Portland, Connecticut
37 Indian Hill Ave
Portland, CT 06480
(860) 342-1196
Shop in the comfort of New England’s largest heated showrooms with new models up to 50 feet on display in Portland.

5 Safety Items You Need to Have on Your Boat April 12, 2019

Portland, Middlesex
5 Safety Items You Need to Have on Your Boat, Portland, Connecticut

Whether you’re a new boat owner or a seasoned sailor, you have a big responsibility when it comes to safety. To comply with the law, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requires that you carry a number of safety items onboard whenever you take out your boat. The following is a brief rundown of some of those items, as well as an extra you should always have on-hand.

Essential Boat Safety Items

1. Sound-Producing Distress Signals

Boat owners are required to have safety devices that signal distress via sound to be in USCG compliance. All new and pre-owned boats are required to carry a whistle, and boats under 40 feet must also have an air horn. If your boat is bigger than 40 feet, you must carry a bell that’s at least 7.87 inches in diameter.

2. Visual Distress Signals

You’re also required to carry visual distress signals on your boat, including three approved for nighttime and three approved for daytime. These instruments include hand-held or aerial flares, electronic distress lights, orange smoke signals, and orange distress flags. 

3. Fire Extinguishers

All pre-owned and new boats must have USCG-approved, B-1 or B-2 type fire extinguishers onboard, the number of which varies by boat size. Boats less than 26 feet require at least one B-1 fire extinguisher, boats between 26 and 40 feet require two B-1 extinguishers (or one B-2 type), and boats between 40 and 65 feet need to have three B-1 extinguishers (or one B-1 type and one B-2 type). 

4. Lifejackets & Floatation Devices 

Connecticut new boatThe USCG requires you to equip your boat with one life jacket or life vest per person. They need to be USCG-approved, in good working condition (solid straps, thick foam, no tears or mold), and accessible to everyone onboard. They need to properly fit the person they are intended for, including children under the age of 12. If your pre-owned or new boat is longer than 16 feet, you’re also required to carry one throwable flotation device, such as a life ring. 

5. First-Aid Kit

Though not required, you are strongly advised to have a first-aid kit onboard your boat at all times. These can be purchased at drug stores or marine supply stores, or you can assemble your own. They should include basic supplies such as bandages, gauze pads, antiseptic, sunblock, and bottled water, as well as pain and fever reducers, stomach medicines, and eye drops. 


Whether you’re looking to purchase safety equipment or buy a pre-owned or new boat, contact Petzold's Marine Center in Portland, CT. This boat sales center has been in business since 1945, stocking popular brands such as Sabre, Back Cove, and Regal. They also offer a range of yacht and boat repair services, as well as boat storage, winterization services, marine supply parts, and more. Visit their website to check out their new boat inventory and call (860) 342-1196 to speak with a representative today.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from Petzold's Marine Center
5 Beginner's Tips for Docking Your New Boat, Portland, Connecticut
If you've just bought a new boat, it may take some time to learn to handle it smoothly. One area where new owners often run into trouble is with docking. It's easy to cause damage th...read more
Buy a Boat at Petzold’s 74th Annual Open House & Boat Show, Portland, Connecticut
Ahoy, Mateys! Petzold’s Marine Center is opening up their doors for all aspiring captains to tour first-hand more than 40 new and pre-owned boats from some of the best brands in the ...read more
6 Tips for Inspecting a Pre-Owned Boat Before Buyin6, Portland, Connecticut
Are you interested in purchasing a pre-owned boat? You can get a perfect deal that fits within your budget, but you first have to make sure the boat is in the best possible condition...read more
How to Prepare a Boat for Sale , Portland, Connecticut
Just like a car, a boat for sale requires a few preparatory steps before you can place it on the market. Inevitably, over the course of your ownership, your vessel will have end...read more