100% Free Consultation 903-597-6000

Does Your Boat Have the Right Safety Equipment?

Required Boat Safety Equipment in Texas

Before you leave the shore, it’s essential to know the current safety requirements for your boat.

Safety Requirements for Non-Motorized Boats in Texas

For sailboats, kayaks, canoes, rowboats, rubber rafts, and other boats without motors, Texas requires:

  • Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs): One for each person on board. Children under 13 years must wear a PFD while the vessel is underway.
  • Lights: A bright light for use between sunset and sunrise.

Safety Equipment for Motorized Boats in Texas

For motorized boats in Texas, you must carry the following safety equipment on board:

  • Life Jackets: Personal flotation devices for each person on board. Children under 13 years must wear a Type I, II, or III PFD while underway.
  • Lights: US Coast Guard-approved red and green side lights and a white all-around light for visibility between sunset and sunrise.
  • Sound-Producing Device: Whistle, bell, or horn capable of producing an efficient sound to signal intentions and position in periods of reduced visibility.
  • Fire Extinguisher: A US Coast Guard-approved type B-1 marine-grade fire extinguisher is required except for outboard motorboats less than 26 feet long that meet specific criteria.
  • Ventilation: Required for vessels using volatile liquid fuel to prevent accumulation of explosive gases.
  • Backfire Flame Arrestor: Required for gasoline engines to prevent fire hazards.
  • Engine Cut-Off Switch: For motorboats greater than headway speed, an engine cut-off switch lanyard or wireless device must be attached to the operator.

Federal Safety Requirements for Coastal Waters

In addition to the above, if you are boating in coastal waters, federal regulations require the following additional items:

  • Visual Distress Signals: US Coast Guard-approved signals for day and night use.
  • Alternative Means of Propulsion: Such as a paddle or oar.
  • Anchor and Anchor Line: To prevent drifting.
  • Dewatering Device: A bucket, can, or scoop for removing water.

Additional Recommended Safety Equipment

Besides the legally required equipment, a safe boater should consider keeping the following items on board:

  • Extra Batteries: For the flashlight.
  • Matches: In a waterproof container.
  • Navigational Map: Of the area you are boating in.
  • Flares: For emergency signaling.
  • Sunscreen: To protect against sunburn.
  • First Aid Kit: For minor injuries.
  • Extra Sunglasses: To protect your eyes.

Items that need to be protected should be stored in a watertight pouch or a container that floats.

Staying Informed

The boat safety equipment required by law can vary depending on the type of boat and where you are boating. Always check with the U.S. Coast Guard or the state boating authorities to ensure you comply with any special requirements that may apply to your particular type of boat.

For the latest information and detailed regulations, you can refer to the following sources:

Areas We Serve in Northeast Texas

Roberts & Roberts serves the greater Northeast Texas area. Here are just a few of the local communities we serve:

Free, Confidential Case Review

Find out how we can help you. Get started now by filling out the form below or by calling (903) 597-6000. Your case review is free and confidential.

Contact Us (Standard)
Your Name
Your Name

Our Personal Injury Lawyers Are Featured in the Top 100 Personal Injury Trial Lawyers Our Personal Injury Attorneys Have Been Texas Super Lawyers for Decades Our Personal Injury Attorneys Have Been Recipients of the Mult-Million Dollar Advocates Award for Personal Injury Lawyers

From one former client:
"I am so happy to have chosen the best law firm around. The staff is amazing in handling your questions promptly. I hope I don't ever need them again, but if I do, there is no question I will be back. Thank y'all so much for helping me." - Heather N.