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Because boat engines may backfire, all powerboats (except outboards) that are fueled with gasoline must have an approved backfire flame arrestor on each carburetor. Backfire flame arrestors are designed to prevent the ignition of gasoline vapors in case the engine backfires.

Backfire flame arrestor
  • The backfire flame protection system may be:
    • An approved backfire flame arrestor on each carburetor or…
    • An engine and fuel intake system with backfire flame protection equivalent to a backfire flame arrestor or…
    • An attachment to each carburetor or to the engine air intake that disperses flames caused by engine backfire to the atmosphere outside the vessel and does not endanger the vessel’s occupants.
  • Backfire flame arrestors or equivalent backfire flame protection systems must be:
    • In good and serviceable condition and…
    • USCG–approved (must comply with SAE J-1928 or UL 1111 standards)
  • Periodically clean the flame arrestor(s) or the equivalent backfire flame protection system and check for any damage.