Sailboats 16 Feet but Less Than 26 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.

Passengers under 13 years of age must wear a Type I, II, or III wearable PFD while the vessel is underway. Underway means not at anchor, made fast to the shore, or aground.

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.

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).


US Coast Guard-approved red and green side lights and a white stern light are required when not at dock. White lights shall be visible at a distance of at least two (2) miles. Colored lights shall be visible at a distance of at least one (1) mile. "Visible" when applied to lights means visible on dark nights with clear atmosphere.

If side lights and stern lights are not practical, at least one bright light, lantern, or flashlight displayed as a mast head light is required.

Power-driven sailboats shall exhibit navigation lights as shown in Figure 1 or Figure 2.

Red and green side lights, and white lights positioned above and/or 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.