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Boating Safety
Boating Equipment Checklist

Photo Credit: National Safe Boating Council

All recreational boats are required to have size-specific safety equipment on board. Required equipment may include: life jackets, fire extinguisher, visual distress signal, sound-producing device, backfire flame control and navigation lights.

These *checklists outline U.S. Coast Guard minimum requirements and other recommended equipment for recreational boats. For more information, please check with local Marine Law Enforcement Authorities. Boaters should also schedule a vessel safety check.


  • Paddlecraft (less than 16 feet)
  • Small powerboats (less than 16 feet)
  • Powerboats (less than 26 feet)
  • Powerboats (26 to less than 40 feet)

For recreational boats greater than 40 feet, please review the U.S. Coast Guard: A Boater’s Guide to the Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats.

More Information

American Canoe Association Paddle Ready App

U.S. Coast Guard Division of Boating Safety

U.S. Coast Guard Mobile App


*The equipment checklists were provided by the National Safe Boating Council.

Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Coast Guard.


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