It's the Law: Required Equipment
The purpose of ventilation systems is to avoid explosions by removing flammable gases. Properly installed ventilation systems greatly reduce the chance of a life-threatening explosion.
- All gasoline-powered vessels, constructed in a way that would entrap fumes, must have at least two ventilation ducts fitted with cowls to remove the fumes.
- If your vessel is equipped with a power ventilation system, turn it on for at least four minutes both after fueling and before starting your engine.
- If your vessel is not equipped with a power ventilation system (for example, a personal watercraft), open the engine compartment and sniff for gasoline fumes before starting the engine.
Backfire flame arrestors are designed to prevent the ignition of gasoline vapors in case the engine backfires. All gasoline-powered motorboats, except outboards, must have a backfire flame arrestor on each carburetor that is U.S. Coast Guard–approved or stamped in compliance with SAE J-1928 or UL 1111 standards.
Noise Level Limits
- The exhaust of every internal combustion engine on any vessel must be effectively muffled by a muffler or underwater exhaust. That is, the engine’s exhaust must be muffled or suppressed at all times so as not to create excessive noise.
- The use of cutouts is prohibited.
- It is illegal to remove or modify the exhaust or muffler system of a vessel.
- Vessels involved in a marine event authorized by the Massachusetts Environmental Police are exempt from the requirements above.