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Sound Signal Devices
In periods of reduced visibility or whenever a vessel operator needs to signal his or her intentions or position, a sound-producing device is essential. The navigation rules for meeting head-on, crossing and overtaking situations described in Chapter 3 are examples of when sound signals are required.

Use this chart to determine what is required based on your vessel’s length:

If on State Waters If on Federally Controlled Waters
Less than 26 feet long (includes PWC) None required, but highly recommended Less than 65.6 feet long (includes PWC) Whistle or horn audible for at least one-half mile is required
26 feet long or longer Whistle, horn, or other sound signal is required 65.6 feet long or longer Whistle or horn and a bell audible for at least one mile are required