All recreational vessels must be equipped with size-specific safety equipment. See also the boating regulations for equipment and lighting requirements. The best protection in bad weather is a vessel-to-vessel rescue system, such as the use of flares or a VHF radio. Life jackets are also recommended for everyone on board.
In addition to this, all boats over 16 feet (4.9 m) must be equipped with a EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon). An EPIRB sends out a signal if it detects any danger signals, such as water flooding into the cockpit. This allows rescuers to find you quickly in case of an emergency.
EPIRBs can be rented from marine stores for $10-$20 per day. These can then be used by police, firefighters, and other agencies to locate your boat.
Rules and regulations do vary between countries/waters, so make sure you read up on local guidelines before you go afloat!
What You Need to Bring on Your Boat in Terms of Equipment
Although the particular safety equipment you must carry varies depending on the size and kind of your boat, the five most typical issues of concern are as follows: PFDs, or personal flotation devices, are the appropriate term for life jackets. Throwable PFDS, such as throw pillows or life rings, are visual signaling devices, similar to flares. Non-throwable PFDS, such as seat cushions, are not designed to be thrown but rather to absorb energy in an accident so that their wearers do not get injured.
There are two types of PFDs: adult-approved and infant-approved. Adult-approved PFDs are large enough to fit an average adult male torso comfortably, with room left over for his arms and legs. They are labeled "V" for "victim" by law enforcement officers when used as evidence in cases involving boating accidents. Infant-approved PFDs are smaller and more flexible; they can't support an adult's weight. They are labeled "W" for "witness" by law enforcement officers when used as evidence in child abuse cases where there may be questions about how the infant acquired their injuries.
You should always wear your PFD when out on the water, even if you think it is safe to leave it home. This is particularly important if you or someone else is operating the boat without a captain at the controls. Even if you think you will never need your PFD, things can change quickly out on the water.
Safety Equipment Required
Obtaining a boat license is a requirement for lawfully operating motorized watercraft in the state. New boaters must meet age restrictions. Drivers might benefit from taking boater safety classes to learn how to operate boats and be safe on OR waterways.
A boat license is required by law to operate any type of boat on public waters in Oregon. You must show your license when driving a boat, even if you are the only one aboard. Failing to do so could result in a fine or jail time. The cost of a boat license ranges from $10 to $150, depending on the size of the boat and where you live in Oregon.
People who want to drive fishing boats without a driver's license can apply for an "interim permit". This form must be obtained from the department of Fish and Wildlife prior to going out fishing. It is good for 30 days and allows you to carry passengers and use alcohol while fishing.
Interim permits are available at all district offices across the state. They cost $10 for residents and $50 for non-residents.
Licensed drivers under the age of 18 must have a guardian present during boat operations. If there is no adult present who has given written permission, the young driver's license will not be valid for operation of a boat.
Boating is a popular pastime in Oregon.
Except for canoes and kayaks, California boating rules mandate that all boats 16 feet or longer in length carry one wearable life jacket (Type I, II, III, or V) and one throwable (Type IV) device. The life jacket must be worn by an adult in open waters. Children should always wear a life jacket when on the water regardless of size or type of vessel.
Canoeists need life jackets too! Even if you're not planning on going into any dangerous situations, every canoeist should still carry a personal floatation device just in case they get into trouble. These are available at most retail stores that sell canoes and are very affordable ($20-50).
(1) personal watercraft; (2) non-motorized canoes and kayaks of 16 feet or more; (3) racing shells, rowing sculls, racing canoes, and racing kayaks; (4) sailboards; and (5) boats of the United States utilized by foreign competitors while training for or racing in competition. These vessels may be carried on the roof of a car or truck.
You can carry up to 100 pounds in a personal watercraft if it has a fuel tank no larger than 20 gallons. If it has a larger tank, check the manufacturer's manual to find out how much weight is allowed. You can carry only 70 pounds in a non-motorized canoe or kayak. You can carry only 45 pounds in a racing shell, racing canoe, or racing kayak. Sailboats are usually not permitted because they are too heavy. The same rules that apply to motorboats also apply to personal watercraft, with these exceptions: They must have a passenger seat and an operator's license. No other person may ride in a personal watercraft unless this rule is broken. A person under 18 years old cannot operate a personal watercraft.
Boat carriers are used to transport multiple kayaks at one time. They range from small trailer-mounted units that can be attached to almost any vehicle's hitch receiver to large frame structures that require a truck or other large vehicle for transport.
Kayaks can be carried on the roof of a car or truck.