2015 New York Safe Boating - 19
Whistle or Horn
On boats less than 12 meters (39 ft.) in length, a mouth
whistle may be used. All boats 12 meters (39 ft.) and
greater in length must carry a sound producing mechanical
appliance. Whether your boat has a horn or a whistle, it
must be audible to at least one-half mile.
If your boat came with a horn, test it regularly. Over time,
oxidation build-up inside the horn can diminish the sound
level. Consider keeping a portable air horn on your boat, as
well as the mechanical horn or mouth whistle. The air horn
provides a back-up in case the mechanical horn fails to work
properly. And, if your boat is small and carries a whistle, the
air horn may be a better option in some circumstances. For
example, on a crowded lake the air horn will be easier to
hear and in foggy conditions.
All boats 20 meters (65 ft.) and greater in length must have
a bell. The bell signals the location of the anchored or
grounded boat to others during periods of reduced visibility.
be attached to the air intake, usually on top of the carburetor.
The device must be US Coast Guard approved.
Anchor & Line
A backfire flame arrestor may look like an air filter but this is
not its primary function. The operating principle of the flame
arrestor is to cool and quench the flame, by forcing it between
closely spaced metal vanes or screens. This cools the flame so
it will not exit the carburetor.
All motorized boats must carry an anchor and line of
sufficient weight and strength to provide the boat with safe
anchorage. Though the law applies only to motorized craft,
all boats should carry an anchor in case of an emergency on
Check your arrestor periodically to ensure that it fits snugly
against the air intake. The arrestor should be removed and
cleaned each season with de-greaser or soap and water to
ensure that air flows into the engine properly. A damaged
flame arrestor should be replaced, not repaired.
Sound Signaling Devices
All boats must carry some sort of sound signaling device.
Keep in mind that it may be fun to toot at your friends on
the water, but remember that your boat horn or whistle is an
important piece of safety equipment.
require boats to
signals, toots of
the whistle or
horn, in certain
must sound your
horn or whistle
boat, in times
of danger (not
distress), and during
periods of restricted visibility. See pages 45-46 for more
information on sound signals.
the water. Select an anchor that is appropriate for the types
of waters in which you'll be operating. An anchor that will
hold a boat in a lake may not hold the same boat in a river
with a strong current. We will talk more about anchoring