United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

  Vessel Safety Check off List 

(Print this page and do a pre-check off before your next vessel exam.)

Federal Requirements:

Display of Numbers (Must be 3" block letters)

Registration/ Documentation (Must be on board at all times.)

Personal Flotation Devices: Type I, II, III (One for each person on board. Also all children under the age of thirteen must wear a life vest while underway. )

Personal Floatation Devices: type IV (On vessels over 16'.)

Visual Distress Signals: Day and Night Time (Vessels over 16')

Fire Extinguishers

Boat length

No fixed System

With Fixed System*

Less than 26'

one B-1


26' to less than 40'

two B-1 or one B-2

one B-1

40' to 65'

three B-1 or one B-1 & one B-2

two B-1 or one B-2

*All fixed systems must be weighed each year.


Backfire Flame Control (Clean and in good shape.)

Sound Producing Devices/ Bell (Vessels 39.4' and larger must have 7 7/8" bell on board. SEE MI REQUIREMENTS.)

Navigation Lights (Vessels not under by a motor may  have a flashlight or electric lantern.)

Pollution Placard (26' and larger)

MARPOL Trash Placard (26' and larger)

Marine Sanitation Device (If equipped with a head.)

Navigation Rules (Current copy) (Only on vessels 39.4' and longer)

Additional State of Michigan Requirements:

Visual Distress Signals: Night Time (1*) (Only applies to vessels less than 16'.)

Backfire Flame Control (2*) (Not included outboards.)

Sound Producing Devices/ Bell (1*)(Vessel 16' and less and PWC are required to have a horn, bell, or whistle.)

Navigation Lights (Power boats 16' and less not including PWC. PWC must be off the water two hours before sunset.)


* Notes:

1. Required only on the Great Lakes and waters connected to the Great Lakes.

2. Required on inboard and stern drives only.

Recommended items, but not required:
1. Marine Radio.
2. Dewatering Device and a backup.
3. Mounted Fire Extinguishers.
4. Anchor and Line for area.
5. First Aid Kit.
6. Inland Visual Distress Signals. (Distress Flag or Mirror)
7. Safe Boating Class.

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