Required Equipment and Lighting - Florida Boat Repair
There is certain specified safety equipment required by the United States Coast Guard for which the owner/operator of a watercraft is responsible. If you own or operate a boat in Florida you are expected to carry, store, maintain, or use the following items.
You must have onboard a wearable Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each passenger, and the device must be the right size for the intended wearer, be in serviceable condition, and be within easy access. Although not required of anyone over the age of six, wearing a personal flotation device while "under way" is always recommended. "Under way" is defined as anytime except when the vessel is anchored, moored, made fast to the shore, or aground.
Children under the age of six are only required to wear their personal flotation devices in vessels under 26 feet in length, while "under way". Boats that are 16 feet in length or longer must also have at least one Coast Guard-approved throwable personal flotation device that is immediately available in case someone falls overboard.
If your vessel has a built-in fuel tank or enclosed compartment where gasoline fumes can accumulate, you are required to carry at least one fire extinguisher (or more depending upon vessel length) and the extinguisher must be approved for marine use. Also for safety reasons you must carry an efficient sound-producing device, such as a loud whistle or air horn.
Taking into consideration safety at night, if your watercraft is less than 16 feet in length you are required to carry at least three visual distress signals approved for nighttime use when on coastal waters from sunset to sunrise. Also between sunset and sunrise and during periods of reduced visibility (weather, etc.), your vessel is required to display navigation lights. There are specific lighting requirements put forth by the Coast Guard Navigation Rules for every type of boat.
At all times when on coastal waters, vessels that are 16 feet or longer must carry at least three daytime and three nighttime visual distress signals, or three combination daytime/nighttime signals. But keep in mind the use of sirens or flashing, occulting, or revolving lights is prohibited except where expressly allowed by law.