About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Virginia Boat Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Virginia Boater Education Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

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.

Fire extinguishers must be maintained in usable condition. Inspect extinguishers regularly to ensure the following:

Keep bilges clean and free of trash in order to reduce the risk of fire.
  • Seals and tamper indicators are not broken or missing.
  • Pressure gauges or indicators read in the operable range.
  • There is no physical damage, corrosion, leakage, or clogged nozzles.

All hand-portable fire extinguishers, semi-portable fire extinguishers, and fixed fire extinguisher systems must be USCG–approved, must have an efficient charge, and must be in good and serviceable condition.

PWC operators need to take special steps in case of fire. Because their fire extinguishers may not be easily accessible, they should simply swim away quickly and use another operator’s extinguisher. They should not open the engine compartment to put out the fire.