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Iowa Required Equipment Checklist

PWC Boat Less Than 16 Ft. Boat 16 Ft. to Less Than 40 Ft.
Boater Education Certificate on Board ✓1 ✓1 ✓1
Registration Certificate on Board
Registration Decals Displayed
Vessel Capacity Displayed
Life Jackets: Wearable Type I, II, III, or V ✓2
Throwable Flotation Device    
Type B-I Fire Extinguisher
Backfire Flame Arrestor ✓3 ✓3
Ventilation System
Horn, Whistle, or Bell   4
Daytime Visual Distress Signals     ✓5
Nighttime Visual Distress Signals 6 ✓5 ✓5
Navigation Lights 6
  1. Required for operators under 18 years of age.
  2. Every person on board a PWC must wear a life jacket at all times.
  3. Required on inboard and stern drives only.
  4. None required, but at least a whistle is recommended.
  5. Required only if operating on federally controlled waters.
  6. Some items are not applicable to personal watercraft since these vessels may not be operated between sunset and sunrise.

Other equipment requirements may apply to vessels longer than 40 feet.