It's the Law

Fire Extinguishers


All vessels, including PWCs, are required to have a Type B fire extinguisher(s) on board if one or more of the following conditions exist:

  • Vessel is 26 feet or longer.
  • Vessel carries passengers for hire.
  • Vessel has closed compartments under thwarts or seats where portable fuel tanks may be stored.
  • Vessel has double bottoms not sealed to the hull or which are not filled completely with flotation material.
  • Vessel has closed living spaces.
  • Vessel has closed storage compartments where combustible or flammable materials may be stored.
  • Vessel has permanently installed fuel tanks.

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.

Extinguishers should be placed in an accessible area—not near the engine or in a compartment, but where they can be reached immediately. Be sure you know how to operate them, and inspect extinguishers regularly to ensure they are in working condition and fully charged.

Fire Extinguisher Requirements

Classification Foam Carbon Dioxide Dry Chemical
type & size minimum gallons minimum pounds minimum pounds
B-I 4 2
B-II 15 10

Length of Vessel Without Fixed System With Fixed System*
Less than 26' one B-I None
26' to less than 40' two B-I or one B-II one B-I
40' to less than 65' three B-I or one B-II and one B-I two B-I or one B-II

* refers to a permanently installed fire extinguisher system