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Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Proper Ventilation Systems

The importance of ventilation is crucial. The purpose of ventilation systems is to avoid explosions by removing flammable gases. Properly installed ventilation systems greatly reduce the chance of a life-threatening explosion.

All gas-powered boats, constructed in a way that would entrap fumes, must have at least two ventilation ducts fitted with cowls to remove the fumes.

If your boat is equipped with a power ventilation system, turn it on for at least four minutes after fueling, prior to starting your engine.

Flame Arrestors

Because boat engines may backfire, all powerboats, (except outboards fueled with gasoline) must have a U. S. Coast Guard approved backfire flame arrestor on each carburetor of every engine.

Periodically clean the flame arrestor and check for any damage.


The exhaust of every internal combustion engine used on any boat must be muffled or baffled and water injected (except those engines that exhaust through the lower unit or outdrive when the vessel is on plane) so as to decrease noise.

Enforcement officials are authorized to submit boats to noise level tests and cite boat operators whose boats are not in compliance.

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