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Equipment and Regulations

 What you need to have...

To be safe and comply with Oregon law, you’ll need the right equipment and to know the regulations that were designed for your safety. Equipment varies based on boat type, boat length, and sometimes by a waterbody’s inherent conditions (e.g. whitewater rivers and the Pacific Ocean/coastal bars).

Be sure you meet the equipment (carriage) requirements and know the regulations for the waterbody where you'll be boating.  Use our interactive Boat Oregon Map and select the regulations data layer.  Then, click on a colored river segment to find out the local operation regulations.
NOTE: Boats operating on federally controlled waters must be equipped with U.S. Coast Guard-approved visual distress signals.  In Oregon, federally controlled waters include the mouth of the Columbia River and all coastal waters.  All vessels, regardless of length or type, are required to carry night signals when operating between sunset and sunrise.  Most vessels must carry day signals also; exceptions to the requirement for day signals are:

Recreational vessels that are less than 16 feet in length: 
  • Non-motorized open sailboats that are less than 26 feet in length, and;
  • Manually propelled (non-motorized) boats like kayaks, stand up paddleboards, etc. 
Visual Distress Signals must be U.S. Coast Guard -approved, in serviceable condition and readily accessible.  
  • A minimum of three must be carried and not past their expiration date. 
See the table below for the specific equipment and legal requirements for your boat.

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