Wisconsin Required Equipment Checklist

The following is a broad list meant to cover many types of boats and boating trips. This checklist includes both mandatory equipment and recommended equipment which may be good to have on board for safety but may not be required by state law.

  Unpowered Boat PWC Boat Less Than 16 Ft. Boat 16 Ft. to Less Than 26 Ft.
Boater Safety Course Certificate on Board   ✓1 ✓1 ✓1
Certificate of Number on Board  
Expiration Decals Displayed  
PFDs: Type I, II, III, or V ✓2 ✓3 ✓3
PFD: Type IV      
Type B-I Fire Extinguisher  
Engine Cut-Off Switch      
Backfire Flame Arrestor   ✓4 ✓4
Ventilation System  
Horn, Whistle, or Bell   ✓5 ✓5 ✓5
Daytime VDSs       ✓5
Nighttime VDSs   N/A ✓4 ✓5
Navigation Lights N/A

Numbers correspond with the chart above.

  1. Required for some operators of motorized vessels and PWC. See Who May Operate/Age Restrictions for details.
  2. Those on PWC must wear a PFD at all times.
  3. Those under the age of 13 years must wear a PFD when on federally controlled waters.
  4. Required on inboard and stern drives only.
  5. Required when operating on federally controlled waters.

Note: Some items are not applicable to PWC because PWC are not allowed to operate between sunset and sunrise.