Chapter 1: The Basics of Your Boat

Boat Classes

Another important element of the boat; its class.

Based on length, every boat falls into a certain class. Depending on the class of your boat, federal and state regulations require one to carry certain safety equipment on board, such as a fire extinguisher, whistle, air horn, or a flare for emergency signaling. Just remember that no matter what class, one must carry a USCG approved wearable life jacket of the proper size and fit, and in good usable condition, for every person on the boat.

When determining class, a boat's length is measured along its centerline from the outside of the bow to the outside of the stern. Only the distance from the bow to the stern determines the length and class of the boat. Additional attachments do not factor into a measurement determining class.

These are the four classes of boats:

Boat Classes