Boat prepared

Washington state's diverse waterways of rivers, lakes, bays, inlets and coastal areas require different skills, preparation and safety equipment.

You're required by law to carry specific safety equipment. Requirements vary according to size and type of boat. The legal requirements are minimal and do not maximize your chances of being rescued in a timely manner when an accident happens. You'll need additional equipment to be rescue ready and keep everyone safe.

Safety Equip
  1. Required equipment
  2. Rescue ready equipment
  3. Safety alerts

Federal and Washington state law requires the following on every boat, no matter what size, including kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards.

  • U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacketsof the right size and type, for everyone on board
  • A sounding device—horn, whistle or bell
  • A white navigation light
  • On coastal waterways, nighttime visual distress signal such as flares
Washington state law requires the following, depending on boat length and engine type.

For a specific list of requirements by boat length and type, review the Washington State required equipment checklist

Remember, these items are basic and won't maximize your chance of survival in an accident. There's additional gear necessary to be rescue ready.