Boat Size Classifications & Requirements


Boat Classes By Length

Federal and state law requires that you have specific safety equipment on board depending on the class of your boat.

To know whether you need flares, a fire extinguisher, a flashlight, an air horn or all of the above, you’ll need to know the boat's class.

Boat classes are determined by boat length. Let’s review the four different classes of recreational boats as determined by length.

Class A boat less than 16 feet.

Class A

Boats measuring less than 16 feet.

Class 1 boat 16 to 26 feet

Class 1

Boats measuring more than 16 feet but less than 26 feet.

Class 2 boat 26 to 40 feet.

Class 2

Boats measuring more than 26 feet but less than 40 feet.

Class 3 boat 40 to 65 feet

Class 3

Boats measuring more than 40 feet but less than 65 feet.

How To Determine a Boat's Size

how to determine a boat's size

To find out a boat's length, measure along its center line from the outside of the bow to the outside of the stern. That means any attachments, such as swim platforms or wakeboard towers, don't count towards its length.