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Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Navigation Lights

Failure to use the required navigation lights is one of the leading causes of boating fatalities in Georgia. Lights must be used when away from the dock between sunset and sunrise or during periods of low visibility. Required navigation lights differ depending on boat type and size.

Figure 1. Power-Driven Class A Or Class 1 Boats


Power-Driven Class A And Class 1 Boats When Underway

These boats must exhibit the lights as shown in figure1. Remember, power-driven boats include sailboats operating under power. Required lights are:

  • Red and green sidelights visible from a distance of at least one mile
  • An all-round white light (a white light visible from all directions) or both a masthead light and a sternlight. These lights must be visible from a distance of at least two miles. The all-round white light (or if used, masthead light) must be at least 3 ft. higher than sidelights

Figure 2. Wind Driven Sailboats 


An alternative to the sidelights and sternlight is a combination red, green and white light which must be exhibited near the top of the mast.


Wind-Driven Sailboats When Underway

Class A, Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 sailboats must exhibit the lights as shown in figure 2. Required lights are:

  • Red and green sidelights visible from a distance of at least one mile
  • Sternlight visible from a distance of at least two miles

Figure 3. Non-Motorized Class A Boats (Except Sailboats)

Boat operators should never leave shore without a flashlight. Even if you plan to return before dark, unforeseen developments like engine trouble might delay your return past nightfall.


Non-Motorized Boats (Except Sailboats) When Underway

Boats that are paddled, poled and rowed must have on hand a white light. Requirements are:

  • Class A boats must have at hand at least one lantern or flashlight shining a white light as shown in figure 3
  • All other non-motorized boats (except sailboats) must have an all-round white light (visible in all directions)
All Boats When Not Underway

All boats are required to use an all-round white light whenever they are moored or anchored away from dock between sunset and sunrise

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