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Course Outline

Sound signaling devices: bell, horn

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. The navigation rules for meeting head-on, crossing, and overtaking situations are examples of when sound signals are required.

  • A vessel of 39.4 feet (12 meters) or more in length shall be provided with a power whistle or power horn and a bell.
  • A vessel less than 39.4 feet in length shall not be obliged to carry the sound devices described above. However, the vessel must be provided with a means of making an efficient sound signal.
  • A vessel that is propelled by human muscular effort, a sailing vessel, and a power-driven vessel less than 16 feet in length, when using waters other than Lake Erie, the Ohio River, or the Muskingum River, shall not be obliged to carry the sound devices stipulated above or produce the sound signals prescribed in the Ohio Administrative Code.
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