Boating Basics Online - Basic Boating Safety Course
Chapter 4 - Required Equipment

Sound Producing Devices

Bell, horn and whistleNavigation rules require sound signals to be made under certain circumstances. Meeting, crossing and overtaking situations described in the Navigation Rules section are examples of when sound signals are required. Recreational boats are also required to sound signals during periods of reduced visibility.

Vessels 39.4 feet (12 meters) or more in length are required to carry a whistle or horn. Vessels less than 39.4 feet (12 meters) in length (including PWCs) may carry a whistle or horn or some other means to make an efficient sound signal audible for 1/2 mile.

Vessels 65.6 feet (20 meters) or more in length are required to carry a whistle or horn and a bell that are audible for 1 mile. Please note that the bell is no longer required on a boat 12 meters or more but less than 20 meters in length.

These requirements are to enable you to signal your intentions and to signal your position in periods of reduced visibility.

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