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On a 15 Foot Boat Which Object is Required to Be on Board? – Equipment Requirements

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

on a 15 foot boat which object is required to be on board

Boating can be a fun, bonding activity; however, there are minimum requirements regarding the UGCG rules when you’re out and about on a vessel.

On a 15 foot boat which object is required to be on board? You’re going to need personal flotation devices, bells and whistles, visual distress signals, and several other items that will be discussed in detail in the next section. Read on to find out!


On a 15 Foot Boat Which Object is Required to Be on Board


Below is the current up-to-date list of items that align with the US Coast Guard (USCG) federal laws in terms of boating safety. The list applies to recreational boats with sizes of up to 65 feet and boats over 16 feet.

It is worth mentioning that these items are only the minimum safety requirements for boats, which means you can exceed the list if possible. Also, check up with your state laws for any further specifics.

1. Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)


Life jackets are a must-have on vessels. Each person, regardless of being on a boat or towed by a boat (water skiing, wake surfing, etc.), is required to wear a personal flotation device of type I, II, III, or V.

Moreover, these devices must be USCG approved and in serviceable condition to adhere to the Coast Guard boat flotation requirements.

2. Bells and Whistles

What sound producing device is required? Vessels under 65.6 feet must carry an efficient sound-producing device like a bell or whistle.

The federal laws did not mention any specific requirement for these devices, so as long as the item can produce signals that meet the navigational rules, you’re good to go.

3. Visual Distress Signals

A 15-footer only needs night visual signaling devices, even though visual distress signals are compulsory for vessels of any size. Since pyrotechnic and non-pyrotechnic devices are allowed, you can opt for either one of them. Personally, we feel like non-pyrotechnic is a safer choice since it’s non-combustible.

It is worth mentioning that you need to have at least 3 of these devices and they ought to be within their expiration day. It’s also common among boaters to combine different types of devices for the best result; however, you should adhere to the USCG regulations in regard to this concern.

4. Fire Extinguishers


Boats of up to 26 feet need to carry a B-1 type approved fire extinguisher in case of fire hazards on board. This also applies for vessels with closed compartments and closed or semi-closed cabins, regardless of the size.

There are exceptions for recreational vessels in which the fuel tanks are not permanently installed. However, it’s always safer to have a portable fire extinguisher with you; you never know what can happen when you’re out and about in the middle of nowhere.

5. Ventilation System

Boats built before April 1, 1980, are required to have at least 2 ventilation ducts fitted with cowls and they must ventilate the bilge of the closed engine and fuel tank compartment properly and effectively. These are the natural ventilation.

Meanwhile, boats built after April 1, 1980, need to have additional exhaust blowers for the gasoline engines besides the two mentioned ventilation ducts. This power-operated blower can be controlled from the instrument panel.

6. Backfire Flame Arrestor


Except for outboard motors, all vessels with a gas inboard engine are required to carry a means of backfire flame arrestor, with each one marked for compliance.

As said, fire on a boat is life-threatening so it’s vital to spot the signs for first aid management. Consequently, these devices must be USCG-approved.



What Does A Boat Less Than 20 Feet Must Have?

All vessels under 26 feet must have all of the items mentioned in the list above at the least; a boat less than 12 meters and boats less than 20 feet are no exception.

You should also consider adding more items to the list, such as a first aid kit, fixing tools, spare fuel and water, etc. These gadgets will come in handy when you need them the most, especially the emergency water and fuel. Who knows? What if your fuel gauge is broken and the boat runs out of fuel?

Which Of The Following Items Is Required Abroad A Personal Watercraft?

A personal watercraft doesn’t need daytime or nighttime visual distress signals as well as bells and whistles. Otherwise, the mentioned items required on a boat in the list must be present on board and they ought to be USCG approved. If you fail to have any of these items when caught boating, the maximum fine can be up to $1000.

What Are The Differences Between Equipment Requirements of a specific state?


Besides the items mentioned, Alabama boat required equipment includes an emergency cut-off switch. The device shall be attached with the boat operator, regardless where (on the body, on the clothing, on the life jacket). This device, when the operator is removed from the operating station unattendedly, will shut off the engine immediately.

As for boaters in Texas, add either an exhaust water manifold or a factory-type muffler and an engine cut-off switch to the class A boat requirements in Texas. And for Michigan, the list above still applies without needing any extra items.

Required boat safety equipment Florida and Michigan boat required equipment are similar to what included above with boats under 16 feet.

What are the Jon boat requirements?

Below are what boaters must prepare before taking their Jon Boat out to the water, according to the U.S Coast Guard:

  • Personal Floatation Devices
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Sound Producing Device
  • Throwable Device
  • Navigation Lights
  • Visual Distress Signals
  • Skier Flag


Boating can be an amusing and recreational activity provided that you gear up well before boarding to prevent unfortunate accidents on seas. On a 15 foot boat which object is required to be on board? Today’s article should give you an answer to this question.

Be safe boating. You don’t want to be caught boating without the gears you need, do you?

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