DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT  
LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION  
ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT ON VESSELS  
(By authority conferred on the director of natural resources and environment by section  
80109 of 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.80109 and Executive Reorganization Order Nos.  
1991-22 and 2009-31, MCL 299.13 and 324.99919)  
R 281.1231 Definitions.  
Rule 1. (1) "Act" means 1994 PA 451, MCL 324.80101 to 324.80199. Terms defined  
in the act have the same meanings when used in these rules.  
(2) "Open boat" means a motorboat with all engine and fuel tank compartments  
and other spaces to which explosives or flammable gases and vapors from these  
compartments may flow, open to the atmosphere and so arranged as to prevent the  
entrapment of gases and vapors within the vessel.  
(3) "Point" means 11 1/4 degrees of the compass.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1232 Applicability.  
Rule 2. These rules apply to vessels and associated equipment used, to be used, or  
carried in vessels used on any waters within the territorial limits of this state  
including those waters of the Great Lakes which are under the jurisdiction of this state,  
except:  
(a) Foreign vessels temporarily using waters subject to state jurisdiction.  
(b) Military or public vessels of the United States, except recreational-type  
public vessels.  
(c) A vessel whose owner is a state or political subdivision thereof, other than this  
state and its political subdivisions, which is used principally for governmental  
purposes, and which is clearly identifiable as such.  
(d) A ship's lifeboat.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 281.1233 Navigation lights; intensity standards; placement; screening.  
Rule 3. (1) Navigation lights shall be of sufficient intensity so that the candlepower  
outside the lens is not less than that amount corresponding to the required distance  
of visibility as indicated in table 1.  
TABLE 1  
Page 1  
Distance of Visibility  
In Nautical Candlepower  
Miles  
1
2
3
5
1.0  
5.5  
17.6  
100.0  
(2) As an aid in complying with this rule, the standard double contact bayonet  
candelabra base lamps listed in table 2 are recommended for motorboats having 6- to  
32-volt electrical systems.  
TABLE 2  
Distance of  
Visibility in  
Lamp Number for Certain Voltage Systems  
Nautical Miles Color With Fresnel Lens  
Without Fresnel Lens  
6
12  
90  
94  
68  
90  
32  
1,226  
1,228  
1,224  
1,226  
6
1,130  
12  
1,142  
32  
1,230  
1
1
2
3
Red  
82  
Green 88  
White 64  
White 82  
82  
90  
1,226  
1,230  
1,130  
1,142  
(3) As an aid in complying with this rule, the incandescent lamps listed in table 3 are  
recommended for vessels having 115 volt electrical systems.  
TABLE 3  
Wattage  
Distance of  
Visibility in  
Nautical Miles Color  
With Fresnel  
Without Fresnel  
Lens  
Lens  
1
1
2
2
2
2
3
Red  
25  
50  
Green  
White  
Amber  
Red  
25  
40  
75  
15  
25  
100  
200  
25  
Green  
White  
Page 2  
3
5
Amber  
White  
25  
40  
75  
100  
(4) The light intensity standards of this rule shall apply to new navigation lights  
installed and replacements of existing lights made on and after January 1, 1973.  
(5) Navigation lights required by these rules shall be placed high enough that their  
light will not be obstructed by persons or parts of the boat or its equipment and shall be  
screened as indicated in figure 1.  
Figure for 281.1233  
History: 1979 AC.  
Page 3  
R 281.1234 Personal flotation devices.  
Rule 4. (1) Personal flotation devices required by these rules to be carried aboard  
vessels shall be of the following types:  
(a) Type I, an approved device designed to turn an unconscious person in the water  
from a face downward position to a vertical or slightly backward position, and to have  
more than 20 pounds of buoyancy.  
(b) Type II, an approved device designed to turn an unconscious person in the water  
from a face down position to a vertical or slightly backward position and to have at  
least 15.5 pounds of buoyancy.  
(c) Type III, an approved device designed to keep a conscious person in a vertical or  
slightly backward position and to have at least 15.5 pounds of buoyancy.  
(d) Type IV, an approved device designed to be thrown to a person in the water and  
not worn. It is designed to have at least 16.5 pounds of buoyancy.  
(2) Personal flotation devices required by these rules to be carried aboard vessels  
shall be:  
(a) Approved by the United States coast guard.  
(b) Legibly marked with the approval number issued by the United States coast guard.  
(c) Of an appropriate size for the person for whom it is intended.  
(d) Readily accessible and immediately available.  
(e) In good and serviceable condition.  
History: 1979 AC.  
R 281.1235 Fire extinguishing equipment.  
Rule 5. (1) All hand portable fire extinguishers, semiportable fire extinguishing  
systems, and fixed fire extinguishing systems required by these rules shall be of a type  
approved by the United States coast guard.  
(2) Hand portable fire extinguishers and semiportable fire extinguishing systems are  
classified by a combination letter and number symbol whereby the letter indicates the  
type of fire which the unit could be expected to extinguish, and the number indicates  
the relative size of the unit.  
(3) For the purpose of these rules, all required hand portable fire extinguishers and  
semiportable fire extinguishing systems are of the "B" type suitable for extinguishing  
fires involving flammable liquids and greases.  
(4) The number designations for size start with "I" for the smallest to "III" for the  
largest. Sizes I and II are considered hand portable fire extinguishers and size III is  
considered a semiportable fire extinguishing system which shall be fitted with a  
suitable hose and nozzle or other practicable means so that all portions of the space  
concerned may be covered. Examples of size graduations for some of the typical hand  
portable fire extinguishers and semiportable fire extinguishing systems are as indicated  
in table 4.  
TABLE 4  
Page 4  
Classification  
Type  
Size  
Foam, Gallons  
Carbon Dioxide,  
Dry Chemical, Pounds  
Pounds  
B
B
B
I
II  
III  
1¼  
2½  
12  
4
15  
35  
2
10  
20  
(5) All hand portable fire extinguishers and semiportable fire extinguishing  
systems shall have permanently attached a metallic nameplate giving the name of the  
item; the rated capacity in gallons, quarts, or pounds; the name and address of the  
person or firm for whom approved; and, the identifying mark of the actual  
manufacturer.  
(6) Vaporizing liquid-type fire extinguishers containing carbon tetrachloride or  
chlorobromomethane or other toxic liquids are not acceptable as equipment required by  
these rules.  
(7) Hand portable or semiportable extinguishers which are required on their nameplates  
to be protected from freezing shall not be located where freezing temperatures may be  
expected.  
(8) A dry chemical, stored pressure, fire extinguisher not fitted with pressure gauge  
or indicating device, manufactured prior to January 1, 1965, may be carried on  
motorboats so long as it is maintained in good and serviceable condition. The  
following maintenance and inspections are required for such an extinguisher:  
(a) When the date on the inspection record tag on the extinguisher shows that 6  
months have elapsed since the last weight check ashore, the extinguisher is not  
accepted as meeting required maintenance conditions until reweighed ashore and found  
to be in a serviceable condition and within required weight conditions.  
(b) If the weight of the container is 1/4 ounce less than that stamped on the container, it  
shall be serviced.  
(c) If the outer seals, which indicate tampering or use when broken, are not intact, the  
officer shall inspect the extinguisher to see that the frangible disc in the neck of the  
container is intact; and if the disc is not intact, the container shall be serviced.  
(d) If there is evidence of damage, use, or leakage, such as dry chemical powder  
observed in the nozzle or elsewhere on the extinguisher, the container shall be replaced  
and the extinguisher properly serviced or the extinguisher replaced with another  
approved extinguisher.  
(9) A dry chemical, stored pressure, fire extinguisher without pressure gauge or  
indicating device manufactured after January 1, 1965, shall not be carried on motorboats  
as required equipment.  
(10) When a fixed fire extinguishing system is installed, it shall be of a carbon dioxide-  
type approved and installed as required by the United States coast guard.  
(11) The intent of these rules is illustrated in figure 2, where fire extinguishers are  
required if any of the specified conditions exist, and in figure 3, where specified  
conditions do not, in themselves, require that fire extinguishers be carried.  
Page 5  
Fire extinguishers are required if any of the following conditions exist:  
1. Closed compartment under thwarts and seats where portable fuel tanks may be stored.  
2. Double bottoms not sealed to the hull or which are not completely filled with flotation  
material.  
3. Closed living spaces.  
4. Closed compartments in which combustible or flammable materials are stored.  
Page 6  
5. Permanently installed fuel tanks.  
The following conditions do not, in themselves, require that fire extinguishers be  
carried:  
1. Bait wells.  
2. Glove compartments.  
Page 7  
3. Buoyant flotation material.  
4. Open slatted flooring.  
5. Ice chests.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1236 Backfire flame control.  
Rule 6. (1) Every gasoline engine installed in a motorboat after April 25, 1940, except  
outboard motors, shall be equipped with an acceptable means of backfire flame control.  
(2) Installations made before November 19, 1952, need not meet the requirements  
of this rule and may be continued in use as long as they are serviceable and in good  
condition. Replacements shall meet the requirements in this rule.  
(3) Installations consisting of backfire flame arresters bearing United States coast  
guard approval no. 162.015 may be continued in use as long as they are serviceable and  
in good condition. Replacements shall meet the requirements of this rule.  
(4) Installations consisting of engine air and fuel induction systems and given United  
States coast guard approval no. 162.015 may be continued in use as long as they are  
serviceable and in good condition. Replacements shall meet the requirements of this  
rule.  
(5) The following are acceptable means of backfire flame control for gasoline  
engines:  
(a) A backfire flame arrester constructed in accordance with specifications of, and  
approved by, the United States coast guard. The flame arrester shall be suitably secured  
to the air intake with flame-tight connections.  
(b) An engine air and fuel induction system which provides adequate protection  
from propagation of backfire flame to the atmosphere equivalent to that provided by an  
approved backfire flame arrester. A gasoline engine utilizing an air and fuel induction  
system, and operated without an approved backfire flame arrester shall have the  
installation tested and labeled in accordance with the specifications of, and approved  
by, the United States coast guard.  
(c) Any attachment to the carburetor or the engine air induction system to ensure that  
flames caused by engine backfire will be dispersed to the atmosphere outside the  
vessel so that the flames will not endanger the vessel, persons on board, or nearby  
vessels and structures. All attachments shall be of metallic construction with flame-  
tight connections and firmly secured to withstand vibration, shock, and engine backfire.  
The installations do not require formal approval and labeling, but will be accepted by  
state and local law enforcement officers on the basis of compliance with this rule.  
(d) If manufacturers produce an integrated engine-vessel design, a pre-market  
approval of an engine air induction system is available. An installation shall be tested  
and labeled in accordance with specifications approved by the United States coast  
guard.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1237 Ventilation.  
Page 8  
Rule 7. All motorboats, except open boats, the construction or decking over of which  
is commenced after April 25, 1940, and which use fuel having a flash point of 110  
degrees Fahrenheit or less, shall have at least 2 ventilator ducts, fitted with cowls or  
their equivalent, for the efficient removal of explosive or flammable gases from the  
bilges of every engine and fuel tank compartment. There shall be at least 1 exhaust duct  
installed to extend from the open atmosphere to the lower portion of the bilge and at  
least 1 intake duct installed to extend to a point at least midway to the bilge or at least  
below the level of the carburetor intake. The cowls shall be located and trimmed for  
maximum effectiveness to prevent displaced fumes from being recirculated.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1238 Mufflers; cut outs.  
Rule 8. The exhaust of all internal combustion engines used on any waters of this state  
shall be muffled effectively by equipment constructed and used to muffle the noise of the  
exhaust of the engine in a reasonable manner. The use of cut outs, bypasses, or similar  
devices is prohibited, except for  
vessels competing in a boat race or regatta sanctioned by the department under  
sections 80164 and 80165 of the act. A modern device, underwater exhaust system or  
a system discharging cold water through the exhaust of an inboard engine, each of  
which is capable of muffling the noise of the exhaust of the engine in a reasonable  
manner, shall be considered as meeting the requirements of this rule.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1239 Associated equipment carriage requirements.  
Rule 9. Associated equipment required by these rules to be carried aboard vessels are  
as listed in R 281.1240 to R 281.1252 by type and length of vessel and by type of  
propulsion. A person shall not operate a vessel on waters of this state unless the vessel  
is equipped in accordance with these rules.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
OUTBOARD MOTORBOATS  
R 281.1240 Outboard motorboats less than 16 feet in length.  
Rule 10. An outboard motorboat less than 16 feet in length shall be equipped as  
follows:  
(a) If the motorboat is not an open boat, it shall be equipped with 2 ducts fitted with  
cowls or their equivalent as specified in R 281.1237.  
(b) One type I, II, III, or IV coast guard-approved personal flotation device as  
specified in R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard. The  
Page 9  
devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic bags or other type  
containers.  
(c) If the motorboat is constructed so that it has decking or compartments where  
explosive or flammable gases may be entrapped as illustrated in figure 2, it shall be  
equipped with 1 BI-type coast guard approved fire extinguisher in good and serviceable  
condition and as specified in R 281.1235. When a fixed fire extinguishing system is  
installed in the machinery space, 1 less BI-type fire extinguisher is required.  
(d) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the motorboat shall be equipped with an  
exhibit 1 white light aft, higher than the bowlight, showing all around the horizon and  
visible 2 miles and a combination 20 point bowlight forward, showing green to  
starboard and red to port, visible 1 mile, or in lieu of this requirement, may display  
lights as specified by the international rules of the road.  
(e) If the motorboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the motorboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
(f) With lights as specified by R 281.1233.  
(g) With a muffler as specified by R 281.1238 for each motor.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1241 Outboard motorboats 16 feet or over and less than 26 feet in length.  
Rule 11. An outboard motorboat 16 feet or over and less than 26 feet in length shall  
be equipped as follows:  
(a) If the motorboat is not an open boat, it shall be equipped with 2 ducts fitted with  
cowls or their equivalent as specified in R 281.1237.  
(b) One type I, II, or III coast guard-approved personal flotation device as specified in  
R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition, for each person aboard, plus 1 type IV  
throwable device. The devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic  
bags or other type containers.  
(c) One hand, mouth, or power-operated whistle, capable or producing a blast of 2  
seconds or more in duration, and audible for at least 1/2 mile.  
(d) If the motorboat is constructed so that it has decking or compartments where  
explosive or flammable gases may be entrapped as illustrated in figure 2, it shall be  
equipped with 1 BI-type coast guard approved fire extinguisher in good and serviceable  
condition and as specified in R 281.1235. When a fixed fire extinguishing system is  
installed in the machinery space, 1 less BI-type fire extinguisher is required.  
(e) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the motorboat shall be equipped with an  
exhibit 1 white light aft, higher than the bowlight, showing all around the horizon and  
visible 2 miles and a combination 20 point bowlight forward, showing green to  
starboard and red to port visible 1 mile or in lieu of this requirement may display lights  
as specified by the international rules of the road.  
(f) If the motorboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the motorboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
Page 10  
(g) With lights as specified by R 281.1233.  
(h) With a muffler as specified by R 281.1238 for each motor.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1242 Outboard motorboats 26 feet or over and less than 40 feet in length.  
Rule 12. An outboard motorboat 26 feet or over and less than 40 feet in length shall  
be equipped as follows:  
(a) If the motorboat is not an open boat, it shall be equipped with 2 ducts fitted with  
cowls or their equivalent as specified in R 281.1237.  
(b) One type I, II, or III coast guard-approved personal flotation device as specified in  
R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard, plus 1 type IV  
throwable device. The devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic  
bags or other type containers.  
(c) One hand or power-operated whistle, capable of producing a blast of 2 seconds or  
more duration and audible for a distance of at least 1 mile.  
(d) If the motorboat is constructed so that it has decking or compartments where  
explosive or flammable gases may be entrapped as illustrated in figure 2, it shall be  
equipped with 2 BI-type coast guard approved hand portable fire extinguishers in good  
and serviceable condition and as specified in R 281.1235. 1 BII-type coast guard-  
approved fire extinguisher may be substituted for 2 BI types. When a fixed fire  
extinguishing system is installed in the machinery space, 1 less BI-type fire  
extinguisher is required.  
(e) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the motorboat shall be equipped with an  
exhibit 1 white light aft, higher than the bowlight, showing all around the horizon and  
visible 2 miles, 1 white light forward showing 20 points and visible 2 miles, a green  
light to starboard showing 10 points and visible 1 mile and a red light to port showing 10  
points and visible 1 mile or in lieu of this requirement may display lights as specified  
by the international rules of the road.  
(f) If the motorboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the motorboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
(g) With lights as specified by R 281.1233.  
(h) With a muffler as specified by R 281.1238 for each motor.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1243 Outboard motorboats 40 feet or over and not more than 65 feet in  
length.  
Rule 13. An outboard motorboat 40 feet or over and not more than 65 feet in length  
shall be equipped as follows:  
(a) If the motorboat is not an open boat, it shall be equipped with 2 ducts fitted with  
cowls or their equivalent as specified in R 281.1237.  
Page 11  
(b) One type I, II, or III coast guard-approved personal flotation device as specified in  
R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard, plus 1 type IV  
throwable device. The devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic  
bags or other containers.  
(c) One power-operated whistle capable of producing a blast of 2 seconds or more  
duration, and audible for a distance of at least 1 mile.  
(d) If the motorboat is constructed so that it has decking or compartments where  
explosive or flammable gases may be entrapped as illustrated in figure 2, it shall be  
equipped with 3 BI-type coast guard-approved hand portable fire extinguishers in good  
and serviceable condition and as specified in R 281.1235. One BII-type coast guard-  
approved fire extinguisher may be substituted for 2 BI types. When a fixed fire  
extinguishing system is installed in the machinery space, 1 less BI-type fire  
extinguisher is required.  
(e) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the motorboat shall be equipped with an  
exhibit 1 white light aft, higher than the bowlight, showing all around the horizon and  
visible 2 miles, 1 white light forward showing 20 points and visible 2 miles, a green  
light to starboard showing 10 points and visible 1 mile and a red light to port showing 10  
points and visible 1 mile, or in lieu of this requirement, may display lights as specified  
by the international rules of the road.  
(f) If the motorboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the motorboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
(g) With lights as specified by R 281.1233.  
(h) With a muffler as specified by R 281.1238 for each motor.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
INBOARD AND INBOARD-OUTBOARD MOTORBOATS  
R 281.1244 Inboard and inboard-outboard motorboats less than 16 feet in  
length.  
Rule 14. An inboard or inboard-outboard motorboat less than 16 feet in length shall  
be equipped as follows:  
(a) One coast guard-approved backfire flame arrester as specified in R 281.1236 on  
each carburetor of all gasoline engines.  
(b) At least 2 ducts fitted with cowls or their equivalent as specified in R 281.1237.  
(c) One type I, II, III, or IV coast guard-approved personal flotation device as  
specified in R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard. The  
devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic bags or other containers.  
(d) One BI-type coast guard-approved hand portable fire extinguisher in good and  
serviceable condition and as specified in R 281.1235. When a fixed fire extinguishing  
system is installed in the machinery space, 1 less BI-type fire extinguisher is required.  
(e) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the motorboat shall be equipped with and  
exhibit 1 white light aft, higher than the bowlight, showing all around the horizon and  
Page 12  
visible 2 miles and a combination 20 point bowlight forward, showing green to  
starboard and red to port visible 1 mile, or in lieu of this requirement, may display  
lights as specified by the international rules of the road.  
(f) If the motorboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the motorboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
(g) With lights as specified by R 281.1233.  
(h) A muffler as specified by R 281.1238 for each motor.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1245 Inboard and inboard-outboard motorboats 16 feet or over and less  
than 26 feet in length.  
Rule 15. An inboard or inboard-outboard motorboat 16 feet or over and less than 26  
feet in length shall be equipped as follows:  
(a) One coast guard-approved backfire flame arrester as specified in R 281.1236 on  
each carburetor of all gasoline engines.  
(b) At least 2 ducts fitted with cowls or their equivalent as specified in R 281.1237.  
(c) One type I, II, or III coast guard-approved personal flotation device as specified in  
R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard, plus 1 type IV  
throwable device. The devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic  
bags or other containers.  
(d) One hand, mouth, or power-operated whistle, capable of producing a blast of 2  
seconds or more duration, and audible for at least 1/2 mile.  
(e) One BI-type coast guard approved hand portable fire extinguisher in good and  
serviceable condition and as specified in R 281.1235. When a fixed fire extinguishing  
system is installed in the machinery space, 1 less BI-type fire extinguisher is required.  
(f) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the motorboat shall be equipped with an  
exhibit 1 white light aft, higher than the bowlight, showing all around the horizon and  
visible 2 miles and a combination 20 point bowlight forward showing green to  
starboard and red to port visible 1 mile or in lieu of this requirement may display lights  
as specified by the international rules of the road.  
(g) If the motorboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the motorboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
(h) With lights as specified by R 281.1233.  
(i) With a muffler as specified by R 281.1238 for each motor.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1246 Inboard and inboard-outboard motorboats 26 feet and over and less  
than 40 feet in length.  
Page 13  
Rule 16. An inboard or inboard-outboard motorboat 26 feet or over and less than 40  
feet in length shall be equipped as follows:  
(a) One coast guard-approved backfire flame arrester as specified in R 281.1236 on  
each carburetor of all gasoline engines.  
(b) At least 2 ducts fitted with cowls or their equivalent as specified in R 281.1237.  
(c) One hand or power-operated whistle, capable of producing a blast of 2 seconds or  
more duration and audible for a distance of at least 1 mile.  
(d) One type I, II, or III coast guard-approved personal flotation device as specified in  
R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard, plus 1 type IV  
throwable device. The devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic  
bags or other containers.  
(e) At least 2 BI-type coast guard-approved hand portable fire extinguishers in  
good and serviceable condition and as specified in R 281.1235. 1 BII-type coast  
guard-approved fire extinguisher may be substituted for 2 BI types. When a fixed  
fire extinguishing system is  
installed in the machinery space, 1 less BI-type fire extinguisher is required.  
(f) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the motorboat shall be equipped with an  
exhibit 1 white light aft, higher than the bowlight, showing all around the horizon and  
visible 2 miles, 1 white light forward showing 20 points and visible 2 miles, a green  
light to starboard showing 10 points and visible 1 mile and a red light to port showing 10  
points and visible 1 mile, or in lieu of this requirement, may display lights as  
specified by the international rules of the road.  
(g) If the motorboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the motorboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
(h) With lights as specified by R 281.1233.  
(i) With a muffler as specified by R 281.1238 for each motor.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1247 Inboard and inboard-outboard motorboats 40 feet and over and not  
more than 65 feet in length.  
Rule 17. An inboard or inboard-outboard motorboat 40 feet or over and not more than  
65 feet in length shall be equipped as follows:  
(a) One coast guard-approved backfire flame arrester as specified in R 281.1236 on  
each carburetor of all gasoline engines.  
(b) At least 2 ducts fitted with cowls or their equivalent as specified in R 281.1237.  
(c) One power-operated whistle, capable of producing a blast of 2 seconds or more  
duration and audible a distance of at least 1 mile  
(d) One type I, II, or III coast guard-approved personal flotation device as specified in  
R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard, plus 1 type IV  
throwable device. The devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic  
bags or other containers.  
(e) At least 3 BI-type coast guard-approved hand portable fire extinguishers in  
good and serviceable condition as specified in R 281.1235. 1 BII-type coast guard-  
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approved fire extinguisher may be substituted for 2 BI types. When a fixed fire  
extinguishing system is installed in the machinery space, 1 less BI-type fire extinguisher  
is required.  
(f) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the motorboat shall be equipped with an  
exhibit 1 white light aft, higher than the bowlight, showing all around the horizon and  
visible 2 miles, 1 white light forward showing 20 points and visible 2 miles, a green  
light to starboard 10 points and visible 1 mile, and a red light to port showing 10 points  
and visible 1 mile or, in lieu of this requirement, may display lights as specified  
by the international rules of the road.  
(g) If the motorboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the motorboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
(h) With lights as specified by R 281.1233.  
(i) With a muffler as specified by R 281.1238 for each motor.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
SAILBOATS AND OTHER TYPES OF BOATS  
R 281.1248 Sailboat without motor less than 16 feet in length.  
Rule 18. A sailboat without a motor and less than 16 feet in length shall be equipped as  
follows:  
(a) One type I, II, III, or IV coast guard approved personal flotation device as  
specified in R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard. The  
devices shall be readily available and not encased in plastic bags or other containers.  
(b) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the sailboat shall be equipped with a  
lantern showing a white light which shall be readily available and shall be exhibited to  
a boat approaching from any direction in sufficient time to prevent collision.  
(c) If the sailboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the sailboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1249 Sailboat without motor 16 feet or over in length.  
Rule 19. A sailboat without a motor and 16 feet or over in length shall be equipped as  
follows:  
(a) One type I, II, III, or IV coast guard approved personal flotation device as  
specified in R 281.1234 in good and serviceable condition for each person aboard, plus 1  
type IV throwable device. The devices shall be readily available and not encased in  
plastic bags or other containers.  
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(b) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the sailboat shall be equipped with a  
lantern showing a white light which shall be readily available and shall be exhibited to  
a boat approaching from any direction in sufficient time to prevent collision.  
(c) If the sailboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or  
waters connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be  
displayed on the forward part of the sailboat to be visible to a boat approaching from  
any direction.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1250 Sailboat with motor.  
Rule 20. A sailboat with a motor shall be equipped as follows:  
(a) Personal flotation devices, backfire flame arresters, ventilation ducts and cowls, fire  
extinguishers, whistles, bells, and mufflers, as required by these rules for motorboats of  
the same length.  
(b) If underway between sunset and sunrise, the sailboat shall be equipped with and  
exhibit navigation lights as required by these rules for motorboats of the same length,  
except the following:  
(i) A sailboat 26 feet or over in length under sail alone on the Great Lakes and waters  
connected thereto between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with and exhibit a  
green light to starboard showing 10 points and visible 1 mile, a red light to port  
showing 10 points and visible 1 mile, and a lantern showing a white light which shall be  
readily available and shall be exhibited to a boat approaching from any direction in  
sufficient time to prevent collision.  
(ii) If the sailboat is anchored between sunset and sunrise on the Great Lakes or waters  
connected thereto and not in a special anchorage area, a white light shall be displayed  
on the forward part of the sailboat to be visible to a boat approaching from any  
direction. In lieu of these lighting requirements sailboats may display lights as specified  
by the international rules of the road.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1251 Rowboats.  
Rule 21. (1) A rowboat shall be equipped with personal flotation devices as required by  
these rules for a motorboat of the same length.  
(2) If underway between sunset and sunrise a rowboat shall be equipped with a lantern  
showing a white light which shall be readily available and shall be exhibited to a boat  
approaching from any direction in sufficient time to prevent collision.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
R 281.1252 Canoes and kayaks.  
Rule 22. (1) A canoe or kayak shall be equipped with 1 type I, II, III, or IV coast guard  
approved personal flotation device as specified in R 281.1234 in good and serviceable  
Page 16  
condition for each person aboard. The devices shall be readily available and not encased  
in plastic bags or other type containers.  
(2) If underway between sunset and sunrise a canoe or kayak shall be equipped with  
a lantern showing a white light which shall be readily available and shall be  
exhibited to a boat approaching from any direction in sufficient time to prevent collision.  
History: 1979 AC; 2010 AACS.  
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