Georgia Boater Education Course


CHAPTER 2 REVIEW: Boating Equipment

In this chapter we learned about the different types of safety equipment that you need to have on board to comply with federal boating regulations. To make sure you’re ready for the Chapter Quiz, let’s take a minute and review the main topics: PFDs, fire extinguishers, ventilation systems, navigation lights and distress signals.

TYPES OF PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES (PFD)

First, we learned about PFDs, or personal flotation devices, the most important piece of safety equipment on your boat.

PFDs come in variety of types and sizes, and you need to pick the right type for your activity and location. You also need to make sure your PFD fits properly, which means it should stay snug around your chest.

Remember that inflatable PFDs are not for use for high-impact activities or by children or non-swimmers.

The most important rule about PFDs is that you need one properly fitted PFD for every person on board.

It’s a smart idea to wear your PFD at all times when out on the water.

  • TYPE I — OFFSHORE LIFEJACKETS
  • TYPE II —  NEAR-SHORE BUOYANT PFDs

  

    

  • TYPE III —  FLOTATION AID PFDs
  • TYPE IV —  THROWABLE DEVICES

    

    

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Next, we learned about fire extinguishers. If your boat has a gasoline-powered engine and an enclosed space where fumes can collect—think a cabin, storage area or double hull—then you need a fire extinguisher on board. Any boat with an inboard engine automatically needs a fire extinguisher.

VENTILATION SYSTEMS AND BACKFIRE FLAME ARRESTORS

We also learned about two pieces of safety equipment that can help prevent a fire or explosion onboard: ventilation systems and backfire flame arrestors.

A ventilation system removes fumes from the bilge, preventing the chance of an explosion. Remember that if you have a powered ventilation system, you need to turn it on and leave it running for 4 minutes before you start the engine.