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Required Equipment: Motorized Boats

The required equipment you need to carry onboard your powerboat varies based on boat type and length as well as where you are boating. This category includes jet-drive PWCs and boats powered by electric motors as well as a sailboat with an attached motor (whether you use it or not).

Please note that local rules or ordinances may exist that are more strict or require additional safety equipment. It is the boater's responsibility to be aware of any local boating equipment requirements. 

NOTE: "Federal waters" in Ohio include Lake Erie and its connecting bays and harbors, the Ohio River, and the Muskingum River.

PWCs

PWCs are Personal WaterCraft such as Jetski, SeaDoo, or Waverunner, etc. Technically a PWC is defined as a vessel less than 16 feet in length, propelled by machinery and designed to be operated by an individual sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel rather than by the individual sitting or standing inside the vessel.

NOTE: PWCs are prohibited from operating between sunset and sunrise — Lights are not addressed for this reason, and night-use visual distress signal devices also are not addressed. 

Life Jackets (ORC 1547.25) — US Coast Guard (USCG)-approved life jacket for use on PWCs that MUST BE WORN BY each person on board

Fire Extinguisher (ORC 1547.27)  One type B-1

Visual Distress Signal  (ORC 1547.251)  On waters other than Lake Erie, a distress flag or USCG-approved signal for day use. 

Sound Signaling Device (OAC 1501:47-2-33)  On federal waters, a whistle, horn or other device

Anchor & Line (ORC 1547.26 & OAC 1501:47-1-11) — Required With Exception for any vessel less than 14 feet

Ventilation of Engine and Fuel Tank Compartments (ORC 1547.29) — Some varieties of PWC may be exempted by the U.S. Coast Guard. Consult your watercraft dealer or the manufacturer to verify requirements for these devices.

Backfire Flame Arrestor for Inboard Engines (ORC 1547.28)  Some varieties of PWC may be exempted by the U.S. Coast Guard. Consult your watercraft dealer or the manufacturer to verify requirements for these devices.

Muffling Device or Underwater Exhaust (ORC 1547.31)  Required

Engine Cut-off Switch Lanyard (ORC 1547.41)  Required

Powerboats Less Than 16'

Life Jackets (ORC 1547.25) — One wearable USCG-approved device for each person on board. Any child less than 10 years of age must WEAR a properly fitted, USCG-approved life jacket.

Fire Extinguisher (ORC 1547.27)  One type B-1 With Exception for vessels with an electric motor and vessels of "open construction" with an outboard motor.

Visual Distress Signal (ORC 1547.251)  On Lake Erie (sunset to sunrise) a USCG-approved signal for night use. On waters other than Lake Erie, a distress flag or USCG-approved signal for day use

Sound Signaling Device (OAC 1501:47-2-33)  On federal waters, a whistle, horn or other device

Anchor & Line (ORC 1547.26 & OAC 1501:47-1-11) — Required With Exception for any vessel less than 14 feet

Lights (OAC 1501:47-2)  Running lights as prescribed by federal and state law. Anchor light displayed when at anchor.

Ventilation of Engine and Fuel Tank Compartments (ORC 1547.29)  Required

Backfire Flame Arrestor for Inboard Engines (ORC 1547.28)  Required

Muffling Device or Underwater Exhaust (ORC 1547.31)  Required

Powerboats 16' to Less Than 26'

Life Jackets (ORC 1547.25) — One wearable device for each person on board PLUS one Type IV throwable device. On vessels less than 18 feet, any child less than 10 years of age must wear a properly fitted life jacket.

Fire Extinguisher (ORC 1547.27)  One type B-1 With Exception for vessels with an electric motor and vessels of "open construction" with an outboard motor.

Visual Distress Signal (ORC 1547.251)  On Lake Erie a USCG-approved signal for both day and night use. On waters other than Lake Erie, a distress flag or USCG-approved signal for day use.

Sound Signaling Device (OAC 1501:47-2-33)  A whistle, horn or other device

Anchor & Line (ORC 1547.26 & OAC 1501:47-1-11) — Required

Lights (OAC 1501:47-2)  Running lights as prescribed by federal and state law. Anchor light displayed when at anchor.

Ventilation of Engine and Fuel Tank Compartments (ORC 1547.29)  Required

Backfire Flame Arrestor for Inboard Engines (ORC 1547.28)  Required

Muffling Device or Underwater Exhaust (ORC 1547.31)  Required

Powerboats 26' to Less Than 40' 

Life Jackets (ORC 1547.25) — One wearable device for each person on board PLUS one Type IV throwable device. 

Fire Extinguisher (ORC 1547.27)  Two Type B-1 OR one Type B-2

Visual Distress Signal (ORC 1547.251)  On Lake Erie a USCG-approved signal for both day and night use. On waters other than Lake Erie, a distress flag or USCG-approved signal for day use.

Sound Signaling Device (OAC 1501:47-2-33)  A whistle, horn or other device. Vessels over 12 meters (39.4') must have a power whistle.

Anchor & Line (ORC 1547.26 & OAC 1501:47-1-11) — Required

Lights (OAC 1501:47-2)  Running lights as prescribed by federal and state law. Anchor light displayed when at anchor.

Ventilation of Engine and Fuel Tank Compartments (ORC 1547.29)  Required

Backfire Flame Arrestor for Inboard Engines (ORC 1547.28)  Required

Muffling Device or Underwater Exhaust (ORC 1547.31)  Required

Inland Navigation Rules (OAC 1501:47-1-29)  Required for vessels 12 meters (39.4') or more in length.

Garbage Placard (OAC 1501:47-1-28)  Required

Oil Pollution Placard (OAC 1501:47-1-27)  Required

Powerboats 40' to Less Than 65'

Life Jackets (ORC 1547.25) — One wearable device for each person on board PLUS one Type IV throwable device.

Fire Extinguisher (ORC 1547.27) Three Type B-1 OR one Type B-2 plus one Type B-1

Visual Distress Signal (ORC 1547.251)  On Lake Erie a USCG-approved signal for both day and night use. On waters other than Lake Erie, a distress flag or USCG-approved signal for day use.

Sound Signaling Device (OAC 1501:47-2-33)  A whistle, horn or other device. Vessel of 12 meters (39.4 feet) or more must have a power whistle.

Anchor & Line (ORC 1547.26 & OAC 1501:47-1-11) — Required

Lights (OAC 1501:47-2)  Running lights as prescribed by federal and state law. Anchor light displayed when at anchor.

Ventilation of Engine and Fuel Tank Compartments (ORC 1547.29)  Required

Backfire Flame Arrestor for Inboard Engines (ORC 1547.28)  Required

Muffling Device or Underwater Exhaust (ORC 1547.31)  Required

Inland Navigation Rules (OAC 1501:47-1-29)  Required

Garbage Placard (OAC 1501:47-1-28)  Required

Oil Pollution Placard (OAC 1501:47-1-27)  Required