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Mandatory Boating Equipment


Expert Article By: Kathryn Ali


The summer has finally arrived. This year, you are excited because you are going to buy your first motorized boat. But before you take off across the river or lake, whether it is for joyriding or fishing, there is a mandatory boating equipment list in the United States. If living in a different country, please check online for changes/additions to the following requirements.

The waterways are supervised by police and they will stop you to do a boat check. Best to be prepared!

Required Documents: Have your boat ownership registration papers and photo identification with you at all times, whenever you go out in a boat.

Life Jackets (Personal Floatation Devices): A life jacket is a jacket or belt that helps a person to float in the water and prevents a person from drowning.

Every person on a boat must wear a life jacket. They have to fit right and be the correct size. Children have got to wear a life jacket at all times. Never put an adult life jacket on a child.

If the boat is 16 feet and longer, then it requires having a minimum of one life-ring or floating cushion. If there is an emergency and someone is at risk of drowning, then the life ring is used.

Fire Extinguisher: All boats that have an engine and/or fuel tank in an enclosed compartment must have a fire extinguisher that does not have an expired date on it. If it has an expired date on it then it might not function properly in an emergency.

Emergency Signals and Noise Making Devices: All boats require functioning distress signals whether it is red flares, distress flags, or orange smoke. A good Horn or whistle is also needed. You can use a hand-held whistle for small boats but the larger boats need a horn that can be heard a good distance away.

Boat Lights: It is very important that the lights on your boat be put on properly according to size and class of your boat. These lights are a signal to other boat operators as to whether your boat is anchored, sailing or motorized.

Green Light- shows directly in front to 112.5 degrees down the right side (known as starboard) of the boat.

Red Light- shows directly in front to 112.5 degrees down the left side (known as port side) of the boat.

White Masthead Light- shows in the whole 225 degrees that is covered by the total area of both of the Green and the Red lights together.

White Stern Light- shows at the back of the boat to 67.5 degrees on both sides of the stern. This gives a total area of 135 degrees..

To avoid really nasty fines from the authorities, ensure that you always do a check of all the required equipment. Before taking off in your boat, make sure that everything is doing what it is suppose to do.

By: Kathryn Ali

Copyright http://boating.actual-facts.com 2007


About The Author

Kathryn Ali is the Author and Owner of http://www.boating.actual-facts.com



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