Please check local and federal regulations to confirm that you meet the requirements for U.S. Coast Guard compliance; this article is intended purely to help in your preparation but should not be considered a checklist for meeting compliance. Laws and regulations constantly change, both locally and federally, so please check them before hitting the water.
Getting your own boat is exciting! You may have a whole host of ideas about water activities or adventures you want to partake in, but you should be prepared with USCG compliance kits to make your activities a worry free experience.
The U.S. Coast Guard is adamant about boat owners meeting their safety requirements, and even may punish violations with large fines.
For compliance the USCG has varying requirements depending on boat length, as well as whether or not the boat has a USCG approved internal fire suppression system. Our kits specifically help cover needs of boats up to 65’ long with and without USCG approved systems. You can find all options we offer on this page here.
We offer class B-II Fire extinguishers which meet and or even exceed the requirements for certain boats, but if you have a boat 40’ to 65’ with no approved fixed fire suppression system, we have a kit here with 2 compliant extinguishers.
Sound devices are also a requirement – so we included whistles that are required on all ships of all sizes, and an air horn which is strongly encouraged for much further range. Physically blowing into a whistle for an extended period of time is exhausting and not practical nor ideal in such situations.
Our kits also contain a USCG approved 25-person life boat first aid kit which is strongly recommended by the USCG to treat any injuries that may occur. This could be anything from a simple injury doing an activity on the water to whatever caused an issue to get the boat stuck, or even to help treat injuries as a result of waiting for rescue out on the open water.
The USCG also strongly recommends items such as 72 hours’ worth of food and water with a long shelf life per person, which is not a bad thing to have when you could be stuck from 24-72 hours waiting for rescue. Our All-in-One kits include a USCG approved 2400 calorie bar and USCG approved 6 4oz water pouches per person, which you can see for one person here. We also have one for two people for 72 hours. Note that this is the absolute minimum recommended amount. The food and water both have up to a 5 year shelf life if stored in ideal conditions.
Light sticks are also included in these sets, for some longer lasting light to help illuminate the boat in case your power goes out. They are safer than relying on a flashlight that takes batteries or using up a flare which would be more suited for signaling ships. They are not a requirement but definitely a good thing to have.
After purchasing one of the kits that fits your needs best, all that would be left would be going to a nearby outdoors store and finishing up the last of your shopping. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) as well as usually pyrotechnic devices to help you be seen either during the day and or night are required as well. Requirements vary for boats of different lengths, so please check your local and state laws to properly assess what your need is for compliance.