Skip to main content
Oregon.gov Homepage

Equipment and Regulations

 

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. 
VDSs 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. 

1. Wearable Life Jacket

Sailboats less than 16 feet in length and all paddlecraft (canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, etc.) need to carry properly-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard -approved wearable life jacket(s) for each person on board and the life jacket must be readily accessible.  All children 12 and younger are required to wear a life jacket.

Sailboats 16 feet and over must also carry one, Type IV throwable cushion.

2. Sound Devices​

​A boat less than 39 feet 4 inches (or 12 meters) long, must carry a whistle or a compressed air horn.  It's easy to attach a whistle to a life jacket!  Both are required equipmentt. 

3. Navigation Lights​

Required only when underway or at anchor between sunset and sunrise, and during periods of restricted visibility.

1.  Wearable Life Jackets

​Boats under 26 feet need to carry properly-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard -approved wearable life jacket(s) for each person on board and the life jacket must be readily accessible.  The boat must also carry a Type IV throwable cushion.  All children 12 and younger are required to wear a life jacket while on anopen deck or cockpit when a boat is underway or being towed.
*Motorboats less than 16 feet in length and all paddlecraft need to carry properly-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard -approved life jacket(s) for each person on board and the life jacket must be readily accessible, but are not required to carry a Type IV throwable cushion.
​A boat less than 39 feet 4 inches (12 meters) must carry a sound producing device such as a whistle or compressed air horn. It's easy to attach a whistle to a life jacket.  Both are required equipmentt. 
3.  One, B-1 Fire Extinguisher when no fixed fire extinguishing system is installed. (Fire extinguishers are not required on outboard motorboats of open construction less than 26 feet in length.) A B-I type extinguisher is not required if an approved fixed fire extinguishing system is installed in machinery spaces.​
4. Carburetor Backfire Flame Arrestor is required for inboard motors not exposed to the atmosphere above the gunwale.
5. Muffling System for the Exhaust of each internal combustion engine.
 
6. Ventilation System
The particular type depends on when the boat was built. See “Ventilation” below.
7. Navigation Lighting -Lights are required only when the boat is underway or at anchor between sunset and surise and during restricted visibility.

1. Wearable Life Jacket

Boats 26 feet  to 40 feet need to carry properly-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard -approved wearable life jacket(s) for each person on board and the life jacket must be readily accessible.  The boat must also carry a Type IV throwable cushion that is readily accessible.  All children 12 and younger are required to wear a life jacket at all times while on anopen deck or cockpit when a boat is underway or being towed.
​A boat less than 39 feet 4 inches (12 meters) must carry a sound producing device such as a whistle or compressed air horn.  Both are even better for larger boats.  Many larger boats have built-in horns.
3.  Two, B-1 Fire Extinguishers​ or one B-II type approved portable fired extinguisher. When an approved fixed fire extinguishing system is installed, one less B-I type is required.
 
4.  Carburetor backfire flame arrestor is required for inboard motors not exposed to the atmosphere above the gunwale.
5.  Muffling system for the exhaust of each internal combustion engine.
6.  Ventilation System
The particular type dependent upon when the boat was built. 
 
7. Navigation Lighting​​ -Lights are required only when the boat is underway or at anchor between sunset and surise and during restricted visibility.
1.  Wearable Life Jackets

Boats 40 feet and under 65 feet need to carry properly-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard -approved wearable life jacket(s) for each person on board and the life jacket must be readily accessible.  The boat must also carry a Type IV throwable cushion that is readily accessible.  All children 12 and younger are required to wear a life jacket at all times while on an open deck or​r cockpit when a boat is underway or being towed.

2.  Sound Devices​

A boat of more than 39 feet 4 inches (12 meters), but less than 65 feet 6 inches (20 meters) must carry on board a bell and a whistle, or a horn. The whistle and the bell must comply with existing federal specifications.

3.  Three, B-1 fire extinguishers​ or one B-I type plus one B-II type approved portable fire extinguishers. When an approved fixed fire extinguishing system is installed, one less B-I type is required.

4.  Carburetor backfire flame arrestor is required for inboard motors not exposed to the atmosphere above the gunwale.

5.  Muffling system for the exhaust of each internal combustion engine.

6.  Ventilation System

The particular type dependent upon when the boat was built.

7. Navigation Lighting-Lights are required only when the boat is underway or at anchor between sunset and surise and during restricted visibility.​

 

Your browser is out-of-date! It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how

×