The Massachusetts Boater Safety Handbook
The Official Boating Handbook of the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources - Web Version
Table of Contents
|Boats Less Than 16' & PWC Class A 12||Boats 16' to Less Than 26' Class 1||Boats 26' to Less Than 40' Class 2||Boats 40' to Less Than 65' Class 3||Non-Motorized: Any Length|
|Vessel Registration on Board 1||✓||✓||✓||✓||n/a|
|Registration Numbers 1||✓||✓||✓||✓||n/a|
|Boating Safety Certificate 2||✓||✓||✓||✓||n/a|
|Wearable PFDs: Type I, II, or III (one per person)||✓3||✓3||✓3||✓3||✓10|
|Throwable PFD: Type IV||✓9||✓||✓||✓|
|Fire Extinguisher(s) 4||1 B-I||1 B-I||2 B-I or
|Backfire Flame Arrestor 5||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Horn, Whistle, or Bell||✓||✓||✓6||✓6||✓13|
|Nighttime VDSs 7||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Navigation Lights 8||✓12||✓||✓||✓||13, 14|
|Anchor, Line, and Manual Bailer||✓9||✓||✓||✓|
|Boarding Ladder 11||✓12||✓||✓||✓||n/a|
- Vessels documented by the USCG are exempt from Massachusetts registration and titling requirements.
- Required if operator is 12 through 15 years of age. Required for PWC operators 16 or 17 years of age. Those under 16 years of age cannot operate a PWC in Massachusetts.
- Those on PWC must wear a PFD at all times. Children under 12 years of age are required to wear USCG–approved PFDs in Massachusetts State when above deck on any vessel that is underway. Type V PFD use authorized for those on PWC and children less than 12 years of age.
- A fixed extinguishing system in machinery space can be substituted for one B-I. One B-II can replace two B-I extinguishers. Outboard motorboats less than 26ft., of open construction, not carrying passengers for hire, and not on federally controlled waters are not required to carry fire extinguishers.
- Required on all gasoline engines except outboard engines.
- Vessels 26 feet up to 65 feet are required to carry on board a whistle or horn, and a bell.
- VDSs are required only on coastal waters. Coastal waters are defined in Federally Controlled Waters.
- Vessels without proper navigation lights may not operate between the hours of sunset and sunrise.
- PWC are exempt. Vessels less than 16 ft. also must carry a paddle or oar.
- All persons on board a canoe or kayak from September 15 to May 15 must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD at all times.
- Ladder, steps, platform, or similar device is required if towing a person on skis or other device.
- PWC may not be operated between sunset and sunrise. PWC may not be used to tow anyone.
- Applies to MA coastal waters only.
- At least one lantern or flashlight.