Utah Boating Safety Course

Chapter 2 Review - Boating Equipment - Continued


Fire extinguishers are required on board motorized vessels in a variety of conditions including vessels that have closed living spaces onboard and permanently installed fuel tanks. Extinguishers MUST be kept in an open area where they are easily accessible.

Different requirements for fire extinguishers exist on board vessels of different sizes and lengths:

  • Motorized vessels less than 26 feet in length are required to have one B-1 fire extinguisher on board, while
  • Powerboats between 26 and 40 feet in length are required to have either two B-1 or one B-2 fire extinguisher on board.

Type B fire extinguishers are best suited for use on board motorized vessels as they are designed to put out fires caused by flammable liquids such as gasoline.


Gasoline engines installed in a vessel after April 25, 1940, except outboard motors, must be equipped with an acceptable means of backfire flame control to prevent a back-fire which could result from the ignition of unburned exhaust fumes collected in the engine area.

Backfire flame control device arrestors should be inspected on a monthly basis.



All gasoline-powered vessels built after 1940 are required to have either natural or powered ventilation systems. The purpose of the ventilation system is to remove any flammable gases or gasoline vapors from the engine area before ignition.

Powered ventilation systems should be turned on for at least four minutes before starting the engine to ensure all gasoline vapors have been removed before ignition.


It is important that power-driven vessels exhibit the proper navigation lights when away from the dock after sunset or during periods of reduced visibility.

Remember, if operating during periods of restricted visibility or at night and you encounter:

  • Visible red and white lights — you are approaching the port side of another vessel.
  • Visible green and white lights — you are approaching the starboard side of another vessel
  • Visible white lights only — you are approaching the stern of another vessel
  • Visible white, red and green lights — you are approaching a powerboat head-on.

At night or during periods of restricted visibility, vessels under oars or paddles which are less than 23 feet in length are only required to have on-hand, one lantern or flashlight shining a white light.


A visual distress signal is any device designed to show that your boat is in distress and help others locate you. A wide variety of signaling devices, both pyrotechnic and non-pyrotechnic, can be carried to meet the requirements of the regulation. Three day/night signaling devices meet both requirements.

The following is an illustration of the variety and some combinations of devices which can be carried in order to meet the requirements:

  • Three multi-star flares (day and night)
  • Three hand held red flares (day and night)
  • One hand-held red flare and two parachute flares (day and night)