Friday, July 19, 2024

Do I Need Flares On My Boat

Do I Need Flares On My Boat In Michigan

How To Make a Fender Board to Protect Your Boat | BoatUS

Yes, you need to have visual distress signals on board your boat to be in compliance with laws. The type of distress signal that is required varies by the size of your boat and which body of water you are on.

Boats that are longer than 16 feet are required to have visual distress signals on board. The distress signal laws are governed by the US Coast guard. The exact requirements for flares and other visual distress signals can be found starting on page 16 of the US Coast Guards Boaters Guide

Unauthorised Use Of Flares

There are severe penalties for the improper use of flares.

Flares have a very serious purpose. Falsely indicating distress rightly carries a severe penalty, but it also wastes a lot of time and resources – possibly weakening the ability to respond to a genuine emergency.

Do not leave flares in your boat when it is not in use, and keep them away from children.

Flares Come In Handheld And Aerial Types

Handheld flares produce flames or smoke. Flare guns and flare tubes launch aerial flares, emitting a red or white smoke trail, or launch a parachute and red smoke trail. Different chemical combinations produce the flames or smoke. Orange smoke flares are for daylight use, while red and white flares are primarily used at night. Their burning times and distance vary by flare type. Flare guns are considered a firearm in some states. Check your state regulations before purchasing.

You May Like: Is Banana Boat Sunscreen Cruelty Free

Boat Equipment Checklist For Alabama

Boat Less Than 16 Ft. Boat 16 Ft. To Less Than 26 Ft.
Alabama Boat Operator License Onboard Required
PFDs: Type I, II, III, or V Required
  • Those riding on PWC must wear a Personal Flotation Device.
  • Those under 8 years of age must wear a Personal Flotation Device, except when within an enclosed cabin.
  • PWC must either be equipped with an ignition safety switch or have a self-circling feature. If equipped with an ignition safety switch, the lanyard must be attached to the person, clothing or PFD of the operator.
  • Boats less than 24 feet in length, with an open cockpit and powered by more than 50 horsepower, must be equipped with an ignition safety switch with the lanyard attached to the person, clothing or PFD of the operator.
  • Required on inboard and stern drives only.
  • When boating on federally controlled waters.
  • It is strongly recommended that a PWC is not operated after dark. However, if one is operated at night, it has the same requirements for visual distress signals and navigation lights as boats less than 16 feet in length.
  • The U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will perform a Courtesy Marine Examination of your boat and equipment free of charge. This inspection covers federal and state requirements. If your boat meets all CME requirements, you will receive a CME decal. If your boat fails to meet all requirements, no report is made to any law enforcement agency.


    Personal Flotation Devices

    Fire Extinguishers

    Flame Arrestor

    Emergency Cut-off Switch

    Sound Device

    Orion Safety 801 Orange Floating Smoke Signal

    SOS Electronic Flares

    Help rescuers pinpoint your position during daytime emergencies with the Orion Safety 801. Pull the pin to produce a dense orange smoke and then throw the floating canister downwind of the boat so the smoke drifts away with the wind and current.

    Where to buy:
    • SOLAS and USCG Approved for daytime use only
    • Burn time: each floating canister will deliver 3 minutes of a dense orange cloud
    What we like:
    • It burns longer than a smoke hand-held signal
    What we dont like:
    • Ineffective at nighttime

    Recommended Reading: How To Clean Mildew Off Boat Seats

    Requirements To Carry Visual Signals

    Most pleasure craft must carry visual signals.

    • These are the requirements from the Small Vessel Regulations.
      • Pleasure craft 6 metres or less in length and equipped with a motor must have:
        • 3 type A, B*, or C flares or
        • A watertight flashlight.
      • Sailboats and powerboats over 6 metres and up to 9 metres in length must have:
        • 6 type A, B*, or C flares and
        • A watertight flashlight.
      • Sailboats and powerboats over 9 metres and up to 12 metres in length must have:
        • 12 type A, B*, C, or D flares and
        • A watertight flashlight.
      • Sailboats and powerboats over 12 metres and up to 24 metres in length must have:
        • 12 type A, B*, C, or D flares and
        • A watertight flashlight.

    Be Aware Of Expiry Dates

    Most flares only last three years before they expire. Make sure you keep a check on the expiry dates of flares and life jackets and replace before the expiry date. Fines can apply for having expired safety equipment on board.

    If you have any queries about whether your safety equipment meets your states requirements call one of the experts at Boat Accessories Australia on 1300 308 161 or contact us online.

    Don’t Miss: Freedom Boat Club Jacksonville Costs

    Equipment For Uk Pleasure Vessels

    Make sure you are properly equipped before going on the water.

    For Pleasure Vessels of less than 13.7 metres in length there are no statutory requirements for safety equipment other than those required under SOLAS V.

    However, it is essential that you properly equip your boat prior to going on the water and that you ensure that the craft is suitable for its intended use. All equipment should be checked regularly for wear and tear or damage.

    You will require different equipment for day boats and boats with eating and sleeping facilities. It is essential that you take the time to learn how each item is used.

    Some equipment is mandatory for Pleasure Vessels of 13.7m in length and over which are classified in the Merchant Shipping Regulations as Class XII vessels.

    Class XII vessels are required to comply with the following regulations:

    • Merchant Shipping Regulations 1998 and
    • Merchant Shipping ) Regulations 1999.

    Complying with the Merchant Shipping legislation can prove impractical and there is a possibility of conflict with the Recreational Craft Regulations . To resolve this there are three Exemptions to the Merchant Shipping Regulations. If owners of Class XII vessels opt to comply with one or more of these Exemptions, they do not need to comply with the underlying regulations to which they relate.

    The table below has been produced on the basis of what is necessary to comply with the:

    M = Mandatory

    Personal Flotation Devices Are Classified By Types Indicated Below:

    How To Use Trim Tabs On A Boat | BoatUS
    • Type I: Has the greatest required buoyancy and is designed to turn most unconscious persons in the water from a face down position to a vertical or slightly backward position. The Type I PFD provides the greatest protection to its wearer and is most effective for all waters.
    • Type II: A wearable device designed to turn its wearer in a vertical or slightly backward position in the water. The turning action is not as pronounced as with a Type I, and the device will not turn as many persons under the same conditions as the Type I.
    • Type III: A wearable device designed so the wearers can place themselves in a vertical or slightly backward position. While the Type III has the same buoyancy as the Type II PFD, it has a little or no turning ability. A Type III comes in a variety of styles, colors and sizes. Many are designed to be particularly useful when water skiing, sailing, hunting, fishing or engaging in other water sports. Several of this type will also provide increased hypothermia protection.
    • Type IV: A device designed to be thrown to a person in the water and grasped and held by the user until rescued. It is not designed to be worn. The most common Type IV devices are a buoyant cushion and a ring buoy.
    • Type V: Any PFD approved for restricted use. Approved flotation devices which are partially or totally inflatable must be worn to be accepted as a legal device.

    Also Check: Mildew Off Boat Seats

    Orion Safety 584 Alerter Basic 4 12

    The Orion Safety 584 Flare Gun pack is an easy to use and reliable piece of signalling equipment. Load up a 12-gauge cartridge into the pistol and fire it in the air and a search party or a passing ship will notice your distress signal and come to the rescue.

    Where to buy:
    • It includes: 12-gauge safety launcher with bandolier and 12-gauge high-performance red aerial signals
    • Altitude: up to 500 feet
    • Burn time: up to 7 seconds
    • Brightness: up to 16,000 candela
    • USCG Approved as a day or nighttime signal
    What we like:
    • Easy to load and fire
    • Burns bright enough to see at quite a distance
    What we dont like:
    • Cartridges arent spring loaded and can fall out while loading

    Lifejackets And Pfds What’s The Difference

    To comply with the law, as well as make an informed decision about safety, it helps to know the differences between lifejackets and personal flotation devices .

    Only lifejackets satisfy the requirements for life-saving equipment on commercial vessels . This is because lifejackets, which are intended to be put on when you evacuate the vessel or there is a clear risk of going in the water, have two big advantages over most PFDs: they are usually more buoyant and do a better job of keeping your mouth out of the water.To do this, lifejackets can be bulky, making them less likely to be worn at all times, although newer models do provide increased wearability.

    PFDs, on the other hand, are generally more comfortable and can often be worn at all times even while working, which provides added protection in case a person falls overboard accidentally. This is particularly important if you operate alone or in cold water as the effects of cold water immersion will reduce the time you are able to keep your head above water without a flotation device.

    For first-hand accounts of people in cold water and the difficulties they had staying afloat without a lifejacket, go to

    Coastal liferafts are designed for near shore waters. A vessel operating beyond a Near Coastal Voyage, Class 2 must carry a SOLAS liferaft.

    How a Hydrostatic Release Works

    You May Like: How To Remove Mold And Mildew From Vinyl Boat Seats

    Handheld Flare Distress Signal

    A handheld flare is one of the most affordable types of distress signal that can be used during the day or at night. They will have a protective handle to ensure you can deply them safely.

    A handheld flare will generally be visible up to 5 miles away.

    No one single signaling device is ideal under all conditions and for all purposes. Therefore, you might want to think about carrying a few different types. For example, an aerial flare can be seen over a long distance on a clear night. But for closer work, a handheld flare might be better.

    Selecting Visual Distress Signals

    Sierra Division 11

    At some time, it is likely that most boaters may face a situation where you need assistance, if you run aground, have an engine failure, fire, leak or an injury to a member of your crew. Boaters use visual distress signals to attract attention in an emergency, either in the daytime or at night. Of course, using a VHF radio is another very effective way to communicate your situation to potential rescuers, but if your batteries are dead, visual distress signals may be your best hope.

    Also Check: How Much Does Freedom Boat Club Cost Per Month

    Signal Kits Include Both Alert And Locate Flares

    We carry a selection of Signal Kits geared for different types of boatinginland, coastal or offshorethat are packaged in waterproof storage cases and are much more economical than buying the items individually.

    The Weems & Plath SOS Distress Light is a Coast Guard approved alternative to pyrotechnic flares.

    Safety Flare Workshops Are Available From The Uscg Coast Guard Auxiliary Or Us Power Squadrons

    CG Auxiliary, Power Squadrons and many fire departments, will take expired flares. However, I recommend to people they actually keep them on the boat, said Kinstrey. If I am ever sinking in my boat, I want a giant bucket of flares to use rather than just three. Youre allowed to keep old flares as long as you have the required amount of good ones to pass inspection or a CG boarding. I have never seen a flare that failed to fire and I have shot off some pretty OLD flares, said BM1 Kinstrey.

    Also Check: Is Banana Boat Sunscreen Gluten Free

    Navigation Lights Power Driven Vessels

    Figure 1

    Figure 4

    Vessels Less Than 12 Meters in Length

    • Vessels or sailboats using power: the lighting arrangement in Figure 1, 2, 3, or 4 may be used.
    • Sailboats using sail alone: the lighting arrangement in figure 5, 6, or 7 may be used.

    The white masthead light or all around white light must be at least 1 meter higher than the colored sidelights.

    Vessels 12 Meters but Less Than 20 Meters in Length

    • Vessels or sailboats using power: the lighting arrangement in Figure 1 or 2 may be used. The lighting arrangement in Figure 3 may be used if the vessel was constructed before December 24, 1980.
    • Sailboats using sail alone: the lighting arrangement in Figure 5, 6, or 7 may be used.

    The white masthead light or all around white light must be at least 1 meter higher than the colored sidelights.

    Unpowered Vessels

    A vessel under oars and sailboats less than 7 meters in length may display those lights prescribed for a sailing vessel, but it they do not, they shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern shining a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

    International Rules

    Beyond three nautical miles of Viginias coastline, if your power-driven vessel is less than 23 feet in length and its maximum speed does not exceed 7 knots, then it may display an all-round white light, and if possible, sidelights instead of the lights previously prescribed.

    Orion Safety 865 Locator Marine Hand

    Bennett Trim Tab Sizing Guidelines

    The Orion Safety 865 is a simple to use distress signal. But because this marine hand-held flare produces flames, you must follow the instructions carefully and wear protection, including leather gloves and safety glasses.

    Also, before igniting your Orion Safety 865, remember to hold the flare downwind. Next, remove the black lid from the red cap to reveal the abrasive scratch surface. Then twist and remove the red cap exposing the igniter button. Finally, strike the igniter button with the abrasive scratch surface to produce the flame. Do not wave the flare overhead.

    Where to buy:
    • Burn time: up to 3 minutes
    • Brightness: up to 700 candela
    • USCG Approved as a daytime or nighttime signal
    What we like:
    • Effective for both daytime and nighttime
    What we dont like:
    • Its more dangerous to operate

    Its better to be prepared, to be safe and not sorry. The Orion Safety 539 is a refill pack for your 12-gauge safety launcher or flare gun from Orion that comes with 4 red aerial signals.

    Where to buy:
    • 12-gauge high-performance red aerial signals
    • Replaces all 12-gauge aerial signals and fits all Orion launchers made since 1981
    • USCG Approved for day or nighttime signal
    • Altitude: up to 500 feet
    • Brightness: up to 16,000 candela
    • Burn time: up to 7 seconds each
    What we like:
    • It comes in a waterproof resealable bag
    What we dont like:
    • Nothing

    Recommended Reading: Best Type Of Boat For Family

    Orion Safety 800 Red Parachute Signal Rocket

    Another way to ask for help and attract attention while at sea, is by launching a parachute signal rocket. To fire it, simply remove the red cap from the bottom to release a string, hold the rocket upright, then pull on the string to launch the parachute.

    Where to buy:
    • SOLAS and USCG Approved for daytime and nighttime
    • Signal type: red rocket parachute day/night signal
    • Maximum Altitude: 1,150 feet
    • Burn time: up to 40 seconds
    • Brightness: up to 30,000 candela
    • Visibility: 30 miles
    • Effective both at daytime and nighttime
    What we dont like:
    • Nothing!

    How Old Do You Have To Be To Not Wear A Lifejacket On A Boat In Michigan

    Any child who is older than the age of six is not required to wear a life jacket while on board the vessel. Children six and under are required to wear a life jacket while on an open deck if the vessel is underway.

    Although it isnt required that children older than six wear a life jacket you are required to have one well fitting life jacket for each passenger on board the vessel.

    Recommended Reading: Freedom Boat Club Nj Cost

    Us Coast Guard Minimum Requirements For Recreational Boats

    by Chris RileyUpdated on May 8, 2021.

    Boat Safe is a community supported site. We may earn comission from links on this page, but we have confidence in all recommended products.

    This is the current up-to-date list of the U.S Coast Guards minimum safety requirements for recreational boats with sizes of up to 65 ft in size. These requirements detail what boating safety equipment must be present on board, and other necessary features that must be installed to comply with federal laws.

    Its worth noting that these are only the minimum requirements, and we recommend that you exceed them if you can. Similarly, these USCG rules are only the federal requirements. Individual states may have additions to this list, with additional equipment and operating standards require on top of these minimum requirements. Check with your local authorities to find out the specifics.

    State And Federal Flotation Device Regulations

    Flares &  Parachute Rockets Boat Flare Kits

    All boats, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one wearable personal flotation device for each person on board or for each person being towed on water skis, etc.

    Boats 16 feet in length or over must also be equipped with one Type IV PFD per boat in case someone falls overboard.

    Inflatable Flotation DevicesThere are a wide variety of inflatable life jackets available. To be accepted as one of the required life jackets on board, the device must have a Coast Guard approval stamp on it. If it is approved as a Type V, it must be worn to be accepted. Inflatable devices of any kind are not acceptable for persons less than 16 years old or for personal watercraft operation.

    Ski BeltsThese are not on the approved list of flotation devices and are not recommended for your safety. A ski belt may not be counted as one of the required pieces of equipment on board any boat. A ski belt may be worn while skiing but an approved flotation device for the skier must be on the towing boat.

    Recommended Reading: How Much Does Freedom Boat Club Cost Per Month

    Popular Articles
    Related news