1. All vessels must be equipped with one USCG approved life jacket, type I, II, III or V for each person on board or being toward on water (tubes, skis, etc.) Please check your state laws regarding PFD wearing requirements for children, watercraft, and water sports.
2. Every vessel less than 65 ft (20 m) must carry a sound producing device (a bell, whistle.) On federally controlled waters, vessels larger than 65 ft (20m) must carry a whistle and a bell.
3. Vessels less than 26 ft (7.9m) must carry one B-l type approved hand portable fire extinguisher, not required for outboard vessels less than 26 ft in length and of open construction. Vessels 26 to less than 40 ft (12.2m) must carry two B-l type or one B-ll type approved portable fire extinguishers. If your vessel is 40 to 65ft (19.8m), you must carry three B-l type or one B-l type plus one B-ll type approved portable fire extinguishers.
4. Vessels less than 16 ft (5m) must carry approved visual distress signals for night-time use. Vessels larger than 16 ft (5m) must carry approved visual distress signals for both day and night time use.
5. Mechanically propelled vessels must have an anchor & line.
Check to see what communication equipment your vessel has on board. Have a list of local contact numbers handy (marinas, locks, etc.) to carry with you. We strongly recommend you bring a cell phone or marine radio.
Look to see if the boat is well maintained. If you see problems, consider whether it’s safe to take it out. Inspect the vessel for scratches, stains, cracks, dents, prop damage, etc. If you find any issues, please contact the boat owner before accepting the keys. You do not want to get blamed for any issues you didn’t cause.
Check to see if the boat has paddles, oars, and dock lines. Although they are not needed, we recommend having them before heading out.
Consider your level of boating knowledge and experience. If you are a beginner you might want to consider taking a boat safety course approved by your state. At the very least, you can ask the boat owner to take you out on the water for a familiarization tour of your rental boat. Boat owners can fully explain all the rules of the water, including how to read charts and navigate the waterway.
We recommend that all boat renters bring a tool kit, a flashlight and a first aid kit.