Powerboats 40 Feet but Less Than 65 Feet In Length: Required Safety Equipment

Title and Registration Numbers

Title and registration numbers are required.

Personal Flotation Devices

One US Coast Guard approved wearable device is required for each person on board. One US Coast Guard approved throwable device (Type IV) is required on board and readily accessible. Inflatable PFDs are authorized only when used according to the instructions on US Coast Guard approval labels.

Each wearable PFD should be readily accessible, in serviceable condition, and of the appropriate size for the intended user. Wearable devices should also be approved for the activity taking place and used according to the instructions on its label. Learn more about PFD fit and types.

Fire Extinguishers

Either of the following meets the fire extinguisher requirement:

  • 3 US Coast Guard-approved type B-1 marine-grade fire extinguishers, OR
  • 1 US Coast Guard-approved type B-2 marine-grade AND 1 type B-1 marine-grade fire extinguisher

If a vessel has a fixed fire extinguishing system, that will affect the number and type of fire extinguishers required.

The fire extinguisher must:

  • Be readily accessible.
  • Be in condition for immediate and effective use at all times.

Visual Distress Signals

Visual distress signals that are US Coast Guard-approved for day and night use are required if operating in coastal waters of the state. Visual distress signals must be readily accessible, in working condition, and unexpired (if expiration date is shown).

Sound-Producing Device

One whistle or horn and one bell is required. Each sound producing device must be capable of producing an efficient sound that can signal intentions and position in periods of reduced visibility.


US Coast Guard-approved red and green side lights and a white masthead and stern light are required when not at dock. The required navigation lights must be equipped as shown in Figure 1.

Red and green side lights; white lights positioned above and at rear of vessel

US Coast Guard-approved lights must be:

  • serviceable,
  • displayed from sunset to sunrise in all weather,
  • displayed during restricted visibility, and
  • visible all around the horizon.

Any other lights on the vessel:

  • must not be exhibited in a way that may be mistaken for navigation lights;
  • must not impair the visibility or distinctive characteristics of navigation lights; and
  • must not interfere with the keeping of a proper lookout.


Ventilation systems are required of all vessels using liquid fuel that is volatile. Vessels that are of "open construction" are exempt. More information about ventilation requirements can be found in the Water Safety Act booklet.

Backfire Flame Arrestor

Backfire flame arrestors are required for gasoline engines installed in a vessel after April 25, 1940. Outboard motors are an exception to this requirement.

An acceptable means of backfire flame control must be suitably attached to the air intake with a flame tight connection. The device must be US Coast Guard-approved or comply with SAE J-1928 or UL 1111 standards and be marked accordingly.

Exhaust Water Manifold

A motorboat must have an exhaust water manifold or a factory-type muffler installed on the engine.


A rearview mirror no less than four inches in width and height is required when towing a person.

A mirror is not required when towing a person if an observer is present who is:

  • on board the motorboat,
  • not the operator of the motorboat,
  • 13 years of age or older, and
  • acting in the capacity of an observer.