Federal law requires all vessels, including PWC, to have a Type B fire extinguisher on board if one or more of the following conditions exist:
- Any inboard engine
- Closed compartments where portable fuel tanks may be stored
- Double bottoms not sealed to the hull or which are not filled completely with flotation material
- Closed living spaces
- Closed storage compartments in which flammable or combustible materials may be stored
- Permanently installed fuel tanks (any tank where the removal of the tank is hampered by the installation of tie-down straps or clamps)
Additionally, all vessels that allow explosive or flammable gases or vapors to be trapped must carry on board a USCG–approved Type B fire extinguisher.
Exception: Although it is a good idea to carry a fire extinguisher, an exception is made for motorboats less than 26 feet long, propelled by an outboard motor, that have completely open construction and no closed spaces where gasoline fumes may be trapped.
Approved types of fire extinguishers are identified by the following marking on the label—“Marine Type USCG Approved”—followed by the type and size symbols and the approval number.