Visual distress signals (VDSs) are not required on inland waters in Maine, but watercraft operators are encouraged to have them on board as an additional safety measure.
- Watercraft on federally controlled waters must be equipped with VDSs that are USCG–approved, in serviceable condition, and readily accessible.
- All watercraft being operated on the ocean between sunset and sunrise, regardless of length or type, are required to carry a VDS that can be used as a night signal.
- Most watercraft being operated on the ocean are required to carry VDSs that can be used as a daytime signal. Exceptions are:
- Watercraft that are less than 16 feet in length.
- Non-motorized open sailboats that are less than 26 feet in length.
- Manually propelled watercraft.
- Watercraft competing in any organized marine parade, regatta, race, or similar event on coastal waters.