It's the Law

Sound-Producing Devices


Sound producing devices

Some sound signals that you should be familiar with are:

  • Restricted Visibility
    • One prolonged blast at intervals of not more than two minutes is the signal used by power-driven vessels when underway.
    • One prolonged blast plus two short blasts at intervals of not more than two minutes is the signal used by sailboats under sail.
  • Warning
    • One prolonged blast is a warning signal (for example, used when coming around a bend or exiting a slip).
    • Five (or more) short, rapid blasts signal danger or signal that you do not understand or that you disagree with the other boater's intentions.

If on State Waters

Less than 39.4 feet long (includes PWCs) Some means to make an efficient sound signal required
39.4 feet long or longer Whistle and a bell required

If on Federally Controlled Waters

Less than 65.6 feet long (includes PWCs) Whistle or horn audible for at least one-half mile required
65.6 feet long or longer Whistle or horn and a bell audible for at least one mile required