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Sound 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. For example, sound signals are required when meeting head-on, crossing, or overtaking.

All vessels on state and federally controlled waters must have a sound-producing device to communicate.

The required sound-producing devices are as follows.

  • Vessels less than 65.6 feet (20 meters) in length, which includes PWCs, are required to carry on board a whistle or horn or some other means to make an efficient sound signal audible for at least one-half mile.
  • Vessels that are 65.6 feet (20 meters) or more in length are required to carry on board a whistle or horn, and a bell that are audible for at least one mile.

No vessel may be equipped with a siren except vessels used by law enforcement officers.