940, except outboard motors Backfire flame arrestors must be USCG approved.


(Boats built prior to August 1, 1980) At least two ventilator ducts fitted with cowls or their equivalent for the purpose of properly and efficiently ventilating the bilges of every closed engine and fuel -tank compartment of boats constructed or decked over after April 25, 1940, using gasoline as fuel or other fuels having a flash point of 110 degrees or less.

(Boats built after August 1, 1980) At least two ventilator ducts for the purpose of efficiently ventilating every closed compartment that contains a gasoline engine and every closed compartment containing a gasoline tank, except for those having permanently installed tanks which vent outside the boat and contain no unprotected electrical devices. Also, engine compartments containing a gasoline engine having a cranking motor must contain power operated exhaust blowers which can be controlled from the instrument panel.

We further suggest that you equip your vessel with an anchor and a sufficient amount of anchor line; a de-watering device, such as a bilge pump in the event of flooding; and an oar, paddle or other alternative means of propulsion in case your engine fails. If the above equipment requirements and suggestions are met, you may be eligible to display a FWC or Coast Guard Auxiliary safety decal. For more information, please contact your local FWC office.