The general consensus within the world of boat ownership is the bigger the vessel you have, the more rules and regulations there are to have to follow and abide by. Some of these rules will depend on things like where in the country your boat is kept or what kinds of waterways you are planning on operating on, but most of the core regulations across the board are going to be dictated by the kind of feet length that you are working with. To be specific, here are some of the key Coast Guard Requirements for Boats Over 26 Feet, a very common length of a vessel for long-term ownership and frequent usage. These regulations cover boats from 26 to forty feet in length.
Personal Flotation Devices
One approved Type I, II or III Device needs to be available for each person on board or being towed on an attachment like a water ski. In addition to this, there should also be one throwable Type IV device available as well. These devices must be USCG approved, and they must be in serviceable condition and properly stored within the vessel.
You need a minimum of two B-I type approved hand-held portable fire extinguishers, or at least one B-II type. Again, the fire extinguisher needs to be USCG approved and it obviously needs to be in serviceable condition.
Visual Distress Signal
Visual distress signals are required only when you are going to be operating on high seas and coastal waters. In these settings, it is essential to carry a visual distress signal for both daytime and nighttime sailing. For reference, the term coastal waters refers to the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and all its bays, harbors, sounds, inlets and rivers where the entrance is wider than 2 miles.
Sound Producing Device
All vessels shorter than 39.4 feet in total length are required to carry a sufficient sound-producing device. This device does not need to meet any particular list of specifications but simply needs to be loud enough to produce the kinds of signals that would facilitate navigational assistance.
All recreational vessels are required to have navigation lights that can be operated between sunset and sunrise, as well as during periods of reduced visibility on the water like haze, fog, rain and more. Unlike the looser rules for sound-producing devices, the US Coast Guard has a list of specification regulations and requirements for the types of lighting that are acceptable for your watercraft.
If you need any further assistance with documentation and paperwork relating to the above-stated Coast Guard requirement for boats over 26 feet, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of the experienced team at the Vessel Registrar Center. Head over to the website to find all of the information that you need, you will find all of the answers that you are looking for and we are ready and waiting to help with the processing of any documentation that you need to complete for your own sized vessel.